Solihull Moors 0-0 Blackpool: Seasiders avoid FA Cup upset but unable to stop tie going to replay

Michael Nottingham in action against his former club at Damson Park
Michael Nottingham in action against his former club at Damson Park

Blackpool will have to beat Solihull Moors in a replay if they are to proceed into the third round of the FA Cup after drawing 0-0 with the non-leaguers.

The Seasiders lived dangerously at times and flirted with being the victims of a cup upset against their National League opponents.

Terry McPhillips’ men were second best in the first half and were fortunate not to fall behind, with Solihull having a goal chalked off for offside.

But they improved in the second period and had chances to win the game on the night, with Armand Gnanduillet the main culprit of their misses.

Blackpool fielded a strong side for the tie, making four changes from the team that lost 2-0 at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.

In came Michael Nottingham to face the club he made over 100 appearances for during a four-year spell, replacing Ryan McLaughlin at right-wing back.

There was also a change on the other side, with Marc Bola returning in place of Joe Bunney.

Chris Taylor started in midfield alongside Jay Spearing, seeing Harry Pritchard drop down to the bench, while Joe Dodoo came back into the fold after surprisingly missing out at Doncaster, despite previously scoring four goals in his last four games.

Nathan Delfouneso was the man to make way and drop down to the bench to allow the on-loan Rangers man to partner Armand Gnanduillet in attack.

Ollie Turton, Callum Guy and Mark Cullen remain out on the sidelines with injuries, although all three are expected to be back in contention soon.

The first shot of the night came the home side’s way with Jamey Osborne testing Mark Howard with a low effort which the Pool keeper easily claimed.

It was Solihull who was exerting the early pressure, with Howard again called into action to save from Liam Daly’s glancing header.

The non-leaguers continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock, with striker Danny Wright volleying past the post after Blackpool had failed to deal with a long ball into their box.

Pool’s first chance of the night came on 16 minutes via former Solihull man Nottingham, who failed to hit the target with a free header from Bola’s left-wing cross.

Dodoo was the next Blackpool man to get an effort off at goal, firing into the side netting after having the ball laid off to him by Nottingham.

Solihull had the ball in the back of the net on 26 minutes, Alex Gudger converting from Darren Carter’s cross, but fortunately for Pool the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

Pool themselves were nearly ahead a few minutes later, Gnanduillet blazing well over with the goal at his mercy after Solihull keeper Ryan Boot had fumbled a long ball to the striker.

Jay Spearing had to be at his defensive best to recover and stop Osborne as he marauded towards the Blackpool goal, with the former Liverpool man producing a vital block as the Solihull midfielder got a shot off at goal.

The Seasiders continued to struggle as the half ticked towards the interval, falling into the trap of playing Solihull’s game.

And it was the National League outfit who were creating more opportunities, Wright again heading straight at Howard after reaching Jamie Reckord’s lovely ball in.

The half ended with Jordan Thompson producing a tame effort that Solihull keeper Boot had no trouble sweeping up.

The Seasiders made a much brighter start to the second period but they wasted a glorious chance to take the lead, Gnanduillet the culprit.

The ball was played back to the striker inside the Solihull box but he failed to get the required contact on his effort, shooting straight at Boot.

Gnanduillet was again guilty of wasting what looked to be a promising position as he skewed a shot well wide with an effort from the edge of the box on his weak foot.

Blackpool began to take control of proceedings, with Dodoo bringing a fine stop out of Boot who got a strong hand to his low effort at the near post.

Pool failed to capitalise on their period of dominance and were nearly made to pay at the other end of the pitch after Curtis Tilt slipped at just the wrong time.

That allowed Wright to lay the ball off to Carter, whose low shot was superbly charged down by Ben Heneghan.

With the game looking destined to go to a replay, both sides decided to throw caution to the wind and continued to exchange some clear chances.

Space opened up for Yussuf for Solihull, but the striker’s effort was deflected just wide of the Pool goal. A minute later, substitute Harry Pritchard was played in by Thompson but the midfielder was thwarted by the onrushing Solihull keeper.

Another good chance came Pool’s way, as Bola crossed to Dodoo but the striker couldn’t get a clean shot off at goal.

Terry McPhillips’ men would have conceded with just two minutes remaining if it wasn’t for Donervon Daniels, who produced a vital sliding block to halt Osborne’s low effort from flying into the back of the net.

That proved to be the last action of what had been an absorbing stalemate, with the two sides now set to face off against each other again for a place in the third round.

TEAMS

Solihull: Boot, Williams, Reckford, Storer, Daly, Gudger, Osborne (O'Keefe), Carter, Yussuf, Maxwell (Hylton), Wright (Thomas)

Subs not used: Carline, Flowers, Murphy

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, Daniels, Heneghan, Tilt, Bola, Spearing, Taylor (Pritchard), Thompson, Dodoo (Feeney), Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bunney, O'Connor, O'Sullivan, Delfouneso

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 3,005 (300 Blackpool)