After last weeks narrow 4-3 away win over the same opposition we knew that if we wanted to progress in the cup we would have to produce a good team performance, our hopes were not aided with the news that we were going to be down to the bare bones (so much so we required 3 emergency signings just to be able to start with 11, albeit with myself, (Jase), on the bench as an emergency sub.
The game started off with us pressing high on Solihull’s back line and our early pressure paid dividends has a fantastic Sean Perry ball down the flank to Tino set him free to cut back to Fidell who unselfishly slid it across to Ian ‘Beale’ Whitehouse to tap in at the far post 1-0. Several minutes later the ever dangerous Tino beat his man and squared across the 18 yard box for Fidell to bury low and hard 2-0 up and around 75 minutes still to play. Calls of ‘Keep it tight next 5 Wednesbury’ come from keeper Carl and typically 2 minutes later Solihull cut the deficit. We didnt let this hinder our performance as we immediately from kick off attacked and took back our 2 goal advantage with another Tino assist and Fidell goal 3-1. Half time was looming and we felt that we were beginning to take a stronghold on the game which was strengthened after Fidell completed his hat trick – 3 goals from 3 shots, unfortunately his 100% strike rate ended a few minutes later when he volleyed against the post with the keeper beaten. Half Time 4-1.
We started the second half the same as we had finished it, knowing it was the cup we expected Solihull to throw everything at us so knew if we could extend the deficit that it would help us relax and also hopefully deflate them. Tino continued to cause havoc amongst the Renewal back four and was unlucky not to find himself on the score sheet when he beat 3 players only for the keeper to get a hand to the ball after putting him on the floor with a superb piece of skill. Unfortunately for us we then lost Fidell to injury which was a big blow and resulted in Beale moving up top alongside Pete and this proved to be a masterstroke has he went on to complete his hat trick with 2 very well taken goals – the first of the two was a scissor kick from a Tino cross going in off the underside of the bar and the hat trick completing goal was a great individual effort after being put clean through from yet another Tino assist 6-1. With around 15 minutes to go we were unlucky not to extend our lead further with the keeper thwarting us on several occasions and hitting the woodwork a few times. I then managed to get myself on the score sheet after Sean and Tino combined well on the edge of the Solihull box resulting in the ball looping into the air, jumping with the Solihull centre half I managed to beat him to it and guided it into the far bottom corner – watching it myself it felt like it had taken an age to nestle in the net but I was informed that it sailed in, a rare appearance and even rarer goal for myself but more importantly a confidence building win and great team performance from the lads.
Unfortunately I have to end on a sad note as this was Goalkeeper Carl’s last game for us as he reckons he will be hanging his gloves up now whilst he prepares for knee surgery next week. So I would just like to thank him for his fantastic contribution to the club from all the lads and wish him a full and speedy recovery.