FOOTBALL - Solihull Moors 3-1 Chesterfield - The Solihull Observer

FOOTBALL - Solihull Moors 3-1 Chesterfield

SOLIHULL Moors came from behind to book their place in the National League play-off final with a convincing win against Chesterfield.

The home side trailed to Joe Quigley’s early goal before Andrew Dallas and Alex Gudger turned the game in Moors favour at the break.

And Callum Howe’s second-half header took the game out of Chesterfield’s reach in front of a record 4,026 fans at a sold out ARMCO Arena as supporters invaded the pitch at full time.

The win means Solihull will play Grimsby Town in next weekend’s play-off final at London Stadium.

Moors started on the front foot and created the first chance of the game when a trademark Ryan Barnett cross from the right was met by the head of Kyle Hudlin only for Chesterfield goalkeeper Scott Loach to pull off a superb acrobatic save.

However, Chesterfield took the lead on seven minutes when Quigley produced a clinical finish into the right side of the goal from Liam Mandeville’s low ball from the right.

Undeterred, Moors almost drew level from the restart when Dallas directed Callum Maycock’s low ball onto the roof of the net.

In a frantic opening period, Chesterfield almost doubled their lead when Saidou Khan cut in from the left and forced Joe McDonnell into a save low down to his right.

And Moors drew level on 15 minutes when Dallas produced a delicate finish over Loach from Maycock’s through ball.

Solihull should have taken the lead soon after when Callum Howe’s long ball went all the way through to Hudlin in behind the Chesterfield defence only for the striker to scuff his effort into the ground and wide when one-on-one.

A fast-paced game continued to ebb and flow when McDonnell made a comfortable save from Jeff King’s free-kick from 25-yards out with the ball heading towards the top right corner.

And Ardley’s men completed the turnaround on 35 minutes when a short corner was played into the box before Gudger turned the ball home from close range following a goalmouth scramble.

The visitors were denied an equaliser when James Clarke cleared the ball off the line after McDonnell made a mess of a cross into the box before Chesterfield saw furious appeals for a penalty turned down by the referee.

And the second half began at a much slower pace with King shooting narrowly over before Jim Kellermann’s shot was easily held by McDonnell.

Moors had a chance to extend their lead when Sbarra played Hudlin in behind the Chesterfield defence only for the big striker to go to ground far too easily as he attempted to round the onrushing Loach.

Chesterfield remained a threat at the other end when Calvin Miller burst into the box only for McDonnell to stay big and make an important save.

And Moors spurned another gilt-edged chance when Hudlin pounced on a short backwards header to advance on goal before he was denied by Loach when one-on-one.

From the resulting corner, Howe superbly headed Harry Boyes’ corner from the right into the bottom right corner on 59 minutes as Moors put one foot into the final.

Solihull continued to find joy in behind the Chesterfield defence when substitute Danny Newton beat the offside trap only for his attempted chip to be well blocked by Loach.

The Spireites pushed for a goal late on with Solihull equal to everything Chesterfield threw at them the highlight of which saw Howe make a phenomenal challenge on Miller just inside the penalty area.

More late pressure followed as McDonnell tipped a tantalising cross from Miller to safety before the same player saw a shot deflected narrowly wide.

A pitch invasion ensued at full time as thousands of home fans made their way onto the pitch with Solihull now just one game away from reaching the Football League.

Solihull will face Grimsby in the National League play-off final on Sunday, June 5 with kick-off at 3pm at London Stadium.

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