Joe Sbarra’s double helped Moors sail into the FA Cup first round proper with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Wrexham at the SportNation.bet Stadium.
Sbarra’s first came via a deflected strike late in the first half as Moors took the upper hand in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round qualifying clash. On the hour mark, Adam Rooney slotted a penalty to double the hosts’ lead before substitute Cameron Archer scored with his very first touch of the game.
James Ball then provided Sbarra with a simple finish to round off an impressive win as Moors ran riot on a rain-drenched afternoon. It was a dominant performance from Jimmy Shan’s side who showed their class to brush aside the visitors and have Moors fans dreaming of a cup run.
Shan was forced into making a couple of changes from the side who saw off Boreham Wood 1-0 in Moors’ last encounter. Mitch Hancox came into the back three, replacing Darren Carter who served a one-match ban following his dismissal against the Wood.
There was also a switch in midfield with Callum Maycock drafted into the side in place of the injured Stephen Gleeson. Despite the season being less than a month old, the two sides had already met in the league, Moors coming out 1-0 victors, courtesy of a Ball header.
And it was Shan’s men who started this one positively. Skipper Kyle Storer arrived from deep but was unfortunate to see his shot go narrowly wide in the opening 10 minutes.
In the torrential rain, Moors looked up for the fight, passing the ball around confidently at the back, patiently looking for opportunities to breach the Dragons’ backline. Moors were faring much the better battling the elements, with Rooney proving an effective outlet, the striker raced through but his shot was straight at Rob Lainton.
Wing-backs Cameron Coxe and Jordan Cranston were positioned high, stretching the pitch, giving Moors attacking options on the flanks. But it was former Moors full-back Jamie Reckord who had the next chance, the ball dropped to him at the far post, he wriggled a shot away but it went wide of Boot’s goal.
Boot was called into action shortly after, when Dan Jarvis burst down the right-wing, it was a well driven strike but Moors’ number one was equal to it. Then after soaking up a little pressure, Moors hit Wrexham with a sucker punch.
Coxe sped down the right, his cut back to Rooney was cleared, but Sbarra smashed home the loose ball. Moors’ number seven was quickest to react, his first-time strike deflecting past Lainton and into the net.
The damp conditions played a part but Moors were thoroughly worth their half-time lead having coped far better with the adverse weather conditions.
HT: Solihull Moors 1-0 Wrexham
The rain continued to pelt down during the interval and it made for tough going at the beginning of the second half. But credit to both sides as they each endeavoured to play passing football in spite of Mother Nature’s best efforts to disrupt the tempo.
Then as the hour mark approached, Cranston’s clever pass inside the full-back, had Hancox the wrong side and the defender was hauled down inside the area. Rooney stepped up to the spot and coolly dispatched his penalty, sending Lainton the wrong way to grab his second goal in as many games.
That was to be Rooney’s last contribution and no sooner had he left the pitch, then his replacement Archer was notching Moors’ third of the afternoon. Latching onto a Coxe through ball, the Villa loanee showed real composure to delicately clip the ball over the onrushing Lainton and into the far corner of the net.
Those two quick-fire strikes really took the sting out of the game, Wrexham did push for a consolation but as a contest, the game was all but over. And it definitely was over when Sbarra notched his second of the game with just under 15 minutes remaining.
Great anticipation from Maycock started the move, his slide-rule pass found Ball who squared it for Sbarra to tap into an empty net. It was a slick way to put a final flourish to an impressive Moors home performance, one which sends Shan’s charges marching into the next round.
Attention now switches back to the league as Moors look for their fifth win in a row when they make the trip to Stockport County on Tuesday night.
FT: Solihull Moors 4-0 Wrexham