solihull moors vs woking

Photo credit: Phil Fiddes

Sunday 5 June sees the National League play-off final taking place between Solihull Moors and Grimsby Town. It’s a massive game that will determine who gets to play in the English Football League next season. The match kicks off at the London Stadium at 3pm and it’s sure to be a fitting end to another fine season in the National League.

Can Grimsby grab another dramatic win?

Grimsby Town go into Sunday’s game full of morale after two thrilling play-off victories over Wrexham and Notts County. It remains to be seen how the Mariners’ squad will physically cope after the two extra-time wins, but they’ll come out at the London Stadium with their heads held high.

The quarter-finals saw Grimsby put on an excellent performance to beat Notts County 2-1 away. Despite going behind early, Mitch Rose equalised for the Mariners before Jesse Hessenthaler sealed the victory with just two minutes left on the clock.

But there was even more drama in the semi-final where Grimsby won an incredible game away to Wrexham 5-4. The Mariners went ahead twice, but Wrexham just kept fighting back before Luke Waterfall scored his second and bagged Grimsby’s win in the 119th minute.

The Mariners will be desperate to return to the English Football League after finishing bottom of League Two last season. It was a bitter experience that saw Grimsby picking up just 10 points in a season played without their loyal fans. 

However, it has been the fans that have helped the Mariners in their thrilling play-off games and their efforts will be critical as Grimsby face their third play-off final in seven years. While Solihull managed to beat Grimsby in both games this season, it’s expected to be a much tighter game at the London Stadium.

Can Solihull hold their nerve?

Solihull Moors’ path to the play-off finals has been a little more straightforward. The team’s third-place finish in the National League table saw them earning a bye to the play-off semi-final where they comfortably beat Chesterfield 3-1. 

While Neal Ardley’s team had to come from behind thanks to an early and unlikely Chesterfield goal, they managed to produce the goods with goals from Andrew Robert Dallas, Alex Gudger and Callum Howe. 

It was a suitably dominating performance from Solihull who shrugged off doubts that the time off would leave them a little rusty for the big occasion. But with a record crowd cheering them on at Damson Park, it gave them the confidence they needed to get the result.

Solihull Moors have never played in the English Football League before, but Ardley has previous experience of National League play-offs with AFC Wimbledon in 2016 and even took them all the way to League One. But whether he can guide Solihull past a confident and battle-ready Grimsby Town this Sunday remains to be seen.

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