Southport 0 Solihull Moors 1
By Luke Turner
Moors edge through to second round...
Solihull Moors sealed their place in the second round of the Buildbase FA Trophy as Jordan Murphy’s solitary goal was enough to defeat Southport.
Both sides made a number of changes with an eye to their Emirates FA Cup replay’s next week and had to brave the conditions at a cold, windy and wet Merseyrail Community Stadium.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes, the Moors almost found a way in behind the Southport defence as Murphy slipped in Matty Stenson, but the striker was unable to take the ball in his path.
Some patient build-up from Tim Flowers’ side resulted in Alex Gudger switching the play out wide to George Carline, who was filling in at left back. He whipped in a dangerous cross towards the near post where Murphy waited and was just beaten to the ball by Zehn Mohammed.
The lively Murphy was once again in the thick of the action as he found skipper for the day Darren Carter who curled an effort over the bar.
Moors had a superb opening on the 40-minute mark as Luke Maxwell dispossessed Patrick Lacey in the centre of the park and played in Corey O’Keeffe. He took his time to cut back onto his right foot and forced former Solihull loanee Josh Tibbetts into a fine low save to his right.
With virtually the last kick of the half, the visitors almost took the lead. An in-swinging corner from Carter was met by a Southport man in the middle, but well saved again by Tibbetts who prevented an own goal.
Half-time: Southport 0-0 Solihull Moors
The deadlock was broken just nine minutes into the second half courtesy of Murphy. O’Keeffe did well down the left-hand side, dinked a ball into the box and there was Murphy to collect and slot past Tibbetts with his left foot.
It could and probably should have been two just moments later. A free kick was nodded across goal by Gudger towards Stenson who had the simple task of tapping in from a few yards but, out of nowhere, Tibbetts came across to make an outstanding block on the goal line.
As the game reached the 70-minute mark, the Moors continued to push for that second goal. This time it was Maxwell who drifted a shot just wide of the left post after he found space in the box.
Flowers was forced into his first change of the afternoon after Gudger pulled up with what looked to be a groin injury – Adi Yussuf replaced him, with Tyrone Williams slotting in at centre half.
Ryan Boot was called into action with little over 10 minutes remaining. Dom McHale picked up the ball 25 yards out before unleashing a shot
that was tipped round the post by Moors’ number one.
And that was it for the final few minutes as the Moors confirmed their spot in the next round of the competition.
Full-time: Southport 0-1 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors: Boot (GK), Williams, Gudger (Yussuf 77), Carter ©, Carline, Thomas, Flowers, Maxwell, Murphy, O’Keeffe, Stenson.
Subs not used: Storer, Osborne, Wright.
Man of the Match: Jordan Murphy
Image credit - Julia Urwin (Southport FC)