Terry McPhillips says last night’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Solihull Moors was a true test of character, as The Seasiders recorded a 3-2 victory in extra-time.
Having taken a two-goal lead inside 30 minutes, the direct and physical approach of the club’s Vanarama National League opponents asked many questions of the side, especially when the game was pegged back to 2-2.
“Solihull have given us two of the hardest games we’ve had all season, no doubt,” the manager admitted. “They put it on you, they stick it on you and we were never comfortable, ever.
“We went two up, which was good, but they kept asking questions and it was a physical game against them, which we knew. They stick it in the box and get the goal back and then obviously got the next goal in the second-half to make it 2-2 and were the better team.
“But our lads, you saw the true character – there was no way they were going to score and they were getting blocks in. We can play better, but you’ve got to give credit to Solihull for the way they go about it. It was a hell of a game for the tele.”
Once extra-time approached, it was The Seasiders who looked the sharper and regained command of the game against a few tired Solihull bodies.
“Their lads were cramping up towards the end of the game and I was happy to hear the whistle after 90 minutes to go to extra-time. I did fancy us then in extra-time, just for that reason, a bit of fatigue,” McPhillips said.
“I thought we would be physically better, and I thought we were because we did do better than them in extra-time.
“We did get a bit of luck as well, it might have been a pen, it might not have been a pen, but Jay had the nerve to go and take it and smash it in the net.”