Getting to know the opposition: Solihull Moors (a)

Getting to know the opposition: Solihull Moors (a)

The exploits of Tuesday night have presented the Spireites with a chance to feature in this season’s Vanarama National League play off final against Grimsby Town, but to do that they must first overcome the challenge of Solihull Moors down at the ARMCO Arena in the West Midlands. 

Following on from the night to remember at The Shay against FC Halifax Town, confidence will be high as Chesterfield take on yet another side who finished higher in the National League standings this season. 

Goals from Danny Rowe and Jeff King were enough to grant the Spireites access to the semi-finals of the post-season competition, despite the consolation goal from Matt Stenson. 

Ninety minutes away from a visit to West Ham, Chesterfield will be facing a Solihull side who have enjoyed a two-week break in preparation for this semi-final clash. 

Final League Standings

ClubLeague PositionWinsDrawsLossesGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Solihull Moors3rd  25127834587
Chesterfield FC7th20136695174

In stark contrast to the record of Halifax, Solihull Moors offered a remarkable goalscoring display during the regular season. Netting 83 goals in 44 games, the club averaged 1.89 goals per game. In comparison to the Spireites, who scored 69 goals during the same number of games, with an average of 1.57 per game, the Moors will come into this clash with an attention-grabbing record. 

The key statistics from the regular season will all look to favour this weekend’s hosts, who have scored more goals and conceded less than the Spireites. In the 45 goals leaked this season, Solihull have conceded an average of 1.02 goals per game but have kept 18 clean sheets – which is two greater than what Chesterfield were able to keep. 

Solihull started the campaign slowly, having recorded only two points from their opening three games. After the disappointing start to the season, the club kickstarted 2022 in style by going on a 16 league game unbeaten streak with the only loss during that time coming against the eventual Buildbase FA Trophy winners in a 3-1 defeat to Bromley.

In the league, their remarkable run after the  New Year would end in April, having lost 1-0 to the eventual National League champions, Stockport County, but would end the season in positive style by winning all of their remaining five games of the campaign. 

During that time, the Moors have netted a staggering 15 goals, but managed to only keep two clean sheets, which may be a cause for concern with the visit of Chesterfield this weekend. 

Head-to-head Record

Home SideRecord
(Date)
Away Side
Chesterfield FC2-3
(19th September 2022)
Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors0-2
(20th November 2021)
Chesterfield FC
Solihull Moors2-1
(5th January 2021)
Chesterfield FC
Chesterfield FC1-0
(2nd January 2021)
Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors3-0
(1st January 2020)
Chesterfield FC

In the last five meetings, the Moors have tasted victory on three occasions whilst Chesterfield have taken two wins during this spell. Since Chesterfield’s fall into the fifth tier of English football, the two sides have only drawn on two occasions, meaning that it is likely that this semi-final will be decided during normal time. 

The latest clash between the two provided all sorts of drama. Two-nil up in the first 21 minutes, Alex Whittle and Akwasi Asante put the Spireites in front before Curtis Weston faced a straight red card just 60 seconds after the side doubled their lead. 

With the man advantage, Solihull came back into the game as James Clarke gave the side a lifeline with less than ten minutes left in the first half before Callum Maycockand and Harry Boyes scored the decisive goals only ten minutes into the second 45 minutes with Chesterfield unable to salvage a point. 

Similar scenes occurred in the previous meeting when the two sides met in the West Midlands this season as Kyle Storer saw red for the Moors within the first half-an-hour, albeit with the two sides still deadlocked at the time. On this occasion, Chesterfield capitalised as Whittle and Kabongo Tshimanga grabbed the goals to make the most of their man advantage. 

If recent meetings are anything to go by, along with the added flavour of a play-off final on the line, drama is to be expected with popcorn being a necessity to enjoy this season-defining encounter between Chesterfield and Solihull Moors. 

By Sam Plummer