MATTY Blair bagged a brace as York City won through to the FA Trophy second round with a 3-0 replay victory at Solihull Moors last night.
Captain Chris Smith had earlier opened the scoring for the Minstermen, who will now travel to Salisbury for their next Trophy tie on Saturday, January 14.
City made a couple of changes to the team that started Saturday’s 2-2 draw between the two sides at Bootham Crescent.
Daniel Parslow and Smith both earned recalls with Danny Pilkington and Andre Boucaud dropping to the bench.
Former Wales Under-21 international Parslow was assigned with a containing job on one-time, £3 million man Lee Morris while Smith lined up in a midfield holding role, as City manager Gary Mills switched to a 3-5-2 formation.
Solihull, meanwhile, lost skipper Phil Midworth during the pre-match warm-up when he learned that his wife had gone into labour.
Kicking off next door to Birmingham Airport, the visitors made a flying start to the match with Blair forcing a good save from goalkeeper Jasbir Singh after charging through the left channel with just 15 seconds having elapsed.
City then forged ahead on 11 minutes when Scott Kerr’s cross from the left flank picked out Smith on the far post.
The unmarked Minstermen skipper went on to show admirable composure, taking the ball on his chest before spinning and aiming an eight-yard effort into Singh’s bottom right-hand corner.
Blair was strecthing the Solihull back four from left to right as he covered every blade of grass in the final third as Jason Walker’s striking partner and he flashed a 26th-minute shot across the face of goal from an acute angle.
At the other end, the hosts mustered their first goal attempt on 32 minutes but Gavin Hurren’s ambitious free-kick was more of a threat to a passing 747 than Michael Ingham’s goal.
Nimble footwork by Jordan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, took him to the edge of the visitors’ penalty box but his lob was grabbed out of the air by Ingham.
The half then came to a close when Richard Walker’s pitiful 30-yard effort trickled wide.
A failure to one of Damson Park’s eight floodlights caused a lengthy delay to the start of the second half before referee Robert Whitton decided there was sufficient light to carry on.
James Meredith went close within a minute of the restart, sending a flashing drive across the face of goal after raiding down the dimly-lit left flank.
After Jason Walker had shot over from 20 yards, Blair then doubled the visitors’ advantage on 61 minutes.
The former Kidderminster winger sprinted on to an excellent 70-yard diagonal pass by Paddy Mclaughlin from the right-back position and then prodded the ball past an outrushing Singh just inside the penalty box.
At the other end, Fitzpatrick volleyed over and shot wide from ten yards in quick succession before Blair put the outcome beyond doubt on 77 minutes in terrific style.
Meredith’s cross from the left was cleared but Blair adjusted his body to volley into Singh’s top right-hand corner 15 yards from goal.
Substitute Pilkington should have added a fourth in injury time but took a heavy touch in front of goal following Walker’s left-wing cross.
Solihull Moors 0, York City 3 (Smith 11, Blair 62, 77)
York City: Michael Ingham 7, Daniel Parslow 8, David McGurk 8, Jamal Fyfield 7, Jon Challinor 7, Chris Smith 8, Scott Kerr 7, Paddy McLaughlin 8, James Meredith 8, Matty Blair 9, Jason Walker 7.
Subs: Adriano Moké (for Blair 82) Daniel Pilkington (for McLaughlin 87).
Not used: Moses Ashikodi, Michael Potts, Andre Boucaud.
Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.
City’s star man: Matty Blair – another performance full of energy and endeavour.
Solihull: Jasbir Singh, David Karonji, Stuart Pierpoint (Karl Broadhurst 85), Danny Spencer, Andre Francis, Jordan Fitzpatrick, Gavin Hurren, Michael Blackwood, Simon Johnson, Lee Morris (Steve Jackson 77), Richard Walker (Ryan Beswick 70).
Subs not used: Darren Acton, Craig Hinton.
Booked: McGurk 24, Meredith 32, Parslow 59, Hurren 65, Smith 90.
Shots on target: Moors 2, City 5. Shots off target: Moors 5, City 5.
Corners: Moors 1, City 4.
Fouls conceded: Moors 14, City 12.
Offsides: Moors 0, City 2.
Referee: Robert Whitton (Essex).
Attendance: Not supplied.