FOOTBALL: A CROWD of just 173 turned out on a cold Tuesday evening to defending champions Solihull Moors slip out of the Birmingham Senior Cup following a narrow 2-1 defeat against Walsall, reports John Clothier.
Liam McDonald started with a strong side with recalls for loanees Nat Kelly and Charlie Morris, while three of the Academy side were on the bench.
Akwasi Asante shot just wide from a glorious chance after five minutes and Curtis Obeng produced an equally fine save from the Walsall keeper after unleashing a terrific from the right flank.
Pearson Mwanyongo put Shepherd Murombedzi through on 11 minutes but he shot well wide as Moors looked the more likely of the two teams to score.
But the hosts were nearly undone by the impressive Milan Butterfield who was just wide from the edge of the box, while Joel Kettle cleared off the line with ten minutes of the half left.
Cameron Peters had two chances just before the interval but both were off target as both sides went in level at the half-way stage.
Luke Rodgers was on for Sterling James as the second half got under way and he was immediately forcing his way into the action after a fierce challenge opened up a chance at goal but the shot was just wide.
Mwanyongo made a great solo run down the right flank but again was wide of the mark, whilst Liam Daly’s defence splitting pass found Ganley quicker to the ball than the advancing Asante.
Kettle’s tackle on Peters was timed to perfection as the striker raced towards Danny Lewis and on the hour mark Mwanyongo made another solo run but this his shot was weak.
At the other end Butterfield got on the end of a knock down in the Moors box but blasted over whilst Sangha’s free kick was an easy take for Lewis.
Moors made the breakthrough on 70 minutes when Mwanyongo played Asante into space and the big striker laid the ball off to the unmarked Rodgers who side footed into an empty net.
Daly almost made it two from a Nortey corner but the header was beyond the far post at the visitors made Moors by scoring a 75th minute equaliser thanks to a curling shot by Sangha.
On 80 minutes the visitors had three shots in the same attack, Kelly blocked the first one, Lewis saved the second with his foot but there was nothing Moors could do as Peters slid the rebound just inside the post.
That strike proved to be decisive for the Saddlers who now progress to the Semi Final of the competition.