FA Cup 2nd qualifying round
Match report Vs Alvechurch 2 Kidderminster Harriers 2 (4-2 pens)Venue: Lye MeadowDate: 03-10-20Att: 445

Who cares about this meaningless FA Cup result? We do

Report: Harriershane

In the driving rain that was inevitable in this FA Cup fixture (insert cliche here), the 4-1 defeat of our hosts in pre-season was a distant memory. Of course, Harriers fans were not allowed in and it has to be said that, despite the idiotic rules, they didn’t miss much.

Yesterday’s new signings, Max Taylor (Manchester United) and Luke Simpson both started whilst Jim Kellerman, Cliff Moyo and Luke Maxwell were nowhere to be seen.

The Harriers’ new season was but three minutes old when they went a goal behind. Pretty much straight from the kick off, Alvechurch made headway down the left hand side before pulling the ball to Kieran Cook who turned home from eight yards out. The more things change, the more they stay the same? Admittedly this goal seemed to wake Harriers up as they tried to equalise as soon as possible; Omari Sterling-James diverting wide and Keith Lowe having an effort deflected the pick of the early efforts at responding.

At the midpoint of the half the Harriers had perhaps their most sustained period of pressure, forcing a succession of corners that were tipped over, headed away and defended with their collective lives by Alvechurch who managed to weather the storm. One felt that Harriers had to capitalise on this pressure and at last they did from, perhaps the most unlikeliest of sources, Sam Austin. Playing further forward he timed his run to perfection and met a sumptuous inswinging ball from Omari Sterling-James to poke past ex-Harrier Jono Brown in goal.

Both sides would try and find that chance they needed to enter into the break in the lead, but aside from midfield battles and keen personal battles being fought, half time saw the game at stalemate.

HT: 1 – 1

The second half started much like the first, with the battles taking place firmly in the middle of the park. The Harriers would fashion the odd set piece chance, including one where debutant Taylor would get booked for obstructing the goalkeepers’ clearance.

Just shy of the hour mark it was The Church who once again took the lead. Mitch Botfield’s teasing free kick was ideal for former Harrier Joe Hull to head past Simpson into the bottom corner to once again give the Southern League Central side something to defend.

The highly rated Jake Wakeling tested Simpson shortly after before Harriers struck back once again. Typical industrious play from Austin down the line saw the winger put a ball into the area which evaded everyone. Fortunately Ashley Hemmings arrived late on the scene to control the ball and fire a powerful low effort past Brown, who got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

With the game set at a “Desmond”, and twenty minutes to go, there was the faint hope that Harriers could win it, whilst those of a Church persuasion were probably more inclined to opt for the lottery of penalties. Although the hosts would ultimately get their wish they were indebted to Brown who smartly denied Austin who found himself one on one following intricate play between OS-J and Hemmings. Austins low strike was palmed away by Brown, falling to OS-J who found the angle against him and was forced to recycle the ball to no avail.

FT: 2 – 2

This season’s FA Cup games are all going straight to penalties if the game hasn’t been decided after ninety minutes, given the nature of the schedule and the late start to the season.

It would be the Harriers to kick first. Perhaps surprisingly, Alex Prosser assumed the responsibility of going first sending Brown the wrong way. Wakeling replied for Church before Hemmings made it 2-1.

Cook would convert his penalty before Amari Morgan-Smith and Keziah Martin both fired well over the bar. Isai Marsella, on especially for the shootout, made no mistake to give Church the advantage. They went on to convert the fourth and final penalty to secure their safe passage into the Third Qualifying Round of the Cup, whilst for Harriers, it’s another disappointing and humbling defeat to lower graded opposition.

Let’s not be disrespectful though, and congratulate the hosts on coming through what was a “proper” cup tie.

Penalties: 4 – 2

Goals for Alvechurch: Cook 3, Hull 57

Goals for Harriers: Austin 26, Hemmings 71

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ashley Hemmings

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Alvechurch Goals Subs Time Cards
M Birch   93  
J Birch        
Hamilton   93  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
M Taylor      
Austin 71  
Martin   71  
B Taylor        
Mr Darren Rogers