Moors dreams of a Wembley appearance for the first time ever were left shattered after a disappointing performance against AFC Telford from the National League North.
The match had begun well for Solihull with Matt Stenson firing over the bar after a neat flick from Kyle Storer. Stenson then got on the end of a long Jamey Osborne throw but was wide. On eleven minutes a pin point free kick from Darren Carter was met by Liam Daly but he headed over. In a repeat of that situation after a foul on Jamie Reckord, Daly got a good knock down but there was nobody available in the box to take advantage.
The Bucks first effort on goal came on 18 minutes but Royal shot straight at Ryan Boot for an easy take. Moors retaliated as Osborne and Reckord combined but a near perfect cross resulted in the lively Stenson falling awkwardly although he was OK after treatment from the physio.
Reckord was booked for a foul on Barnett before Stephan Morley had the second opportunity for the visitors at the mid stage point of the half but he cleared the crossbar. However, it was Morley again who then set up the opening goal for Telford; as he launched a high cross into the box Amari Morgan – Smith had found space between Daly and Alex Gudger and his header high into the corner of the net gave Boot no chance. 0 – 1.
Moors came straight back with a break down the right flank by Stenson who got to the by line but the cross was cleared for a corner as Reckord stormed in on the near post. Away keeper Wycherley clawed the ball from the air as Storer looped his shot. Tyrone Williams was carded for a foul on Udoh.
On 32 minutes Osborne carved an opening for Gudger but Wycherley was there first and the again on a pull back from Osborne , the Moors defender hit for home only to see the ball scrambled off the line by Morley. You started to get the feeling that this might not be Moors day!
A goal down at the interval was perhaps a little harsh on Moors but Telford had bided their time and taken full advantage when the moment presented itself.
George Carline started the second half in place of Reckord and Moors could have equalised when Nathan Blissett drilled the ball across the box but Jermaine Hylton was a whisker away. Stenson was booked early on whilst Sutton headed inches wide.
With Adi Yussuf on for Stenson, Hylton showed his dribbling skills having been put through by Storer but the marksman could not connect with the ensuing cross. Udoh was a threat but his run through the Solihull defence resulted in a wide shot. Again, Udoh went the wrong side of the post having been put through by Morgan -Smith.
Ex Moorsman Darryl Knights had a chance on 66 minutes but his thunderbolt from the edge of the box was straight at Boot.
It was going to be something special if Moors were to break back and Osborne duly provided that on 74 minutes as his solo effort from 35 yards flew low in the corner of the net. 1 – 1.
The Moors midfielder might have doubled his tally when he closed in on a Terry Hawkridge pass but having beaten Wycherley saw his shot on just the wrong side of the upright.
With seven minutes of normal time on the clock Yussuf glided passed two defenders but could not get his shot in. Blissett blasted a spill well wide after another Osborne long shot, with the goal at his mercy.
Moors were, however, caught on the break in the 89th minute and as Udoh pounded towards the Solihull goal , Boot rushed from his area but mis kicked the ball handing an open goal to the Telford striker, who made no mistake albeit from an acute angle. 1 - 2
In five minutes of added time Carline met Storer’s free kick and again it was the wrong side of the post. The pressure in the closing minutes was relentless and when Carters’ short-range effort was handled in the box , Moors were offered a last kick life line with a penalty. All hell broke out with the Telford players demanding referee Woods change his mind – Brendon Daniels was red carded. When Yussuf was eventually allowed to take the spot kick, Wycherley was ready and saved his side for a semi final appearance.
And so, the dream was over on the one hand whilst on the other, Moors can now concentrate on the battle at the top of the National League. With 12 games remaining they are second in the table two points behind Wrexham but with a game in hand.
Next Saturday they take on a resurgent Maidstone United at the ATG Stadium in a match to be televised live by BT. Kick off is at 5.20 pm.
Moors Man of the Match Kyle Storer
Boot, Williams, Reckord (Carline 46), Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter, Hylton (Hawkridge 76), Blissett, Stenson (Yussef 58) Subs not used - Thomas, Flowers
Attendance 1577 (659 Telford)
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King