Solihull Moors 3-4 Rotherham United: Millers stage stunning fightback


Solihull Moors 3-4 Rotherham United highlights

Rotherham United staged a stunning fightback to come from 3-0 down to beat non-league Solihull Moors and reach the FA Cup third round.

The National League side looked set to reach round three for the first time in their history when Jimmy Ball tapped in just after the hour following early goals from Jamey Osborne and Alex Gudger.

But the Millers, who had previously barely threatened, scored four times in the final 14 minutes to turn the tie on its head.

Freddie Ladapo started the comeback when he side-footed home before Michael Ihiekwe curled in to give the League One side hope.

Michael Smith then twice headed in crosses by fellow-substitute Chiedozie Ogbene to earn Rotherham a dramatic victory and secure a home tie against Championship side Hull City.

Such a comeback never looked likely at 3-0 as Solihull, 46 places below Rotherham in the league standings, were much the better side for the first 70 minutes as the Millers struggled to match the intensity of their non-league opponents.

The Moors began at a frenetic pace and went in front in the sixth minute through Osborne’s half-volley from 18 yards before doubling their lead two minutes later when Gudger side-footed home Lee Vaughan’s cross from eight yards as Rotherham appealed in vain for offside.

Ball, who scored four times in the Moors’ 5-1 win at Oxford City in round one, then made it 3-0 from Jake Beesley’s low cross to seemingly put the tie out of Paul Warne’s side’s reach.

Even the hope given to Rotherham by Ladapo pulling one back could have been extinguished had Beesley not fired well off target from 15 yards after the ball broke to him kindly.

Instead, within moments it was 3-2 as Ihiekwe struck following an intense spell of Rotherham pressure.

Matt Crooks then hit the post for Rotherham as they pressurised the Moors backline with wave after wave of attack.

That pressure finally told when Smith headed in Ogbene’s cross at the far post to level, before the pair combined once again in stoppage time to end Solihull’s hopes of at least earning a replay.

Solihull Moors boss Tim Flowers told BBC WM:

“For the most part I’m very proud of the way the lads played. Up until the last 15-20 minutes I thought we were in control of the game.

“I thought we bossed the first half, looked a good side and started like a hurricane. It was a dream start. If you’re ever going to play against a team two leagues above yourself, that’s the start you want.

“But we knew full well that Rotherham carry a serious sting in their tail.

“I’m gutted because we’ve thrown away a golden chance to play Hull City in the third round but we’ve conducted ourselves in a terrific manner.”

Rotherham boss Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“I’m relieved. We knew Solihull were going to be good. We’d prepared the team as well as we always do, we’d warned them about Solihull’s threat and physicality.

“They played really well but for the team to come back from 3-0 to 4-3 gives them great pride.

“We need to improve in a lot of areas, I don’t think we were at our best but the opposition were excellent.”

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