No stopping in-form Alty as Moors are given the runaround!
Report by John Edwards
Picture by Jonathan Moore
Altrincham 4 Solihull Moors 1
Traditionally one of the tougher nuts to crack in the Vanarama National League, victories over Solihull Moors tend to be hard earned and by the tightest of margins.
At The J.Davidson Stadium this afternoon, they were pulverised, taken apart by an unstoppable Altrincham side firing on all cylinders and beating a path to the Solihull goal with a regularity the visitors can seldom have experienced.
Two first-half goals from Tyrese Sinclair set the tone, Solihull replying in between, and when Regan Linney scored his third goal in as many Alty appearances on the stroke of half-time, it was no more than the Robins deserved.
They were all over Solihull, and the only wonder was that an Alty side on top of their game didn't have more to show for it than a fourth goal, courtesy of Jordan Hulme in the 55th minute.
So, that's Woking, Barnet and Solihull Moors put to the sword in the space of seven days and Alty up to 12th in the table, just a point behind 10th-placed Wealdstone. That's a notable list of scalps in a three-match winning run, but what's even more impressive is the way Alty have put it together, with a swagger and self-assurance that has gladdened every supporter's heart.
With Miles Welch-Hayes ruled out after picking up a knock, the ever-dependable Josh Lundstram filled in at right-back, and it will come as a surprise to no-one that Alty looked none the worse for it, such is the midfielder's ability to tackle any task presented to him.
The Robins started brightly, particularly down the left flank, and it provided a platform for an 11th-minute breakthrough with a goal expertly tucked away by Sinclair, with the assist coming from none other than Ollie Byrne.
When the ball arrived at Byrne's feet on the edge of his area, it was propelled forward deliberately and precisely towards Sinclair, lurking a good 35 yards out from the Solihull goal. The on-loan winger chested it further forward and followed up with a burst of pace that shook off his marker and left him with just the advancing Ryan Boot to beat.
It was a task he accomplished with some aplomb, measuring a lob to perfection (pictured) as it floated over the keeper and into the right corner of the net.
Alty were unlucky not to double their lead in the 25th minute when Linney threaded a clever pass through a crowded area to Hulme, only for Boot to react swiftly and dive at the Robins skipper's feet as he shaped to shoot.
The rebound from Boot's block fell to Sinclair, who was out of luck with a shot that went just the wrong side of the right-hand post.
After playing an integral part in Alty's opener, it all went awry for Byrne in the 28th minute when he was caught out by a speculative long-range Solihull equaliser.
It came from Mitch Roberts, who was all of 40 yards out on the left when he unleashed a low drive without any warning and saw it flash past Byrne's belated dive and nestle in the net off the inside of the left post.
There was a stunned silence for a moment, even among the Solihull players, before everyone realised what had happened and the men in yellow rushed to congratulate their team-mate for his sheer audacity.
It was a rare moment of cheer for the visitors as Alty called the shots and continued to give the Solihull defence a torrid time.
A second Alty goal felt imminent, and so it proved as they restored their lead in the 35th minute. What a goal it was, too.
Lundstram streaked forward down the right touchline before clipping a pass infield that was perfect for Sinclair to latch on to before advancing into the Solihull area and beating Boot with an emphatic finish.
Linney almost set up Maxi Oyedele after powering his way into the area, and there was no stopping the bustling striker a minute before half-time when he won and converted a penalty.
Turning smartly just inside the area, he was upended by Solihull skipper Callum Howe, who was booked for a combination of the foul and the protests that followed.
When the furore died down, Linney stepped forward to despatch the kick with all his customary panache, sending the keeper the wrong way for a second successive time.
After a quiet start to the second half, Alty almost put themselves out of sight in the 52nd minute. Fastening on to a flick-on, Linney found himself with a clear run on goal, only for Boot to deny him with an outstretched foot that blocked the livewire striker's low shot.
A fourth goal did materialise three minutes later, and there could not have been a more popular scorer than Hulme.
After good work on the left by Sinclair yielded a corner, Elliot Osborne swung the flag-kick towards the near post, where Hulme met it with a glancing header that flew beyond Boot and into the net.
It was irresistible stuff from the Robins, and they threatened again soon after when Linney ran on to a ball from Osborne and hit a low drive that Boot saved diving to his left.
Solihull looked rattled, not least when Boot carelessly rolled a wayward clearance into the path of Hulme on the hour. The Alty skipper weaved his way past one challenge after another on a diagonal run from right to left before finishing with a shot that was blocked near the line.
Another indication of how unnerved Solihull had become almost gifted Alty a fifth goal in the 67th minute. Boot again inexplicably misdirected the ball to Hulme, who turned and lobbed it towards an empty net.
The Solihull keeper partially redeemed himself by stretching and getting a hand to it, but he still needed the help of Jevon Mills, who chased back and hacked the ball clear as it was about to cross the line.
Linney had a shot saved by the diving Boot, then finished into the bottom corner only for the celebrations to be cut short by the most marginal of offside decisions.
It was frustrating for the Robins' recent signing, already a massive hit with Alty fans, but nothing was going to take the gloss off another exceptional performance from Phil Parkinson's in-form side.
Altrincham: Byrne, Lundstram, J.Jones, Baines, E.Jones, Osborne, Marriott, Oyedele, Hulme, Sinclair (Pringle 64), Linney (Bennett 82). Subs not used - Gould, Cashman, Quitirna.
Solihull Moors: Boot, Clarke, Howe, Sbarra, Dallas, Osborne, Kelly (Cybulski 69), Whelan (Maycock 80), Roberts, Beck, Mills. Subs not used - Donawa, Gudger, Howell. Booked - Whelan, Kelly, Dallas, Howe.
Referee: Paul Marsden.
Attendance: 2,275 (84 away).