NEAL ARDLEY praised the “unbelievable spirit” of his Solihull Moors squad after the club booked their place in the National League play-off final with a 3-1 win against Chesterfield.
Despite falling behind to an early goal, Andrew Dallas, Alex Gudger and Callum Howe all struck in front of a record crowd at the ARMCO Arena to send Moors to the final in the capital.
Solihull boss Ardley was confident his side would turn the game around and believes his squad has the components required to win a play-off final.
Ardley said: “We know how to score goals and the beauty of that is that it’s better to have a team that scores goals even if you concede because the belief within the squad when you do concede is massive.
“I never for a moment thought that we didn’t have at least two goals in us when we went one-nil down and that gives everybody confidence.
“At the time it was a case of bouncing back, we kept playing our game and the first goal we scored to equalise was sublime, it was great football, this group of boys have got unbelievable spirit.
“It’s all about character and mentality, if you’ve got a good football team, a bit of character and a bit of mentality, you’ve got the ingredients to give yourself a chance in the play-off final.”
And Ardley also heaped praise on his side’s ability to keep Chesterfield at bay as players put their bodies on the line to protect the lead.
Ardley added: “We had to dig in, Chesterfield kept asking questions, we defended well, we had to put our bodies on the line but this team have done that all season.
“At half-time we knew that they needed to be even braver, we talked about how to deal with that and we also talked about stretching the game.
“Once we got the third, which was a fantastic header from Callum, it was all about game management, we didn’t need to be swashbuckling and magnificent.
“We needed to do our jobs and say ‘you’re not going to score, it’s going to have to be a worldie.”
Victory means Moors are now just one game away from reaching the Football League as they meet Grimsby Town in the final at West Ham United’s London Stadium.
He said: “West Ham’s ground is a fantastic stadium, Grimsby have been unbelievable, their fans have been magnificent so it’s going to be a real occasion.
“One team is going to go home devastated and one team is going to be celebrating.
“All we can do is prepare the boys, try and put in a performance if we can, if we’re good enough, let’s see.
“Hopefully, we’ll get to the final in one piece in a good place and then it will be a case of the best team winning.”
Solihull face Grimsby in the National League play-off final on Sunday, June 5 with kick-off at 3pm at London Stadium.