Solihull Moors 1-3 Fleet

Saturday saw a substitute win the game for the Fleet, tonight saw a sub clinch one as Danny Mills came off the bench to put to bed a Solihull second-half revival.

It was no more than the Fleet deserved for an accomplished first-half display when two goals in three minutes sealed an opening 45 minutes that was largely one-way traffic.

Daryl McMahon was forced into three changes, with Andy Drury and Darren McQueen rested after their injuries on Saturday and Sam Magri on international duty. That meant Marvin McCoy, Luke Coulson and Sean Shields started, with Myles Weston in support of Danny Kedwell up front.

Fleet looked assured from the kick-off and immediately adopted an offensive strategy, Coulson all bustling action and Weston looking to exploit gaps behind the Moors defence. Weston’s second minute cross for Kedwell was headed over and Weston then forced the goalkeeper into a save with a smart turn and shot.

Fleet could have been ahead as early as the 10th minute when Coulson powered into the box, forcing his way between two defenders and firing a shot beyond the goalkeeper that rolled on to the line before being hastily cleared as away fans hoped it might be called over by the referee.

Solihull took 17 minutes to get a shot on goal but it went over Nathan Ashmore’s bar and otherwise the Fleet goalkeeper was assured in punching or catching whatever crosses came his way.

But the visitors were soon back on the front foot and McCoy overlapped on to a Shields pass, crossing into the box where Jack Powell got in ahead of Dean Rance to dig a shot out that was just off target.

The goal the Fleet deserved came their way on 27 minutes when Weston, in the middle, initially miscontrolled a ball on the floor but battled to win it back, eased beyond a defender and slotted home a fine shot.

Four minutes later it was 2-0, with Weston involved again. From the left, his low cross bent into the space between the goalkeeper and his back four and Kedwell was on to it in a flash at the far post to touch it home.

With confidence flowing through the side, it looked almost too easy for the Fleet at that point. Coulson had another strong run into the box but pulled a shot just wide of the opposite post. Solihull’s only effort of note was a shot from 25 yards by skipper Darren Carter that was stopped by the crossbar but Fleet went into the break with a deserved lead.

They emerged on the front foot as well but it only lasted five minutes as the home side suddenly found some life from somewhere, coinciding with the introduction of Birmingham City loanee Wes McDonald. They pulled a goal back on 57 minutes after Kenny Clark fouled Richard Brodie on the edge of the box. A free-kick was played square to Carter whose curling shot initially carried little threat until it clipped off Simeon Maye and looped over Ashmore’s head and in.

That signalled a period of pressure from Moors, whose passing game improved dramatically and Fleet struggled to mount much of an attacking presence. McMahon urged his troops to get some life back in their game and with 10 minutes left, a couple of substitutions helped them do just that as Solihull’s impetus started to ebb. Anthony Cook and Powell combined to almost find an opening for Kedwell before Powell sent a dipping shot on to the roof of the net.

The visitors capitalised and with seven minutes left, Mills found himself with sight of goal courtesy of Cook’s cushioned header, his neat footwork creating an opening between two defenders and he was able to commit the goalkeeper, rolling the ball past him for 3-1.

That killed off Solihull and the result was in no doubt in the closing stages. Fleet now visit the new league leaders Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

EUFC: Ashmore, McCoy, Connors, Clark, Bush, Rance, Powell, Coulson (Mills 69), Shields (Cook 74), Weston (Graham 90), Kedwell. Subs not used: Miles, Mambo
SMFC: Vaughan, Green, Carter, Kettle, Maye (Campbell 72), Afolayan, Brodie (Fox), Carline (McDonald 53), Daly, Richards, Payne. Suns not used: Bannister, Liburd
Attendance: 579


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