Rovers power ahead with Solihull win
Eight league games unbeaten, four consecutive wins, and seven clean sheets on the bounce saw Forest Green Rovers continue their outstanding form to top the National League with another victory at Solihull Moors, writes Richard Joyce.
Liam Daly’s second half own goal was the difference as Rovers continued their march at the top of the fifth tier by getting the job done on the road in midweek.
The difference between the two could have been greater had Forest Green taken more of their chances, but the defensive strength once again stood out, and FGR look powerfully strong in all areas.
Sam Russell was forced into action twice early on. He got down well to deny Jack Byrne and Joel Dielna’s efforts from outside the area.
Down the other end after Liam Noble’s tricky effort had been deflected away for a corner, Kieffer Moore forced Rovers first real opportunity, but his strong right footed hit was blocked away by Solihull’s former Kidderminster stopper Danny Lewis.
The hosts were working hard to deny FGR opportunities in front of goal. But Dan Wishart did try his best, only to fire over, while Noble’s dipping free kick was just about dealt with by Lewis scrambling across his goal.
With the clock ticking towards the interval, Solihull were denied a massive chance to open the scoring when Russell made a superb last ditch stop to stop Darryl Knights from finding the net when he had burst clean through.
All square at the break, another Noble free kick provided the first opportunity of the second half, although his curling effort drifted wide.
Keanu Marsh-Brown was then just inches away from opening the scoring when his brilliant strike went just over, but Mark Cooper’s side didn’t have to wait long to finally bag the opener.
A familiar Wishart run down the left ended with a fizzing low cross into the danger zone that Daly deflected past his own goalkeeper and into his own net.
Marsh-Brown tried his best to double the advantage with a long-range hit that was saved minutes later, while Solihull went close when Knights volley landed satisfyingly in the arms of Russell.
Moore continued FGR’s search for a second goal when he had his right footed shot saved. And Noble almost added a second when on 75 minutes his low shot was somehow kept out.
Solihull were reduced to ten men on 78 minutes when Knights saw his night end early. A suggested stamp on Moore saw the experienced attacker make an early exit down the tunnel.
Marsh-Brown continued his assault on the Solihull goal in search of another strike, while Christian Doidge came incredibly close right at the death.
But without little pressure from the hosts, Rovers held on, to continue their excellent run of form ahead of a big clash with Dagenham & Redbridge on the weekend.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images