Torquay United 2 Solihull Moors 0
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
First-half goals by Jake Andrews and Adam Randell earned Torquay United a second important home win in the space of four days, this time completing their first 'double' of the season over Solihull Moors.
With six points from King's Lynn Town and Solihull, Gary Johnson's Gulls have sent last midweek's 4-1 defeat at Maidenhead into the 'Bad Memory Bank'.
But it was a good job that United did win again, for most of their National League rivals did the same, so the promotion picture is largely unchanged.
They were good value for their victory, Andrews scoring with a sweet free-kick early on and then turning supplier with the cross for Randell to fire in the second goal in the 40th minute.
It was another solid, hard-working performance all-round, but much of the credit for another 'clean sheet' should go to the defence of Ben Wynter, Sam Sherring, Joe Lewis and Ryan Law, who gave little away against a potentially dangerous Solihull attack.
Johnson kept the same starting XI and subs that he named for last Saturday's 1-0 win over King's Lynn.
But new Moors boss Mark Yates made three changes from the team which lost 0-1 at Bromley, including the dropping of former Aberdeen and Salford centre-forward Adam Rooney to the bench.
- 1 For our 'rock' as much as anybody, everything is crossed for promotion
- 2 Emotional day that revealed close-knit family behind monarchy
- 3 Spacious and flexible accommodation has been improved, updated, and extended
- 4 Plans unveiled to demolish Torquay Debenhams store
- 5 Dramatic bovine rescue from Torbay waters
- 6 Prince Philip's final resting place will be in tiny chapel
- 7 National League round-up
- 8 All aboard the Land train for lots of fun - and a history lesson or two!
- 9 An ideal family home or investment purchase
- 10 I hope formality is put aside and the Queen is able to grieve for Prince Philip
In a frantic start, Asa Hall brought a brilliant tip-over save from Ryan Boot with a set-piece header and Ryan Law came up with an equally good goalmouth clearance just as Justin Donawa was about to finish off Jamie Ward's left-wing cross.
Then, in the ninth minute, Armani Little was fouled 25 yards out, to the right of centre, and Andrews whipped the free-kick over the wall and the diving Boot could only push the ball onto the near-post and in…1-0.
Thinking quicker and passing the ball with confidence, United looked in the mood for more goals and Little and Andrews both had efforts saved by Boot.
Moors had planned to hit towering targetman Kyle Hudlin at every opportunity, or go down the wings to Ryan Barnett and ex-Gulls favourite Ward, but United countered all those threats well.
They may not have been able to beat Hudlin in the air, but they did deal with the 'second' balls pretty well.
Referee Rob Massey-Ellis had to withdraw after 25 minutes, handing the whistle over to linesman Shelby Elson, but he was able to carry on as 4th Official.
Scott Boden missed the target when he beat a flat-footed Moors defence on a Lucas Covolan clearance, with Boot to beat.
But then the visitors created two clear chances out of the blue.
First, Hudlin finally delivered a telling flick, Justin Donawa ran onto it and Covolan did well to advance and save 15 yards out.
Then, Ben Wynter missed a chance to clear in his own box, the ball fell to the unmarked Ward at the far post, but he fired wide when an equaliser seemed certain.
It was a big miss and seconds later, in the 40th minute, United punished it.
Andrews delivered another of his telling crosses and Randell arrived at the far-post to hit a first-time angled volley low into the net from eight yards…2-0.
As lively as the first half had been, the second was almost completely without incident.
United's defence continued to counter everything that Solihull could throw at them, even when Rooney replaced Hudlin - a feather in the cap of Sherring and Lewis in itself - on the hour.
It took Moors more than an hour to force even a corner, and the only momentary scare for Covolan was one free-kick by Jordan Cranston which he pushed over the angle of post-and-bar - just to make sure.
Torquay United (4-4-1-1): Covolan; Wynter, Sherring, Lewis, Law; Randell, Lemonheigh-Evans, Hall, Andrews; Little (Waters 89); Boden (Umerah 78); subs not used - MacDonald, Buse, Koszela.
Solihull Moors (4-4-2): Boot; Coxe, Williams, McNally, Cranston; Barnett, Sbarra (Maycock 46), Storer (Ball 75), Ward; Donowa, Hudlin (Rooney 60); subs not used - Piggott, Hancox.
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis (Shelby Elson 25).