Hemel Town’s journey in the FA Trophy was ended at Vauxhall Road last night (Tuesday) after higher-league Solihull Moors triumphed 5-0 in a scoreline that flattered the visitors.
Moors, riding high in third place in the National League, sealed their progression into the quarter-finals, where they will host Telford United, but Tudors’ fans can feel somewhat aggrieved that they didn’t at least get a goal for their efforts.
The match had been re-scheduled from Saturday after snow and ice forced a postponement.
Terry Hawkridge notched his first goal for Moors, while Adi Yussuf netted either side of the break and Jermaine Hylton added two more late on.
The Moors made a fast start on six minutes when Jamie Reckord’s deep cross was met by an unmarked Hawkridge at the back post, who fired into the back of the net.
Reckord looked to turn provider for a second time when he crossed for Danny Wright, but the header from the front man was straight at Hemel keeper Laurie Walker.
Wright then thought he’d made it 2-0, but the linesman’s flag denied him after he flicked home Harry Flowers’ header back across goal.
It then took a last-ditch block from Alex Gudger as the Tudors caught Moors on the break. Herschel Sanchez Watt played in Jack Snelus, but Gudger was there to block the strike and send the ball out for a corner.
Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes whipped in a dangerous in-swinging free-kick minutes later which evaded everyone at the back post and unluckily sailed out for a goal kick.
Moors were under pressure again when Watt tested stopper Ryan Boot with a shot that the keeper had to parry wide.
And Watt so nearly levelled for Hemel when he met a cross in the middle and Moors had the post to thank as his header agonisingly bounced off the woodwork and away.
After weathering that storm, Solihull were awarded a penalty on 41 minutes after Nathan Blissett was brought down by Scott Shulton. Yussuf stepped up and smashed it high into the net to double the lead.
Kyle Storer had to make a fantastic late challenge to thwart Watt as the hosts thought they were deserved of their own spot-kick, but the referee was unmoved.
The visitors began the second-half in search of a third and they almost got it when Luke Maxwell’s cross found Gudger, who slid in and fired high and wide.
The game was made safe when Yussuf grabbed his second and Moors’ third on 64 minutes. Hawkridge slotted in the striker who drilled his shot low and underneath Walker.
Hemel came close to pulling a goal back when a Parkes set-piece was met by the head of Steve Cawley, but he skewed his effort wide.
Substitute Hylton got in on the act when Solihull broke with Blissett who played in Yussuf, before letting it run for Hylton to steady himself and poke into the corner of the net for 4-0 on 80 minutes.
But the visitors weren’t done yet and neither was Hylton on 86 minutes. Darren Carter’s corner found Hylton unmarked in the middle and he made no mistake, nodding in from a few yards out.
Hemel boss Joe Deeney will now have to lift his troops when they return to National League South duty this Saturday with a trip to 11th-placed Chippenham Town.