Solihull Moors were made to settle for a point on the road against a resilient Dover Athletic outfit on Tuesday evening.
The 0-0 draw at Crabble extended Moors’ unbeaten run to four matches and secured the team a first clean sheet of the season.
Neal Ardley made three changes to the side that beat Boreham Wood on Saturday, with Adam Rooney, Ryan Barnett and Lois Maynard all taking their places in the starting line-up.
Rooney was making his first start of the campaign, while Barnett had recovered from a shoulder injury.
Andrew Dallas, Justin Donawa and Callum Maycock were the three to come out, and were available as options off the bench.
The visitors flew out of the traps and were almost ahead inside the first 30 seconds. The ball found its way out to Jordan Cranston who drove a low effort that flashed just wide of the post via a deflection.
Minutes later, in-form Joe Sbarra forced Adam Parkes to tip around the post following a curling strike.
It was Sbarra again who perhaps had the best opening of the half, and, in fact, the whole game. The midfielder was fortunate to see the ball deflect into his path and set him free and one-on-one with Parkes. After taking time to pick his spot, the home stopper stood firm and made a strong save to ensure the score remained level.
At the other end, Ryan Boot had to be alert to bat away a Ricky Miller strike, before Kyle Storer cleared up the seconds.
But Moors kept pressing for the opener and Saturday’s two-goal hero, Danny Newton, almost got it from a Cranston corner. He did well to adjust his body in the centre, but the header dropped just over the top of the bar and onto the roof of the net.
There was momentary panic in the Moors backline as Storer’s back-pass lacked weight and Boot’s clearance was closed down by Aaron Cosgrave – fortunately, the block rolled in Moors’ favour and wide of the post.
Rooney came close to marking his first start of the season with a goal, but Parkes pulled off an impressive reaction save to deny the striker who almost nodded home at the front post.
Half-time: Dover Athletic 0-0 Solihull Moors
It was a case of more of the same for Ardley’s men who were again quick to threaten their opponents in the second 45.
Callum Howe twice got on the end of crosses, but the second drifted just over the top following a Newton ball in.
The two wing-backs tried their upmost to link-up for an opener, as Barnett couldn’t quite stretch and get contact on Cranston’s teasing delivery.
Barnett was involved again as his brilliant ball down the line found Sbarra. He sent in a wicked cross that Rooney closed in on, but the Irishman was denied at the last second by some heroic home defending.
A double change saw James Ball and Dallas enter the pitch, as Moors persisted with trying to find a winner.
The latter so nearly created an opening after being played in, but the angle was closed down and the Scot was unable to get an effort on goal.
Full-time: Dover Athletic 0-0 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors: Boot (GK), Cranston, Storer ©, Howe, Gudger, Sbarra (Ball 69), Rooney (Dallas 69), Barnett, Preston, Newton, Maynard (Maycock 82).
Subs not used: Williams, Donawa.
Image by Tom King