A brave and young Solihull Moors team exited the Birmingham Senior Cup after two early goals at Lye Town on Tuesday evening.
Minus first team goalkeeper Tom Allsopp, the Moors squad consisted of players from the Elite Academy with 14 of those aged just 16.
It proved to be another valuable experience for the youngsters who made their senior debuts in the first round tie.
Just five minutes in there were huge appeals for a Moors penalty as Andrew Ugwueru went down inside the area, but the referee wasn’t having any of it.
Lye went up the other end within seconds and broke the deadlock, Vinnie Dwyer the man scoring the opener.
That lead was doubled just two minutes later as Allsopp’s misplaced pass fell straight to the feet of George Taylor who was able to finish into an empty net.
Allsopp prevented a third not long after with a great reactionary save as he tipped a header onto the top of the bar before Moors cleared their lines.
And from that point onwards, Mike Fowler’s team grew in confidence and more than matched their senior opponents, both physically and technically.
Zion Nisbett was a danger all night and he forced a strong save from the home ‘keeper, before Ugwueru’s follow-up was into the gloves of the stopper.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net after some persistent play by Finn Howell. The ball was then threaded through to Tyler Bruck who rounded the keeper, only to see the flag up as he tapped into the net.
Howell’s wicked delivery from a wide right free-kick was right into the danger zone and only needed a touch that no one was able to provide.
Half-time: Lye Town 2-0 Solihull Moors
The encouraging signs continued into the second 45 as Nisbett raced down the left-hand side and picked out Mo Conteh. He turned on the edge and fired a low strike that lacked the power needed to beat the goalkeeper.
Conteh was almost on the end of Howell’s teasing delivery but couldn’t quite stretch to connect with the ball.
Moors made use of all five of their substitutions available as they continued to plug away and search for a way back into the game.
An electric attack down the left once again saw Howell involved before the left-back found himself on the edge of the area. As substitute Harry Chesterton picked him out, Howell perhaps didn’t expect the ball to come to him and was unable to react in time.
In what was a physical encounter and after going two goals down early on, Moors didn’t shy away, and the performance was deserving of a result.
Despite exiting the competition, the game proved to be another learning experience for the players who can be proud of their efforts and overall display.
Full-time: Lye Town 2-0 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors: Allsopp (GK), Eades, Howell, Owen © (Corfield 85), Fitzpatrick, Scott, Bruck (Evans 66), Demulder (Chesterton 78), Ugwueru (Wood 58), Conteh (Keegan 71), Nisbett.
Subs unused: None.
Image by Richard King