Quakers advance into the second round, home to Harrogate Saturday
Darlington 1 Solihull Moors 0
Holness 74 mins, 1-0
A superb 74th minute winner by Omar Holness put hard working Quakers into the second round of the FA Trophy on a night to remember at Blackwell Meadows.
Quakers gave everything throughout the game, especially when they ahd to hang on under strong pressure right at the end, and they thoroughly deserved the standing ovation they received from the fans at the final whistle.
It wasn't the prettiest of games because Quakers had to deal with plenty of long balls, but the home side threatened on several occasions, and for sheer guts and perseverance, deserved to go through to the second round in which they'll play Harrogate at Blackwell Meadows on Saturday -- a game which will be played to a finish, with extra time and penalties, plus the same admission prices as Wednesday.
Omar Holness received the plaudits for his goal, but keeper Chris Elliott was rightly voted man of the match for his performance, particularly in the first half.
Quakers had a half chance in the second minute, when Will Hatfield found Justin Donawa on the right, and the winger crossed low for Hatfield, in full flight, to volley over the top.
Darlington keeper Chris Elliott pushed an inswinging corner by Darren Carter over his crossbar after Solihull sent their tall players up for the setpiece. Will Storey also put in good header to clear a right wing cross by Hawkridge.
Solihull created another chance when Hawkridge did well to cross from the right for Beesley to head over.
Beesley headed another chance straight at Elliott as Solihull found space with their quick balls forward.
Elliott pulled off an excellent save on 25 minutes when Carter crossed for McCallum to head towards goal, and Elliott did well to throw himself to his left and push the ball away at full stretch.
Quakers missed a great chance on 32 minutes when Adam Campbell spotted Rivers running through the middle unmarked and played the ball into his path, but Rivers fired straight at Ryan Boot.
And Quakers had another chance on 42 minutes when Hatfield set up Stephen Thompson to hit a blistering right foot shot that Boot just managed to palm away.
Just on half time, McCallum headed a left wing corner wide of the post from six yards when he should have got his effort on target.
Half time 0-0
In the second half, Quakers defended better and didn't allow Solihull any openings, or the opportunity to put a high ball into the box.
Quakers kept plugging away, and Ben Hedley nearly scored on 58 minutes when his forward pass into the area was blocked, but the ball came back to him and he hit a left foot shot that Boot saved.
Quakers took the lead on 74 minutes. Omar Holness played the ball out to the left to Jarrett Rivers, who played the ball inside to Hatfield.
The midfielder’s shot was charged down on the edge of the box, but the ball ran to the left for the supporting Holness to sidefoot past Boot from a tight angle, his fourth of the season.
Campbell then nearly made it 2-0, a left foot shot on the turn that Boot just managed to hold on to.
The crowd were really behind Quakers at this point, cheering every clearance out of the Darlington penalty area, and keeping the players going.
Donawa then quickly broke and set up Campbell to cross for Thompson to head into the keeper’s hands.
But Solihull nearly levelled with a header by McCallum that came back off the bar with Elliott unable to reach it.
In a nervous finish, Solihull pushed everyone up, and Nathan Blissett headed into Elliott’s hands from six yards out, then Elliott pulled off a one-handed save from Howe to his left.
But Quakers held on, and will now play another National League club Harrogate Town, in the second round on Saturday.
Final: Darlington 1 Solihull 0
Quakers are at home to Harrogate Saturday
Elliott, Hedley, Liddle, Holness, Laing, Storey, Rivers, Hatfield, Campbell, Donawa, Thompson
Subs: Watsson, Hall, Atkinson, Galbraith, Bascome, Bell, Lambert
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer, Gudger, Carter, McCallum, Hawkridge, Vaughan, Howe, Beesley
Subs: Rowley, Blissett, Wright