First Team Match Reports

Solihull Moors v Hartlepool United

2 - 2 Nov 5th 2022 at 15:00

Match Report

Solihull Moors v Hartlepool United
Solihull Moors v Hartlepool United

Solihull Moors will have to do it all over again after a 2-2 draw with Hartlepool United at the ARMCO Arena.

Moors twice came from behind to force their League Two opponents into a replay at Victoria Park.

Andrew Dallas' goal shortly after half-time cancelled out a Josh Umerah opener, before the visitors once again took the lead through substitute Jack Hamilton.

With time ticking away, Moors dug deep and their pressure eventually paid when Joe Sbarra found the net with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The result means that Moors will be involved in Monday's Second Round draw, in which Moors/Hartlepool will be ball number seven.

Team News

Neal Ardley once again rang the changes ahead of this one, with the Moors again playing three times in a week.

Back came Ryan Barnett and Joe Sbarra into the midfield, after they were dropped to the bench for the midweek trip to Maidstone.

Ryan Boot also started in goal, as Ardley continued to rotate his two 'keepers.

The Match

It was Moors who had the first major opportunity of the contest when Josh Kelly raced through on goal with five minutes on the clock. After intercepting Nicky Featherstone's loose pass, Kelly went one-on-one with Ben Killip, but his shot was tame and the Pools' 'keeper saved.

Dallas spurned another opportunity shortly after and despite a bright Moors start, it was the away side that took the lead in the 18th minute. After a nice move, the ball eventually found Umerah in the area, who prodded home from six yards out to give them the lead against the run of play.

Less than a minute later, Umerah almost made it two. From a long Callum Cooke ball, the striker controlled nicely and looked to have applied a perfect lobbed finish, however, much to the relief of the home side, it dropped just wide with Boot beaten all ends up.

In what was a frantic period following the opener, it was Moors' turn to go close moments later. A series of blocks initially denied the hosts, before a last-ditch block was enough to frustrate Dallas who had done well to work an opening from Ben Coker's quickly taken corner.

The game was played at a good intensity but without too much goalmouth activity for the remainder of the first half. Theo Robinson had a close-range header that he glanced over the bar in the 35th minute and Joe Sbarra had a couple of efforts on the stroke of half time that were either blocked or put wide.

Half-time: Solihull Moors 0-1 Hartlepool United

Both sides seemed desperate to reach the Second Round, creating an exciting game for a big crowd inside the ARMCO Arena. That remainded after the break, as Featherstone's deflected drive required a fingertip save from Boot to force it over the bar.

Despite that early Pools' pressure, it was Ardley's side that got the equaliser. Dallas raced onto a lovely Sbarra through ball and when faced one-on-one with Killip, kept his composure to round the 'keeper and slam home into an empty net.

The game could have gone either way from there on and it was Hartlepool's turn to go close on the 66th minute when Boot showed superb reflexes to deny another Robinson header.

A few minutes later, Keith Curle's side did regain their advantage, when substitute Hamilton broke free from his marker and powered home a Clarke Odour corner - an instant impact having come on just three minutes before.

Pools' had a long range effort clip the bar shortly after, but they couldn't put the tie beyond doubt, and that would later cost them.

Moors then sprung into life creating wave after wave of opportunity. They had two valid penalty shouts waved away in quick succession, first Kelly went down under a high challenge, and then an Alex Reid header appeared to be goal-bound before a what looked like a hand blocked it on the line.

Eventually Moors made their pressure pay when Sbarra found the equaliser, after some nice build-up play, Ben Coker's shot was saved and on the rebound it was Sbarra who snuck his strike under Killip who couldn't react quick enough to keep it out at the second time of asking.

Despite some late attacks for either side, that's how it remained as we head to a replay at Victoria Park.

Full-time: Solihull Moors 2-2 Hartlepool United

Solihull Moors: Boot, Clarke, Coker, Storer (c), Gudger, Sbarra, Maycock, Dallas (Reid 76), Barnett, Kelly, Kelleher.

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