FOOTBALL - Solihull Moors suffer cruel penalty shootout defeat in National League Promotion Final at Wembley - The Solihull Observer

FOOTBALL - Solihull Moors suffer cruel penalty shootout defeat in National League Promotion Final at Wembley

Solihull Editorial 5th May, 2024   0

SOLIHULL Moors missed the chance to secure a first-ever promotion to the Football League following a cruel penalty shootout defeat to Bromley in the National League Promotion Final at Wembley.

Moors twice came from behind to take the game to extra time as Joe Sbarra and Jamey Osborne levelled the game in the second half to cancel out Michael Cheek’s brace either side of the break.

However, both Tyrese Shade and Joss Labadie saw their penalties saved in the shootout as Bromley triumphed 4-3 on spot kicks as Moors suffered a second defeat in the National League play-off final in the space of three seasons.

Moors almost made the worst possible start on their first Wembley outing when Louis Dennis brought down a high ball before a curling a shot inches wide of the post from 20-yards out before Idris Odutayo blasted a shot wide moments later.

Andy Whing’s side grew into the contest and tested Grant Smith in the Bromley goal as Sbarra’s shot hit Tahvon Campbell and deflected into the keeper’s arms.

Chances were at a premium thereafter as Nick Hayes comfortably saved Corey Whitely’s low effort down to his right following a counter attack.

However, Bromley took the lead four minutes before half time when Cheek slid the ball past Hayes from 10-yards out despite the striker appearing to trip Alex Whitmore as he ran onto Whitely’s through ball.

Moors responded three minutes after the break as Sbarra finished on the rebound after Smith could only parry Campbell’s initial effort.

Bromley restored their lead on 58 minutes when Cheek scored from the penalty spot after Hayes brought down the striker in the box as he attempted to clear Kyle Morrison’s short backpass.

Whing’s men equalised for a second time seven minutes later as captain Osborne collected Callum Maycock’s pass before driving towards goal and placing a low shot into the bottom left corner from 20-yards out.

Moors enjoyed a good spell pressure following their second equaliser as Sbarra saw his low cross blocked behind before substitute Jon Benton dragged a shot wide from distance.

The Ravens responded with a chance of their own as Whitely fired an effort into the side netting from a tight angle.

And Moors defender James Clarke superbly blocked Olufela Olomola’s shot over the bar in the final minute of regulation time as Bromley looked to snatch a late winner.

Moors went close to a winner in injury time when Clarke curled a shot narrowly over the crossbar after good work down the left from Shade.

Bromley spurned a golden chance to take the lead at the start of extra time after Alex Kirk raced onto a long ball in behind the Moors defence only to cut in from the right and curl a shot wide of the target.

The Ravens hit the woodwork moments later as Cheek flicked a corner to the back post and Kirk headed against the crossbar.

And Bromley were denied the post in the second period of extra time as Kirk’s powerful shot hit the inside of the post and bounced back across goal before going behind for a goal kick as the game went to penalties.

In the shootout, Shade and substitute Labadie saw their penalties saved by Smith as Cheek powered his attempt through Hayes only for the Moors keeper to then save Ashley Charles’ spot kick.

Campbell brought Moors level with a cool penalty before Olomola, Nana Boateng and Jude Arthurs all scored to leave Bromley one successful kick from victory.

Benton scored in off the post to keep Moors in the shootout only for Bromley captain Byron Webster to send Hayes the wrong way from the spot and deny Solihull a place in next season’s Football League.

Solihull return to Wembley in six days time to play Gateshead in the FA Trophy final on Saturday, May 11 with kick-off at 4.15pm.

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