Solihull Moors FC - Stratford Town 1 Solihull Moors 1 (4-5 pens)
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Stratford Town 1 Solihull Moors 1 (4-5 pens)
*Moors progress to second round of Birmingham Senior Cup after penalty drama*
PUBLISHED: 11th Oct 17

Debutant keeper Charlie Bannister was the hero as he saved a spot kick in a penalty shoot out to put Solihull Moors into the second round of the Birmingham Senior Cup at the expense of Stratford Town.

In a competitive encounter at the Mood Chimp Stadium, a late equaliser for the home side sent the tie to penalties and The Moors emerged as 5-4 victors thanks to Bannister’s excellent save from Town’s Jazz Luckie. It left on loan Birmingham City man Dan Cleary, who played in an unfamiliar midfield role, to calmly slot home the winning kick.

New Moors manager Richard Money fielded a strong side and they had the better of the opening exchanges, notably when an early opportunity fell to Richard Brodie, whose snap shot from the edge of the box was palmed away by Stratford keeper Louis Connor.

Wes McDonald was the chief treat for the visitors from the right wing and on 12 minutes he created a half chance and lashed a shot into the side netting.

As the half wore on, Moors gained some territory and Shepherd Murombedzi weaved his way through a crowd of players and skimmed a shot just wide of the left hand post.

On the half hour, Stratford responded with a powerful effort from distance from captain James Fry which was grabbed by Bannister at the second attempt.

Four minutes before the break, the menacing McDonald pulled a ball back to Courtney Richards who struck a first time shot just wide.

Moors took the lead on 43 minutes when striker Dapo Afolayan latched onto a stray pass by Stratford defender Loyiso Recci and stroked it low into the bottom corner.

Half-time: Stratford 0 Moors 1

Stratford began the second period showing more intent and on 47 minutes Mike Taylor, squared across the area to Eli Bako whose fierce shot grazed the crossbar.

The game then descended into a midfield battle as both sides struggled to assert themselves and create any clear cut chances.

In the 69th minute, lively Stratford substitute Ben Stephens saw his shot handled by Joel Kettle on the edge of the box. From the resulting free kick, it needed an excellent double stop from Bannister to keep out Stephens fizzing drive and Liam Francis from the rebound.

Stratford enjoyed a decent spell but could not find a way through the Moors defence until the 82nd minute when Charlie Evans burst into the box and was up-ended by McDonald. Substitute striker Edwin Ahenkorah smashed in the penalty to make it 1-1.

As Moors searched for a response, the visitors own substitute striker Tahvon Campbell, on for Brodie, was in the thick of the action, striking a powerful effort saved at full stretch by the keeper, and McDonald’s follow-up effort sailed high over the bar.

With full time looming, a quick free kick from just inside the Stratford half was taken on by Kettle who picked out Campbell and he watched his goal bound shot spectacularly saved one handed by Connor.

A penalty shoot out was required to decide who would progress to the next round, and Bannister produced the defining moment of the night when he pushed the second spot kick from Luckie over the bar. Richards, McDonald, Campbell and Afolayan all duly scored before Cleary settled the tie.

Full-time: Stratford Town 1 Moors 1.


Report by Chris Cresswell

Solihull Moors: Bannister, Murombedzi, Liburd, Kettle, Kelleher, Cleary, McDonald, Richards ©, Brodie (sub, 76, Campbell), Afolayan, Carline.

Attendance: 162.

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