Solihull Moors 3-3 Notts County (National League) 08.03.22
Notts County were held to just a point once again this past Tuesday evening, as the Magpies drew 3-3 away to play-off rivals Solihull Moors.
The hosts were awarded a spot-kick just six minutes beyond the beginning of the game. An attacking phase of play from Solihull Moors concluded with the ball striking the extended arm of Adam Chicksen’s, forcing the referee to point to the spot. Up stepped Andrew Dallas, the clubs’ current leading top goal scorer, to strike the ball hard down the middle of the Magpies goal for the opener.
Following the opener, the visitors found their equaliser just eleven minutes later. After absorbing all the early pressure, Ian Burchnall’s side managed to register a sequence of attacks themselves. During this passage of play, the ball landed at the feet of Ruben Rodrigues, who latched on to a fierce pass to fire into the bottom corner to draw his side level.
The Magpies had a golden opportunity to take the lead within a minute of levelling the game. Notts caught their opponents off guard within their own half leading to a break-away down the left-hand side, in which found its way inside and in the path of Zak Brunt. However, the 20-year-old’s powerful, close-range effort cannoned back off the post and was cleared away by a retrieving Moors defender.
The game then hit its most controversial stage of the first half. A race to a loose ball between Andy Dallas and Vitezslav Jaros resulted in the Czech goalkeeper bundling over the forward whilst winning the ball cleanly. However, the referee initially awarded another penalty to Neal Ardley’s side. Fortunately for the Magpies, after discussions with his assistant, the referee overturned his decision and awarded the visitors a free kick.
That was as good as it got for the first half, as both sides returned to the field with plenty still to play for and it was ultimately a question of who wanted it more. Well, Notts County seemed to have given their answer to that question eleven minutes after the restart when they took a deserved lead. A well-worked set-piece routine saw recent hero Alex Lacey once again leap highest to nod the ball beyond Ryan Boot and into the back of the Solihull Moors goal to send his side in front.
Neal Ardley demanded an instant response from his side from the touchline and got what he asked for fifteen minutes later. A lapse in concentration across a tired Notts County defensive line saw Andy Dallas breakthrough to go virtually one v one against Jaros. Likewise, earlier on in the game, the Scottish forward beat the Czech shot-stopper for the second time on the night to level the game at 2-2.
Remarkably, as the game returned to level terms, the Magpies restored their lead yet again two minutes later. Another typical free-flowing attack from the boys in green shirts resulted in Ruben Rodrigues finding himself in on goal with just Ryan Boot in his way. The Portuguese midfielder effortlessly rolled the ball beyond the goalkeeper, off the post and into the back of the net and wheeled away to celebrate in the far corner with the travelling faithful behind the goal.
Relief swarmed from the away end as the Notts supporters believed their side had done enough to merit a narrow victory. However, just four minutes from full-time, the hosts dramatically found another equaliser. A phase in play for Ardley’s men seemed to have fizzled out dropping to Ryan Barnett on the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder took a slight touch out of his feet and sent a darted strike towards goal. The shot gained more speed as it travelled and was too hot to handle for Jaros who in truth was beaten with ease as the Moors equalised again for the second time on the night.
Another twist to add to the many already transpired in the Vanarama National League picture as both sides remain in the same positions, they began the evening in despite Notts county climbing as high as fifth on more than one occasion. After ninety minutes of every other than solid defensive displays, the referee’s final whistle sounded.
The game finished Solihull Moors 3-3 Notts County.
Solihull Moors: Boot, Boyes, Clarke, Ellis, Gudger, Maycock, Osborne, Sbarra, Storer (Hudlin 62), Dallas, Barnett.
Notts County: Jaros, Chicksen, Lacey, Rawlinson, Kelly-Evans (Taylor 79), Francis, Brunt, Vincent (Nemane 64), Roberts, Rodrigues, Wootton.
Venue: Damson Park (2,120)
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC a thrilling game as Kyle Wootton battles for the ball.