SOLIHULL are heading in the right direction under Mark Yates but Moors have almost certainly left themselves too much to do in the race for a play-off spot.

Yates returned to Damson Park on March 11 for a second spell as manager, with the 51-year-old appointed on a short-term basis until the end of the season.

Solihull were given the go-ahead by Stourbridge to bring in Yates as successor to Jimmy Shan, who was sacked with Moors sitting 17th in the National League, after the Glassboys’ season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Yates, who previously guided Moors to safety in the 2017-18 season, saw his temporary stint in the hotseat begin with three successive defeats.

However, there has been a huge turnaround in form with Solihull winning five of their next eight games and losing just twice.

The most impressive victory came on Saturday as Moors thrashed Yeovil 5-1 at Damson Park.

Justin Donawa ended his Solihull goal drought by scoring a hat-trick with Kyle Hudlin and James Ball also on target.

Bermudian international Donawa, who arrived from National League North side Darlington for an undisclosed fee last October, was delighted to finally open his account for Moors.

“First and foremost it feels good to get the win and to get a few goals with it, I couldn’t have asked for more,” Donawa told the official club website.

“I’m grateful to have bagged my first one and then go on to get two more and an assist, contributing to an overall good win for the boys.

“Hopefully we can continue this good form that we’re in.

“It’s long overdue, to be honest. I’ve come close in numerous games and it was kind of frustrating, but it feels good to finally get a few.

“I think we all put in a shift and were working for each other. I’m just really happy about that.

“We were clicking on all cylinders, defensively and offensively. We chose the right times when to go in behind and when to play.

“Today was one of our best overall performances throughout this run, that was one of the highlights – I think the gaffer will be happy with that performance.”

There was a sign that Solihull had turned the corner when they came from behind to beat play-off contenders Notts County 2-1 on April 13.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, Ball and Kyle Hudlin scored in the second half and Yates was delighted with the response from his side.

“We sorted it out, the lads sorted it out, and although it wasn’t great in the first half, we rolled our sleeves up,” said Yates.

“I just said to the lads that we’ve got to believe because this game isn’t beyond you.

“In the second half, we had a go. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t ultra-pretty, but it was effective.

“We got in people’s faces, we pressed, we hunted the ball down as a team, and when they got it forward, we defended properly.

“It was a great comeback against a decent team.”

But Solihull were unable to complete the double against Yeovil.

Three days after the sides last met, Moors travelled to Huish Park on Tuesday but this time they were on the wrong end of a 3-0 loss as the Glover gained immediate revenge for the weekend loss.

Defeat leaves Solihull 15th in the table, 11 points away from the play-offs.

But with only eight games remaining, it will take a huge effort from Moors to finish in the top seven and they are only realistically playing for pride.