Morecambe 4 Solihull Moors 2: Shrimps secure FA Cup victory in extra time

Morecambe reached round three of the FA Cup for the first time since 2003 but they were given an almighty scare in doing so.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 3:18 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th November 2020, 3:24 pm

Two extra-time goals eventually settled a breathless encounter at the Mazuma Stadium after Derek Adams’ players had fallen behind, taken the lead and then been pegged back.

A topsy-turvy match had seen the Shrimps trail at half-time to Kyle Hudlin’s 19th minute opener following a glaring mistake from keeper Jake Turner.

That saw him replaced at half-time, after which two Cole Stockton goals put Morecambe ahead, only for Jordan Cranston to level and send the game into an added half-hour.

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John O'Sullivan gave Morecambe the lead in extra time

O’Sullivan then headed the Shrimps in front before a Mitch Hancox own goal secured their place in the draw for the next round.

The visitors, who had beaten another League Two side in Scunthorpe United in round one, showed they weren’t overawed by the prospect of facing more EFL opposition.

Stephen Gleeson saw an early shot from distance held by Turner before a better chance presented itself on the quarter-hour.

Yann Songo’s trip on Joe Sbarra gave them a free-kick just outside the box but Jamey Osborne wasted the chance in comfortably clearing the crossbar.

Four minutes later, however, and the visitors took a lead they deserved on the balance of play.

Turner failed to hold Cranston’s long-range shot and Hudlin was first to the rebound, tapping into the empty net.

Moments later and it could have been 2-0 as Cranston’s deflected header struck the woodwork and was cleared off the line by Songo’o.

In contrast, Morecambe failed to generate much at the other end with Stockton coming closest in the first 25 minutes with a shot kept out by Ryan Boot.

They finally got themselves into the game as the half progressed with Stockton having another sight of goal on 37 minutes.

A ball down the channel gave him a sight of goal but the end product was neither a shot on target nor a pass towards Carlos Mendes-Gomes.

Sam Lavelle saw a shot blocked and Songo’o a header turned away by Boot as half-time arrived just at the wrong moment for Morecambe.

Nevertheless, Adams had seen enough with Turner and Jordan Slew both taken off, Mark Halstead and Stephen Hendrie brought on and a switch to three at the back.

It almost paid off immediately but Ryan Cooney headed Harry Davis’ cross into the side netting.

However, parity arrived on 53 minutes when Mendes-Gomes steered a free-kick into Stockton’s path and he volleyed home in emphatic fashion.

Almost as quickly as they drew level, Morecambe nearly went behind when Kelvin Mellor’s backpass to Halstead fell short.

Hudlin rounded the advancing Halstead but the recovering Lavelle diverted his effort behind.

Two minutes later and Morecambe went in front as they won possession deep in the Solihull half and Stockton swept home his second of the afternoon.

However, the scores were level again 10 minutes later when Solihull broke from a Morecambe corner and Cranston’s first-time finish made it 2-2.

To their credit, both sides continued to press for a winner with the Shrimps having the best chances as Stockton fired wide before seeing two further efforts held by the keeper.

Mendes-Gomes saw an effort deflected behind but that was near as either side managed at the end of 90 minutes.

Six minutes into extra time and the Shrimps grabbed the lead when Stockton headed on Hendrie’s cross and O’Sullivan looped a header over Boot.

Solihull refused to let their heads drop, however, with Jamie Ward’s shot deflected behind and Cameron Archer sending a spectacular attempt off target.

Three minutes into the second period of extra time and Morecambe finally got some breathing space as Stockton prodded a corner goalwards and the ball deflected in off Hancox.

Their visitors still refused to lie down with Halstead making a good save from James Ball, who had another effort deflected behind by Songo’o.

There was still time for Boot to turn away a fierce Hendrie shot as Morecambe could breathe a huge sigh of relief at the final whistle.

Morecambe: Turner (Halstead 46), Mellor, Davis, Lavelle, Cooney, Songo’o, Wildig, Phillips (O’Sullivan 83), Slew (Hendrie 46), Mendes-Gomes (Leitch-Smith 118), Stockton. Subs not used: Knight-Percival, Diagouraga, Pringle.

Solihull Moors: Boot, Coxe, Williams, Pearce, Hancox, Cranston, Sbarra (Maycock 30), Gleeson (Ball 102), Storer, Osborne (Ward 69), Hudlin (Archer 59). Subs not used: Clayton, Piggott, Carter.

Referee: Ben Speedie

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