By John Clothier
Omar Bogle squandered a great chance to get Solihull Moors’ season off to a flier as he had a penalty saved in the opening-day clash against Colwyn Bay in the Vanarama Conference North.
With just seconds left in the first-half, Bogle drove through the Colwyn defence only to be floored in the box by Louis Moss.
Bogle stepped up to take the penalty but struck a weak, low drive which visiting goalkeeper Ollerenshaw comfortably saved.
The teams have met six times before, with both taking five points from the encounters. The matches are always close and there was no reason to believe this would be any different – and so it proved to be.
A short Liam Daly back-pass saw Tony Breeden called into action in the first minute as Seagulls’s Rob Hopley was straight in.
But the Moors shotstopper was equal to the danger. Moors wasted no time in taking the game to their visitors.
Darryl Knight’s 35-yard free-kick was met by Captain Rob Elvins in a crowded six-yard box but the shot was just wide.
On ten minutes Junior English headed over the bar after a good run down the wing and cross from Michael Nottingham.
On 25 minutes a screamer from Knights very nearly opened Solihull’s account as Elvins and Daly’s presence in the box suggested a floating free-kick – it brought a superb reaction save from Ollerenshaw who would be a thorn in Moors side all afternoon.
There was good interaction down the right flank between Nottingham and Owen Story, who was causing problems for the Colwyn bay defence, and on 26 minutes he saw English head over his cross and a minute later his own 18-yard bullet was just wide.
Moors could have opened their account on 36 minutes when Story split the defence with a cross into the box but there was no-one to connect.
Bay had their best spell as half-time approached with Hopley heading wide and Obi Anoruo, having skipped passed two defenders, shooting high.
The Seagulls looked a different team in the second half as they started to attack the Moors defence where Reece Fleet was on for Taundrey.
Hopley might well have scored in the 46th minute but a smothering save from Breeden kept Solihull in the game.
Bogle went wide as Moors counter-attacked and Daly, on the end of a 40-yard free-kick from Fleet, was crowded out as he headed goalwards.
It was the same outcome on 54 minutes as the big central defender rose to meet a Knights’ corner but the tide was turning in the Seagull’s favour.
Jake Parker fired in from 18 yards on the hour mark but the ball swerved just a the last moment to the right of the upright and on 67 minutes Hopley was one-on-one with Breeden but under pressure scooped his shot wide.
Bogle was unlucky to see his curling left-foot effort go inches wide with the keeper beaten on 71 minutes and Knights uncharacteristically skyed a clear chance on 73 minutes.
Darren Byfield came on for Knights and Michael Taylor for Aaron Brown as Marcus Bignot changed tactics up front.
But while this saw a late rally from the home side, that elusive touch in front of goal was absent.
A goal less draw was, in the circumstances, a fair result for Moors first point of the season.
* Moors visited newly-promoted Lowestoft Town on Tuesday night but a lack-lustre performance saw them beaten 2-0.
Moors opened brightly and for the 90 minutes took the game to their hosts but the killer finishing was missing and Lowestoft hit them on the break throughout .
Darryl Knights headed against the upright with the goal at his mercy as Solihull tried to recover from The Trawlermen’s first goal, a stinging 18-yard first-half drive from Henderson.
Aaron Brown’s header also forced a fine save from man-of-the-match Ashlee Jones in the home goal.
However, the game was effectively put to bed when Solihull failed to deal with a cross into the box and Louis was on hand to ram home the second goal.