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5th Jul, 2022

FOOTBALL - Sbarra nets hat-trick as Moors triumph in eight-goal thriller against Eastleigh

JOE SBARRA scored his first career hat-trick as Solihull Moors won 5-3 against Eastleigh in an eight-goal thriller.

Sbarra struck twice in the first half, either side of Callum Howe’s header, only for Eastleigh to mount a comeback with goals shortly before and after the interval.

However, Sbarra completed his treble to restore Moors two-goal lead with a further goal from the visitors making for a nervy finish before Danny Newton completed the scoring in injury time at the ARMCO Arena.

The result means Moors sit fifth in the National League table, two points clear of the chasing pack in the race for the play-offs.

And Eastleigh almost made the perfect start when Tyrone Barnett headed inches wide at the back post in the first couple of minutes.

Moors made the visitors pay for that missed chance when Sbarra opened the scoring on nine minutes with a whipped finish past away goalkeeper Joe McDonnell after Andrew Dallas’s cross was kept alive by Adam Rooney for Sbarra to apply the finish.

And Solihull doubled their lead on 15 minutes when Howe’s header found the top corner to score his second goal in as many league matches.

Neal Ardley’s side went three goals ahead on 40 minutes when Sbarra doubled his tally for the day from Ryan Barnett’s whipped cross after a lovely back-heel from Dallas.

However, Eastleigh reduced the deficit just before half time when veteran striker Brett Pitman lifted the ball over Moors keeper Ryan Boot on 44 minutes.

And the visitors pulled another goal back on 49 minutes when Jake Hesketh turned home Pitman’s low cross as the Spitfires looked to complete the most unlikely of comebacks.

However, Moors were able to restore their two-goal advantage on 79 minutes when Sbarra completed his hat-trick with an emphatic finish from Barnett’s right-wing cross.

But Eastleigh refused to lie down and substitute Danny Whitehall reduced the arrears once again on 81 minutes when he slotted past Boot after finding himself clean through on goal.

And the visitors thought the comeback was complete when Cavaghn Miley found the net in the 90th minute only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Ardley’s side then wrapped up the points in the third minute of time added on when sub Newton poked home past McDonnell after a barnstorming run from Barnett who provided his third assist of the afternoon.

Solihull are next in action away at Grimsby Town on Tuesday, March 22 with kick-off at 7.45pm at Blundell Park.

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