Solihull Moors boss Jimmy Shan hailed his side’s mentality and focus as they booked their place in the second round of the FA Cup for the third successive season with an upset at League Two Scunthorpe.
Stephen Gleeson’s brace of penalties and a looping header from Krystian Pearce secured the National League side’s progress, cancelling out goals from the Covid-hit Iron’s John McAtee and Kevin van Veen.
This was Scunthorpe’s first game in a fortnight after the postponement of three matches, which made planning for just who his side might come up against tough for the Moors boss.
“The mentality was probably what pleased me most today, and how we responded to conceding the equaliser in the first half,” Shan said.
“We talk week in, week out about improving and we’ve done that today against a good outfit. We held our own and won the game.
“We found planning for this game very difficult to be honest with Scunthorpe’s inactivity due to Covid. We didn’t know what they were going to have available.
“In the second half we got into some really good areas and defended with more intensity. We were far, far better than we were in the first half.
“A misplaced pass and a lapse of concentration made it difficult for us in the last 10 minutes, but I think we deserved the victory.”
Gleeson gave Moors the perfect start with his first spot kick of the afternoon in the fourth minute, only for McAtee to curl a cracking strike into the far corner and level for the hosts 10 minutes later.
Pearce’s header, which dropped just under the bar, restored their lead shortly after the restart and, when Gleeson fired in from the spot again with 10 minutes to play, it looked to be game over.
Substitute Van Veen set up a nervy finale for the visitors when Scunthorpe pounced on a lapse by keeper Ryan Boot, but a second booking for Tyler Cordner quickly killed their momentum – and any hope they might force extra-time.
While disappointed to lose, with 18 players previously out of action due to Covid, Iron boss Neil Cox took some positives from the display.
“It’s been a tough few days for us to even get people into the building,” he said.
“Some turned up yesterday, some today – I was waiting for this morning before I could pick the team, to find out who was available.
“I’m quite proud of them to be honest. Yes we gave away three silly goals, but the effort we got from players who’ve been sat inside on the sofa for two weeks was excellent. To be honest, I was surprised how good we looked.
“But don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed with the result and the fact we’ve given three poor goals away yet again.
“Defensively we were poor. Covid is no excuse for that, that’s down to people not doing their jobs.”