MORECAMBE booked their spot in the FA Cup third round for the first time in 18 years with a 4-2 extra time victory over Solihull Moors.
An entertaining game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes with the Shrimps coming from behind and overcoming a poor first half performance to take the tie against a good National League side.
Solihull were much the better team in the opening stages. Stephen Gleeson saw an early shot from distance held by Jake Turner before Jamey Osborne curled a free kick from the edge of the box over.
Solihull’s early pressure paid off when they took the lead on 19 minutes when Turner could only parry Jordan Cranston’s long-range shot and Kyle Hudlin reacted quickly to slot the loose ball home.
Moments later and it could have been 2-0 as Cranston’s deflected header struck the woodwork and was cleared off the line by Yann Songo’o. The same Morecambe player then had to combine with Cole Stockton to clear a Hudlin header off the line as the Shrimps struggled to compete.
Morecambe only managed to get into the game in the final minutes of the half with Stockton volleying just wide. Sam Lavelle then saw a shot blocked and Songo’o had a header well turned away by Ryan Boot low to his left as the Shrimps ended the half on top.
Boss Derek Adams had seen took off Turner and Jordan Slew at the break with Mark Halstead and Stephen Hendrie coming on as the Shrimps switched to three at the back.
It almost paid off immediately as Ryan Cooney headed Harry Davis’ cross into the side netting.
But the leveller came on 53 minutes when Carlos Mendes-Gomes headed a free kick down and Stockton’s provided a superb finish.
Almost as quickly as they drew level, Morecambe nearly went behind when Kelvin Mellor’s backpass to Halstead fell short. Hudlin rounded Halstead but saw his effort superbly cleared by Lavelle at full stretch.
It was a pivotal moment as two minutes later and Morecambe went in front as Stockton swept home his second after a fine lay off from Adam Phillips
However, the scores were level again 10 minutes later when Solihull broke from a Morecambe corner and Cranston finished off Cameron Archer’s low cross to make it 2-2.
Both sides looked for a winner in normal time with Stockton firing wide and then seeing two shots saved by Boot as the game went into extra time.
Six minutes into the added 30 Morecambe went ahead when Stockton headed a Hendrie cross skywards and substitute John O’Sullivan looped a header over Boot.
Three minutes into the second period of extra time the Shrimps sealed the game when Stockton diverted a corner towards the goal and Mitch Hancox unfortunately turned the ball into his own goal.
Their visitors came back again with Halstead making a good save from James Ball, who also saw an effort deflected behind by Songo’o before the final whistle signalled a welcome win for the Shrimps.
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.
Ref: B Speedie.
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