Report: Solihull Moors 4-1 Spitfires

Spitfires were left grounded by Solihull Moors as they’re hit for four

Danny Wright and Nathan Blissett’s first half strikes set the tone of the afternoon for the Moors, despite Paul McCallum’s smartly taken volley in the second half.

Jermaine Hylton snuffed out any comeback attempts from the Spitfires as he guided in two goals later in the second half to secure the home side all three points.

After Eastleigh’s derby day victory against Havant & Waterlooville, Ben Strevens named an unchanged line-up for the Spitfires trip to The Automated Technology Group Stadium.

With Birmingham Airport just beyond the stadium, the Spitfires got off to anything but a flying start in the first half.

Wright threatened early on when he spun past Andrew Boyce into the Spitfires box, but the defender recovered well to block the attacker’s advancements.

Eastleigh’s best chance of the first half developed at the Moors’ far post. Mark Yeates swirled a corner towards the far post where Josh Hare had escaped the grasp of his marker but his downward header was collected by ‘keeper Ryan Boot as it bounced up towards the goal.

Hare’s header was well saved by Boot

The Moors controlled large parts of the opening stages at their home. Their captain Kyle Storer led the search for an opener when a corner landed to him on the edge of the area, but despite his powerful effort the onrushing barrage of Eastleigh defenders deflected his shot off target.

The Spitfires revved their engines to try and force an opportunity. Cav Miley, who remained in the left-back role as Michael Green served the final game of his suspension, drilled a long ball forward to Ben Williamson. The striker’s good first touch allowed him to try and set-up Paul McCallum but the Solihull defenders quickly smothered him to help set up the attack which gave them the lead.

Wright collected the ball in the 25th minute on the right of the Eastleigh goal. He skipped past a couple of Spitfires in the congested penalty area, before holding back on the trigger to finally round Luke Southwood and fired the home side in front from ten yards.

The Moors weren’t prepared to settle with one and pushed for another instantly. Alex Wynter was forced to block a goal-bound shot off the line when Hylton found space at the Spitfires’ far post and headed it into the midriff of Wynter. However, the centre-back wasn’t able to block Solihull’s second.

A scramble in the Spitfires box allowed Blissett to express his athletic side as the ball bounced up in the six yard box. The Solihull attacker instinctively decided to attempt an over-head kick and it paid off as the ball nestled into the centre of the net with still ten minutes of the first half to go.

Two still wasn’t enough for the hungry Moors as Hylton danced his way into the box. Numerous step-overs for the winger delayed his eventual cross which found Blissett towards the far-post but the referee whistled the attack dead when Reda Johnson was fouled as he attempted a clearance.

Wright, on the lookout for his second, thought he was in luck when he was put through one-on-one. The on-rushing Southwood did enough to narrow the target down for Wright, who curled the ball just wide of the post with his right foot.

With no changes from either side at the break Solihull flew out the blocks. Skipper Storer tried his luck from 30 yards but Southwood dived down low to his right to palm the effort wide.

The Spitfires started to influence the match more going forward and found a way back into the game. Yeates’ low cross on his left foot was flicked into the box by Wynter, over his head, for McCallum to meet with a volley. With both feet off the ground McCallum elevated Eastleigh hopes as his strike dipped over Boot and just under the crossbar. However, the ray of hope was quickly extinguished by the Moors.

McCallum volleys the Spitfires back into the game, but not for long

Wright  broke down the right for the home side and drilled a low cross into the box for Hylton to tap his first into an empty net with only ten minutes gone of the second half.

Hylton then found his second 20 minutes later. He lurked at the back post yet again but this time it was Daly’s deep cross which found him, and the winger headed the home side to a three-goal advantage from close range.

He could have had his hat-trick moments later when Jamie Reckford’s cross was whipped onto his head, but his attempt to score another header on the run faded just wide of the back post.

With ten minutes remaining Eastleigh were restricted to long range attempts. Joey Jones’ 30 yard strike dipped just over the bar and into the section where the travelling Eastleigh fans were housed as they continued to sing to lift the team.

In an attempt to get back into the game Strevens subbed on three reinforcements; Jack McKnight, Chris Zebroski and Danny Hollands. McKnight almost instantly inspired an unlikely comeback as tireless work from him down the left ended with McCallum receiving his low cross in the box. However, despite his good touch the striker was surrounded by Solihull players and they hacked the ball clear.

The Spitfires slipped to their tenth defeat of the season with our next match in two weeks at home to Sutton United.


-Charlie Cranstone