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  • Writer's pictureWill Beaman

REPORT | Wealdstone 1-1 Solihull Moors - Solihull win 4-3 on penalties

Wealdstone exit the FA Trophy at the quarter finals after a penalty shootout defeat at Grosvenor Vale.


Max Kretzschmar opened the scoring for the Stones in the 15th minute after capitalising on a defensive error at the back from Solihull Moors.


The visitors levelled the score in the 25th minute through Callum Maycock’s deflected effort, and it would be penalties that decided the tie with the scores level at 90 minutes.


Marcus Dewhurst gave the Stones hope when he saved James Clarke’s, and Solihull’s fifth penalty, after Max Kretzschmar had his effort saved with the Stones first spot-kick.


But the Stones would be denied a place in the semi-final when Manny Duku’s penalty, to level the shootout, struck the crossbar and sent the visitors into the next round.


David Noble made three change to the side that drew with Southend United in midweek. Dillon De Silva, Brandon Mason and Sean Adarkwa dropped to the bench in place of Nathan Ferguson, Jaydn Mundle-Smith and Duku, who was making his first appearance for the Stones.


Being a quarter final, with huge rewards at stake, the game began with a slightly cagey feel to it. But it was the Stones that drew first blood, 15 minutes in, when a loose header from James Clarke set Duku on a chase, and the new number nine was able to beat Hayes to a stray ball and play Kretzschmar into an empty net, which he finished calmy to put the Stones ahead.


Looking to get back into the game, it was Solihull that fashioned the next couple of chances. A ball into Matty Warburton should’ve been converted but forward put his effort wide. The chance was then followed up by a Mark Beck header from a corner that bobbled wide of Dewhurst’s goal.


But the penny finally dropped for the visitors, in the 25th minute, when Maycock was slipped through and saw his effort take a deflection off Alex Dyer and fly into the back of the Stones net to level the score.


The rest of the half saw little goalmouth action with both teams looking to tighten up at the back. Tarryn Allarakhia fashioned the Stones closest effort in the rest of the half when


The visitors came out blocks strong in the second half. Just three minutes into the period, Warburton was given time to cut inside and fire his effort towards goal, which was denied by a strong diving save from Dewhurst.


The Stones were next to try an effort at goal when Duku was slipped through, but Hayes was out quick to deny the striker a debut goal at the Vale.


Noble’s side ramped up their efforts as the half went on, looking for the goal that would likely send them into the semi-final. A plethora of chances fell their way around the 70th minute.


Duku, who looked dangerous in the right positions, had a close-range effort that spun off the hands of Hayes, but unfortunately for the Stones, it went out for a corner and not into the back of the net. Mason Barrett, who was one the Stones top performers in the game, went close with an effort from the edge of the box, but Hayes produced another save to deny him.


With the game on a knife’s edge, Solihull looked to test the Stones resolve in the 85th minute. Warbuton found space in a good area and hit an effort that looked destined to ripple the net, but an outstanding diving save from Dewhurst denied him what would’ve likely been a winner.


With the score level at full-time, it would be a penalty shootout that decided who would be going into the quarter finals. Kretzschmar was first up for the Stones, but his effort was denied by Hayes.


Some sublime penalties saw a 100% record in the rest of the shootout until Clarke stepped up to send his side to the semi-final, but a top save from Dewhurst gave the Stones a lifeline.


With the pressure of the tie on his shoulders, Duku stepped up to take the fifth penalty for Noble’s side, but when his effort crashed off the crossbar, it sent the Stones out of the FA Trophy at the quarter final stage.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Barrett, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Dyer (Henry 86), Bowen, Ferguson (Adarkwa 67), Kretzschmar, Allarakhia (Griffiths 67), Duku.

Subs not used: Obiero, Young, Cesay, Mason.

Attendance: 1,018 (including 132 Solihull supporters)

Report by Will Beaman


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