10 men Moors dig in for all three points...
Adam Rooney made a goalscoring return as his clinical finish sealed all three points for 10-men Moors at home to Boreham Wood on Saturday.
Rooney’s second-half strike secured a hard earned 1-0 win and saw Jimmy Shan’s men claim their third league win in a row at the SportNation.bet Stadium.
It was all the more impressive as Moors had to play over an hour with 10 after the early dismissal of Darren Carter, the centre half sent off for two bookable offences.
The headline news prior to kick off was the return of Rooney who came into Shan’s starting XI for his long-awaited debut with Cameron Archer taking his place amongst the substitutes.
Moors also welcomed skipper Kyle Storer and Cameron Coxe back into the fold. Storer was rested for the win over King’s Lynn whilst Welshman Coxe was away on international duty.
And it was a landmark day for vice-captain Callum Howe who clocked up his 50th appearance in a Moors shirt against the Wood.
But it was the visitors who had the better of the opening exchanges, with danger man Kabongo Tshimanga making himself a real nuisance up front.
Twice they could have taken the lead, first Zaine Francois-Angol fired over and then that man Tshimanga forced a great save from Boot, diving low to his right.
It was a wakeup call for Moors who began to grab a foothold. Coxe was fed down the right, he pulled it back to Sbarra but centre-back Tom Champion was alert to the danger.
Midway through the half, Moors were dealt a set-back when following a challenge on Woods’ Corey Whitley, Carter received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Moments later Whitely drove a shot goal wards but Moors keeper Boot was again equal to it, this time diving down to his right and palming the ball away.
It could have been one-way traffic, but Shan’s men didn’t let Carter’s sending off ruin their game plan and as the half wore on, they started to assert themselves.
Attacks started to build, Rooney as the fulcrum was linking well with Sbarra, a few half-hearted penalty appeals came and went. The hosts’ confidence was growing quickly.
And given their opponent’s one-man advantage, Moors would have been much the happier of the two teams going into the break.
Half-time: Solihull Moors 0-0 Boreham Wood
Wood were quick out of the blocks after the restart, Matt Rhead got on the end of a Francis-Angol cross but not for the first time, Boot came to Moors’ rescue.
At the other end, Nathan Ashmore flew across his goal to stop a whipped Jordan Cranston free-kick.
Approaching the hour mark, Ashmore then performed heroics to keep out another Cranston set-piece, the free-kick looked goal bound but the visiting keeper somehow tipped it away.
As the game entered its final stages, there was little to choose between the teams and chances at a premium.
A midfield contest, skipper Storer was his usual industrious self, with messers Callum Maycock and Mitch Hancock ably assisting him either side.
Then came Rooney’s moment. Picking up a loose ball, he drove at the defence and fired a low hard drive across Ashmore, it ricocheted off the inside of the post and into the net.
It was no more than Moors’ battling performance deserved. It was then a case of batting down the hatches, staying resolute and hitting the Wood on the break.
Late substitute Cameron Archer burst through in added time but the angle was tight and Ashmore saved well.
Seven minutes of stoppage time made for a nervy finish but Moors’ defence stood strong and Shan’s charges saw an impressive win over the line.
Up next for the Moors is a FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie with Wrexham. Moors came out 1-0 victors when the two teams met in the league just less than a fortnight ago.
Full-time: Solihull Moors 1-0 Boreham Wood
Solihull Moors: Boot; Coxe, Williams, Howe, Carter, Cranston; Storer, Gleeson (Maycock, 42); Sbarra (Archer,86), Ball (Hancox, 46); Rooney
Subs not used: Clayton, Osborne.