Three points for the mighty Moors...
Solihull Moors claimed their first points of the new National League season with a hard fought 1-0 home win over Wrexham on Tuesday night.
James Ball’s powerful header early in the second half proved the difference between the two sides as Moors showed a real sturdiness to secure the victory.
It was a battling performance from Jimmy Shan’s men, who were tested several times by the Welshmen but showed great resolve to see the result over the line.
Moors manager Shan was forced into making two changes from the side which narrowly lost 2-1 at Woking in the season opener.
Aston Villa loanee Cameron Archer replaced the injured Jamie Ward and Darren Carter came into the defence with Cameron Coxe away on international duty.
It was a cagey start to the game as both sides tried to establish themselves, with Moors looking to patiently build from the back.
But Wrexham’s frontline were keen to press and Ryan Boot had to show quick thinking to ensure former Moors striker Kwame Thomas didn’t nick it off his toes.
Moors’ first chance fell to Ball but his turn and shot was easily saved by Rob Lainton in the visitors’ goal
Joe Sbarra was next to try his luck, darting through the Wrexham defence, however a great last ditch block kept the scoreline level.
Wrexham themselves had chances but Moors’ back three stayed resolute, snuffing out any meaningful attack from Dean Keates’ side.
Jordan Davies looked to have outfoxed Moors defence but not goalkeeper Boot who expertly tipped the attacker’s long range deflected effort onto the bar.
The ball bounced down off the woodwork, Wrexham were adamant it crossed the line but the referee waved away the appeals.
Moments later, the Dragons almost scored again, a great whipped cross from the left found Paul Rutherford but his header found the side netting.
Wrexham were finishing the half much stronger and should have taken the lead but centre half, Theo Vassell, blazed wildly over from no more than six yards out.
That proved to be the last noteworthy act of the first half as the sides went in level at the break.
Half-time: Solihull Moors 0-0 Wrexham AFC
The second half started slowly, that was until Ball set the game alight, with a thumping effort from Cranston’s delivery in the 56th minute.
It was a goal that rocked Wrexham who started to really up the ante after that setback, with robust challenges aplenty.
As for the Moors, Cranston was proving to be the thorn in the Dragons’ side, his marauding runs, causing multiple headaches for the visiting defence.
But it was a former Moor who was almost the next on the scoresheet, but not for the first time, Boot came to the rescue, smothering the ball at Thomas’ feet.
Rutherford was next to go close for the away side, but this time it was Carter who thwarted the attack with a perfectly timed tackle inside the Moors penalty box.
Wrexham were starting to threaten from set pieces but Shan’s men stood strong as Keates’ team looked to play more direct as the clock ticked down.
Then with little over 10 minutes remaining, Archer nearly gave Moors breathing space but his header flashed wide of the far upright, after yet more good work from Cranston.
He may not have marked his full debut with a goal, but nobody could doubt Archers’ appetite, the teenager never stopped running all night.
As the final whistle beckoned, Moors were forced to survive a few late scares but Shan’s side didn’t waver and took home all three points.
Moors will hope to build on Tuesday’s win when they entertain King’s Lynn at the SportNation.bet Stadium on Saturday.
Full-time: Solihull Moors 1-0 Wrexham AFC
Solihull Moors: Boot; Williams, Howe, Carter, Gudger (Hancox, 70) Cranston; Storer, Gleeson; Sbarra (Maycock, 77) Ball (Osborne, 90); Archer
Subs not used: Clayton, Piggott