Morecambe 4-2 Solihull Moors (AET): Shrimps come from behind to defeat Shan's Solihull
Above: Jordan Cranston nets against his former side, despite the pressure from Kelvin Mellor (Source: Solihull Moors Website)

Solihull Moors had already defeated one League Two side in their FA Cup run, having thwarted Scunthorpe United 3-2 in a dramatic game at Glanford Park.

They would look to grasp their third consecutive victory on the road, having previously defeated Scunthorpe and Altrincham. The Moors sit mid-table in the National League, but boast quality within their ranks, with the likes of Stephen Gleeson and Cameron Coxe, who rejected Manchester City for Solihull, in the squad.

Morecambe on the other hand had won just one in their last four, which was in the Papa John's Trophy, and would be looking to bounce back since their defeat at the hands of Salford City on Tuesday night.

The Shrimps had advanced to the second round with a narrow victory over Maldon & Tiptree, thanks to a penalty from Adam Phillips.

  • Team news

Morecambe: Turner; Mellor, Lavelle, Davis, Cooney, Songo'o, Gomes, Wildig, Phillips, Slew, Stockton

Solihull Moors: Boot; Williams, Pearce, Hancox, Coxe, Cranston, Storer, Gleeson, Sbarra, Hudlin, Osborne

  • Story of the match

It was the away side who had the first opportunity of the game, as Mitch Hancox floated in a teasing ball into the target man Kyle Hudlin, who nodded wide from an offside position.

Morecambe would need ten minutes before they had their first attempt at goal, as Cole Stockton received the ball from Yann Songo'o and turned his man, before unleashing a strike from a difficult angle which was parried to safety by Ryan Boot.

A poor clearance from Sam Lavelle fell to the feet of former Birmingham man Gleeson, but his long range effort was comfortably held by Jake Turner.

However Solihull, who had been dominant in this first half, took an early lead as Jordan Cranston, against his former club, had an effort from 25 yards poorly dealt with by Turner, as the loanee goalkeeper spilled his catch into the path of Hudlin who calmly disposed of the finish, firing the ball in from three yards out.

Morecambe had yet another let off, as a lofted cross from Kyle Storer found Cranston once again at the back post and his header was deflected by Kelvin Mellor against the woodwork before it was scrambled clear from the line- the Shrimps in trouble.

The Moors continued their promising spell, as Hancox had far too much space on the wing and sent in a low cross to the on-rushing Hudlin, but his outstretched foot could only spin the ball narrowly wide.

Yet another attack, with Solihull capitalising on more disorganised defending from Morecambe, as Cranston nodded from the back post onto Hudlin, who headed towards goal but Stockton cleared off of the line. 

Moors were forced into a change as Joe Sbarra picked up a knock and was replaced by Callum Maycock half an hour in. 

Trying to find their stride, an equaliser was within inches as Phillips sent in a fantastic cross, but Songo'o mistimed his diving header.

Songo'o would squander another chance, as he nodded the ball towards the goal and Boot acrobatically tipped it around the post.

As the clock reached the 50th minute, due to stoppage time, referee Benjamin Speedie brought the opening half to a close.

Derek Adams clearly wasn't pleased with the first half, as he made a double change, swapping Turner for Mark Halstead and Stephen Hendrie for Jordan Slew.

It nearly had an immediate effect, as Harry Davis crossed to the back post and Ryan Cooney's header could only blister the side netting.

However the Shrimps found their breakthrough and an equaliser, as a long searching ball forward was chased by Carlos Mendes Gomes, confidently nodded back into Stockton who unleashed an astounding volley from the edge of the box, leaving Boot motionless and unable to prevent an outstanding finish.

Mellor threw his side into danger however, as he a weak back pass towards Halstead which Hudlin pounced on, carrying the ball past the goalkeeper but his shot into the empty net was lacklustre and captain Sam Lavelle did brilliantly to clear an imminent goal.

