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Solihull Moors 2-3 Grimsby Town

22 December 2015

GRIMSBY Town secured their place in the second round of the FA Trophy by beating Solihull Moors in a first round replay at the Automated Technology Group Stadium.

After a goalless first half in which the Mariners had created the better chances, the game was decided in a six-minute spell just after the hour where four goals were scored.

Town fell behind when James Armson scored for Solihull but were back on level terms almost straight away through Omar Bogle.

A James Alabi penalty gave Grimsby the lead soon afterwards, before Jack Mackreth grabbed a third to seal the win, despite a late Akwasi Asante penalty putting the hosts back into the contest.

Town boss Paul Hurst made nine changes to his team, with only James McKeown and Bogle remaining from the starting XI that beat Dover Athletic at Blundell Park on Saturday.

McKeown began in goal, with Danny East returning to a back three, Shaun Pearson and Gregor Robertson making up the defence.

Josh Venney, Jack Mackreth, Conor Henderson, Scott Brown and Marcus Marshall were the midfielders and Bogle was joined up front by Alabi.

The Grimsby bench included a mixture of youth and experience, with Harry Clifton, Josh Sunter and Callum Jennings alongside assistant manager Chris Doig and goalkeeping coach Andy Warrington.

An early long-range effort by Henderson did not trouble home keeper Ben Siegrist, while Alabi was also off-target with a shot from outside the penalty area on 10 minutes.

Soon afterwards, the Ipswich Town loanee had the ball in the net but was not able to celebrate an opening goal as the offside flag had gone up against him.

Bogle then went close to breaking the deadlock when he worked an opening to shoot but saw his effort bounce off the inside of the post before bouncing to safety.

The hosts were forced into making an early change after Connor Franklin went down injured, with Junior English coming on in his place.

As heavy rain fell, Alabi had another opportunity two minutes after the half-hour but sent his shot straight at Siegrist.

And the Mariners were on the attack again six minutes later, when Venney looked to find Bogle but the striker was thwarted, before Brown’s follow-up was saved by Siegrist.

A long-range shot by Marshall flew harmlessly over the bar at one end, before Solihull’s Asanti broke through at the other but was denied by McKeown, who came off his line to claim the ball.

Bogle was involved again a minute before the interval, getting to a cross at the near post but sending the ball wide under pressure from defender Gareth Dean.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and after home midfielder Jack Byrne was booked for a foul on Bogle, no further chances were created by either side, so it remained goalless at the break.

Byrne was replaced by Jordan Gough for the hosts before the restart but the Mariners created the first chance of the second half through Brown.  His shot was saved by Siegrist and he went on to put the rebound wide.

A dipping, left-footed shot by Bogle went over the bar on 56 minutes after the former Solihull striker had cut in from the right and let fly from 20 yards as Town continued to have the better chances.

The hosts won a corner two minutes later and it soon turned into another Adam Walker’s inswinger was flicked over his bar by McKeown.  This time, the Mariners cleared their lines.

Solihull were having a good spell and McKeown was forced into action again to stop a cross from Asante.

Soon afterwards, the breakthrough came for the home side as they opened the scoring.  A through-ball by Asante found ARMSON and he did the rest, slotting past McKeown.

But Town were behind for just two minutes, as they levelled the scores with their next attack.  A right-wing cross from Mackreth found BOGLE and he headed home from close range for 1-1.

And the turnaround was completed in next to no time, as Grimsby took the lead on 66 minutes.  ALABI was fouled by Gavin Cowan inside the box and after the referee pointed to the penalty spot, he got up and fired past Siegrist from 12 yards.

Town were not finished there, as the scoring spree continued and the visitors surely put the result beyond doubt.  This time, it was MACKRETH who got himself on the scoresheet, cutting in from the right and unleashing a shot that beat the keeper and hit the far corner of the net.

After no goals in the first 62 minutes, the game had now seen four before the clock reached 70 minutes in a crazy spell where Town had fallen behind before quickly putting themselves firmly in control.

Darren Byfield replaced Andy Brown as Solihull boss Marcus Bignot made his third and final substitution with 19 minutes to go.

Town went looking for more goals and a run by Henderson led to the former Arsenal youngster looking to find Alabi, although the ball slowed in the wet conditions and Siegrist was able to claim it.

But the hosts had the chance to get themselves back into the contest with 10 minutes to go when the referee spotted a handball in the box and gave a second penalty of the game.  ASANTE beat McKeown from the spot to make it 3-2.

Town’s response was to attack again and they had a free kick just outside the box when Bogle was fouled seven minutes from full-time.  They could not take advantage though, as Henderson fired his shot over the bar.

Clifton replaced Bogle with a little over five minutes to go, before a Solihull corner on 88 minutes was headed clear by Pearson.

A late challenge by Clifton earned him a yellow card in the last minute of the 90, with Cowan also being booked for his reaction.

Four added minutes were signalled by the fourth official and the Mariners saw them out to ensure their place in the next round, where they will face a home tie against either Weston-Super-Mare or Wealdstone on January 16.

Before then, it is back to league action, starting with a trip to Guiseley on Boxing Day.

Town: McKeown; East, Robertson, Pearson, Venney, Brown, Henderson, Mackreth, Marshall, Bogle, Alabi.

Subs: Doig, Warrington, Clifton, Sunter, Jennings.

Attendance: 479

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