Solihull Moors 6 Coventry United 3
By Luke Turner
Harry Flowers nets brace on debut...
A youthful-looking Solihull Moors side progressed to the second round of the Birmingham FA Senior Cup after a nine-goal thriller at the Automated Technology Group Stadium against Coventry United.
The Moors were pegged back three times by their Midland Football League opponents, but prevailed after scoring a further three times.
The visitors started brightly and Josh Tibbetts was forced into a sharp save early on as Shaquille McDonald found space before firing at goal – the on loan Peterborough man was equal to it.
With virtually their first attack of the game, the Moors took the lead. Mikkel Hirst played a delightful ball over the top to Dan Sweeney who closed in on goal and made no mistake, slotting past Bradley Casswell.
Harry Flowers captained the side on his debut for the club and he was involved to tee up Jordan Murphy to volley from distance – fortunately for the away team it dipped wide of the left-hand post.
Sweeney could and probably should have doubled the lead for the Moors after he was played through by Murphy but, this time, the attacker dragged his shot wide.
Terry Anderson’s visitors levelled the score just after the half hour mark. McDonald was left in acres of space on the right side before taking his time to calmly finish under the body of Tibbetts.
It took the Moors little over a minute to regain the lead. Murphy did well to work some space, before he switched onto his left foot and dinked the ball over Casswell.
In a frantic few minutes, United pegged Solihull back for a second time in the game. Hirst misjudged a ball forward which was pounced upon by Kyle Carey who took it round Ben Kendrick and finished confidently past Tibbetts.
The pendulum swayed yet again as Moors went back into the lead through captain Flowers. Murphy put in a peach of a free kick and Flowers made no mistake from a few yards, sliding in to tap home from a few yards.
Half-time: Solihull Moors 3-2 Coventry United
With one goal already to his name, Sweeney was keen to add to his tally and he was quick to get to the ball ahead of the defender before being taken out. From the resulting free kick, Corey O’Keeffe whistled a free kick just over the far post.
Coventry then equalised for the third time in the game through McDonald. He was first to a loose ball to fire past Tibbetts to net his second of the match.
The Moors looked for a way back into the lead and that moment almost came as O’Keeffe took range from 25 yards, before stinging the palms of Casswell, who tipped over the bar.
That fourth goal finally arrived after an Aram Solomon cross was headed home by Flowers who notched his second after 69 minutes.
It should’ve been five for the Moors as Hirst eased past his marker down the left and chipped in for Sweeney who had the goal gaping, but he dragged his header wide.
It would have been five but for the lineman’s flag. Flowers nodded back across goal for Luke Maxwell to stab home, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Rubyn Gill came on with just over 10 minutes remaining and make an instant impact, heading home with almost his first touch after Casswell had done well to save from Sweeney.
With little over five minutes, the game was sealed. Murphy raced through on goal and made no mistake, slotting past Casswell for a sixth.
Full-time: Solihull Moors 6-3 Coventry United
Moors: Tibbetts (GK), Kendrick (Gill 76), Hirst, Maxwell, Barkers, Flowers ©, Solomon, O’Keeffe (Binner), Sweeney, Murphy, Campbell (Martin).
Subs unused: Maxwell (GK), Thomas.