On a blustery and showery late October afternoon, for the first time in a number of seasons, Kidderminster Harriers paid a visit to Cemetery Road, Bradford for their first cup game of the 2013/14 season.
Harriers were still beset with a number of injuries. Chey Dunkley was still out with his knee problem, although having discussed it with him prior to the game he explained that he taken a good part in the training session on the preceding Thursday. Mickey Demetriou was also still absent with his broken wrist and surprisingly there was no sign of Michael Gash. On the bench for the first time for a number of games was Jamie Tolley.
The conditions were clearly going to be very testing. A squally wind blowing down the pitch, frequent heavy showers and a surface reflecting the 'Park' element in the Bradford team's name were not going to help the quality of the football. Long grass with a number of large divots was clearly evident even before the game started.
Harriers began the brighter of the two sides - taking advantage of the strong wind before either team could properly get used to the conditions. After four minutes Lee Vaughan shot wide when in a good position and a couple of minutes later skipper Kyle Storer blazed over.
After about ten minutes of play however, Bradford came back into the game strongly. A curling low effort from the home side's Nick Boshell edged wide and the hosts then followed that up with a number of successive corner kicks.
On seventeen minutes, probably the best chance of the game to that point fell to Bradford's Paul Walker who shot low and hard at the Carpetmen's goal, but Danny Lewis saved well.
Then after twenty six minutes the home side struck. A break down the left flank saw Alex Davidson unmarked on the edge of the Harriers' area as he calmly curled a chip past a helpless Danny Lewis and into the corner of the net. Davidson was probably given too much time and space by Josh Gowling who stood back off him instead of marking him tighter and closing him down. It wasn't really the ex Lincoln man's day - not the conditions he had been used to when playing in the football league.
Going one down seemed to reinvigorate the men from Aggborough. On twenty nine minutes Amari Morgan-Smith had a shot blocked and a few moments later Kyle Storer blasted another shot over the bar. Throughout the game Storer was trying to emulate his screamer from the previous week's match against Lincoln City.
Then the equalising goal came. A great in-swinging corner from Joe Lolley, bent to take advantage of the wind, did exactly as intended and Jack Byrne met it with a firm header to bring Harriers level. Byrne was left unmarked by the Avenue defence and took full advantage.
As half time beckoned the game became more end to end and all square at half time was probably a fair reflection