And Hudlin would regret his miss, as Morecambe capitalised. Solihull persisted with trying to pass the ball to safety, but Mellor made up for his error before and bravely retrieved the ball, played it into the feet of goalscorer Stockton who threated it through to Phillips on the wing. Phillips took advantage of poor marking by the Moors defence and squared back into Stockton, who calmly netted his second of the game to flip the game on its head.

Jimmy Shan was not pleased and made a second change, as Hudlin was  swapped for Cameron Archer.

And Archer had a huge impact, as he spearheaded a counter-attack from a failed Morecambe corner, surging forward before picking out Cranston on the penalty spot, who calmly finished past Halstead to level the game up against his former club.

Shan made his third and final change, as Osborne was substituted for Jamie Ward. 

Heading into the final fifteen, Aaron Wildig battled for the ball after a Krystian Pearce mistake but Stockton couldn't hit the target from close range.

Stockton had more chances to clinch his hattrick, but Boot thwarting two of his efforts in the space of four minutes.

Morecambe made their final change, as Phillips was replaced by John O'Sullivan.

However, an cluster of wasted chances in the dying embers of the game resulted in the referee bringing the game to a close- extra time it would be. 

The experienced Ward spotted Halstead off of his line, but his attempt of the spectacular from the half way line sailed wide of the mark.

Just six minutes into the extra thirty and Morecambe capitalised, as Hendrie floated in an attractive ball towards Stockton on the penalty spot, who cushioned his header in the air where substitute O'Sullivan attacked the ball, beating Pearce in the air and guiding his header over Boot to give the home side the lead.

Archer frightened the Morecambe back line, as he latched onto a long ball between the defenders and half volley towards the near post, but could only thrash the side netting.

Into the second half of extra-time, and Stockton finally had his claim for a hattrick, as Morecambe powered a corner into the near post and Stockton and Hancox attacked, with both flicking out a boot towards it, it was fired into the back of the net past Boot, confirming Morecambe's position in the FA Cup third round. 

Solihull would go down fighting, as James Ball found space on the edge but his strike was well saved by Halstead.

Hendrie found himself with time on the left side, but his spinning effort was parried to safety by Boot.

Following 120 minutes of football, Morecambe came out victorious against their non-league counterparts and reached the FA Cup third round for the first time as an EFL club.

  • Takeaways

A very action-packed game which consisted of the magic of the FA Cup, a non-league side taking an established EFL club into extra-time, before fitness proved crucial in the closings stages.

Solihull Moors dominated the first half, playing on the front foot and having several chances to extend the lead that Kyle Hudlin provided his side. The Moors played some really silky intelligent football, playing the ball on the ground and preferring to retain possession rather than hoof it forward like the majority of non-league sides do, Shan's team took advantage of the gorgeous playing surface at the Globe Arena. 

The combination of Stephen Gleeson, Kyle Storer, Jamey Osborne and Hudlin in that first half was fantastic, constantly moving and communicating between one another whilst also moving forward and back as a team. In the end it was the lack of taking chances which sentenced Solihull to termination from the competition, with Hudlin missing huge opportunities, Cranston nodding against the post and Gleeson's strike prompting Turner into a good save.

Meanwhile with the home side, if they want to get back the form they had early season they'll have to start games stronger. It took Morecambe thirty minutes before they had their first chance, which simply isn't good enough especially against a lower division side but that will be punished more clinically with a higher team.

  • Stand-out player

Cole Stockton was brilliant today, having netted twice and came close on numerous occasions to clinching a hattrick. He also got the assist for O'Sullivan's goal, but if Morecambe can get Stockton firing, confident and in-form he could become a real force to be reckoned with this season.

Meanwhile Jordan Cranston was impressive against his former club, controlling that left side, even popping up with a few chances and of course getting his goal, which was a quality finish for a defender. Defensively he intercepted most attacks down that left wing, and was an evident leader amongst that defence, something Solihull aren't shy of with Krystian Pearce in that back line. 

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