SOLIHULL Moors rose to third in Conference North after a 1-1 draw at Gloucester City on Tuesday but they perhaps should have come away from Whaddon Road with all three points, writes John Clothier.
In a rearranged match Moors spurned too many chances and a win would have given them even greater momentum heading into Saturday’s home match with bottom club Hyde.
Gloucester have not had the best of starts to the season but, with a move back to their ancestral home now becoming a reality, survival in Conference North is vital for their future plans.
It was ten minutes before Moors started to apply real pressure on their opponents, with Rob Elvins failing to properly connect with a Ryan Beswick corner and Omar Bogle was also denied.
Darryl Knights linked well with Beswick down the left and it was the latter who broke the deadlock on 19 minutes when he collected the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and drifted past his marker before curling a shot into the right-hand corner of the net.
The visitors searched for a second but Bogle’s effort on 21 minutes lacked any power before Beswick headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
On 25 minutes Bogle tried a speculative effort from 35 yards but with the keeper beaten he could only watch as the ball bounced wide.
Despite dominating for large periods, Moors were caught on the break and a through ball split their defence and Mann fired a bullet strike past Tony Breeden to equalise on 36 minutes.
Moors had the perfect opportunity to regain the lead before half time when Byfield was hacked down inside the area and it was assumed that Bogle would add to his overall tally from the penalty spot, but he blasted over and Moors were hanging on as the referee blew for the interval.
Moors were rampant as the second half got underway but they failed to find a breakthrough. Bogle’s early free kick was easily covered by Parker whilst Elvins was denied by Avery as he rose to meet Knights’ free kick.
Michael Nottingham almost put his team back in front on 49 minutes but his knockdown was cleared off the line and on 56 minutes Bogle had the ball in the net but referee Massey Ellis disallowed the goal for an offside infringement.
The Tigers sensed they could snatch all three points as they came into the game as the second half progressed. Groves blasted over with an open goal at his mercy before Moors broke and Beswick chipped the keeper, only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar.
Solihull were left to rue so many missed chances but Gloucester were far better than their lowly league position suggests and deserved their share of the points.
Nevertheless, Moors are now eight games unbeaten in the league and must now focus on Saturday’s game at home to Hyde.
Rob Elvins wasted several chances against Gloucester City. (s)