Solihull Moors 3 Nuneaton Town 1
Saturday 26th December, 2015;
Nuneaton Town were left feeling flat on Boxing Day as five second half minutes saw the Moors claim the victory in this top-of-the-table clash.
Despite bossing the first half, Boro were undone in the second as a red card for Elliott Whitehouse and two quick-fire goals all but gifted Solihull a festive three points.
Despite enjoying plenty of the ball early on the Boro could have found themselves behind inside the opening ten minutes. Stefan Moore muscled his way into a goal scoring position just inside the box but sent his effort just wide of the far post with Jordan Smith beaten.
The next chance fell Elliott Whitehouse who was left unmarked in the box. After a cross from the right he shifted his feet superbly, side-footing a lofted volley goalwards that Ben Siegrist had to be alert to tip over the bar.
Siegrist was proving to be the busier of the two keepers as Nuneaton were enjoying more of the ball than the home side. It was a fact they nearly took advantage of in the 32nd minute when the Solihull stopper had to be at his best to turn a Rob Duffy header round the post.
Nuneaton failed to test the Solihull keeper further in the remaining 13 minutes of the half, despite having four efforts from distance – all of which sailed over the bar.
Solihull would certainly have been the happier of the two sides going in level at the break, such was the amount of possession the Boro enjoyed – however, they would be happier still 15 minutes after the restart.
In a catastrophic spell for the Boro they found themselves down to ten men and also two goals behind.
The first blow came when Whitehouse was sent packing after a tackle on former Nuneaton captain Gaz Dean. It was a challenge that left the defender limping, but one Whitehouse did not feel warranted a straight red.
Before Nuneaton could react to the dismissal – and adapt accordingly – they were behind as Andy Brown came back to haunt them with a well taken goal that left Smith with no chance.
The double blow seemed to leave the Boro reeling as one became two almost instantaneously when former Aston Villa forward Stefan Moore capitalised on some sloppy play at the back and fired home a second.
Solihull had not outplayed the Boro, they had just punished them whenever the opportunity presented itself.
They grabbed a third with 11 minutes remaining, substitute Steve Leslie scored with a low drive that found the bottom corner of the net from inside the box.
It was not the end of the scoring, though, as the Boro grabbed themselves a consolation goal with time running out, Marlon Harewood sliding home a spot-kick after Kabonga Tshimanga was brought down in the box.
SOLIHULL MOORS: Siegrist, Nottingham, Gough (Leslie 67) Daly, Streete, Dean, Moore (Asante 74), Byrne, Brown, Beswick (Walker 80), Knights.
Subs not used: Bignot, Armson.
NUNEATON TOWN: J.Smith, Clifton, Lyttle, J.Keane, Lane, Morgan (Tshimanga 70), Byrne, Chettle (Reid 83) Whitehouse, Williams, Duffy (Harewood 70).
Subs not used: De La Paz, Daniels.