AFC SOLIHULL got their Bank Holiday weekend double header off to the worst possible start after being dumped out the Midland League Challenge Vase on penalties by Leamington Hibernian.
Having made five changes to the line-up which beat Alcester Town 3-2 in midweek, manager Simon James was clearly prioritising league matters but still expected his squad to progress in Saturday’s tie.
The much-changed Solihull line up had an abundance of chances in the first half but it was Hibs who took the lead just before half time through Emmanuel Atugo.
Solihull continued to attack Hibs and hit the woodwork on four occasions.
However, the equaliser eventually came from the penalty spot courtesy of in-form Jon Hamer.
Hibs dug in and held on, with the match going straight to penalties after full time.
Solihull skipper Tom Reynolds stepped up first and saw his effort saved and when Hamer put his penalty wide Hibs took the opportunity to win the shoot-out, dumping Solihull out of the cup.
Solihull had the chance to rectify that result just two days later as they travelled to Shipston Excelsior on Bank Holiday Monday.
Striker Andy Matthews was one of several returning faces rotated for the cup game and he opened the scoring with a strong burst through the middle and neat low finish.
Solihull dominated large chunks of the game but Shipston were competitive and physical, and in the last minute of the first half they equalised.
A long ball played in behind the Solihull defence was latched on to by Shaye Eden who finished smartly, changing the outlook of the game at half time.
Solihull stepped it up a gear in the second half and had a number of chances with Matthews having a goal harshly disallowed for offside and strike partner Hamer hitting the side netting on two occasions.
The breakthrough eventually came when Solihull earned a free-kick 35 yards from goal, seemingly too far from goal to be a danger.
However, Hamer stepped up and curled an inch-perfect effort over the wall and into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance and scoring for the third game in a row.
The game was made safe shortly after when substitute Jake Whitehouse smashed a low drive into the far corner giving Solihull a 3-1 victory and maintaining their 100 per cent start to the new Midland League Division Three season.
AFC Solihull make the trip to WLV Sport tomorrow (Saturday).