LAST-GASP heartache denied Solihull United a third win on the bounce in a 3-3 thriller at Barnt Green Spartak.
Saturday’s six-goal show between Midland League Division Two leaders United and seventh-placed Spartak was a captivating affair from start to finish, with Harry Eden’s fourth-minute opener setting the tone for an action-packed afternoon at The Pavillions.
Sam Manoochehri’s Young Lions hit the front in style, Kyle Hudlin’s hold-up play and pass to pick out Eden resulted in a fine opener to get the visitors up and running.
But while there were no further goals immediately after the deadlock was broken, a flurry soon followed around the half-hour mark heading into the break.
Again Eden was at the centre of things, combining with Gerrard Sam to tee up Hudlin for a drive that flew into the bottom corner.
With Solihull taking a real stronghold of the game, proceedings took a sudden turn when an audacious attempt from Barnt Green’s Joshua Mussell was ruled to have crossed the line after striking the bar by the assistant referee.
Considering that no one but the linesman made a case for the ball going in, it was a bizarre setback that cost the away side dear when captain Sam Delaney’s protests resulted in a spell in the sin bin.
And a further blow followed a minute before the break with Green desperate to make the most of the temporary man advantage.
Adeel Mohammad’s effort was saved by United ‘keeper Tom Parsons, but as he fell backwards into the goal to keep hold of the ball, the linesman again flagged that it had crossed the line for a Barnt Green equaliser.
Incredible circumstances indeed, but the Lions had little time to lick their wounds as they searched for a response in the second half.
To their credit, Solihull dominated affairs after the restart but failed to find that cutting edge that would give them the go-ahead goal that they craved – with several chances wasted.
With time ticking away and no sign of a decider, Delaney looked to have provided it with a true captain’s goal, thumping a header into the net at the far post to spark joyous scenes.
But football is not quite that simple, as Barnt Green searched and found a late leveller in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
With the ball worked over to the right flank, a cross to the far post was headed back across goal into the path of Joe Sims to flick into the net with his head.
A heartbreaking way for Solihull to lose their 100% winning record, but Manoochehri’s side may well benefit from an early setback in the season as they hunt for three points and an extension to their unbeaten streak away to Alcester Town on Saturday (3pm).
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