FA Cup 4th round
Match preview Vs West Ham Utd Venue: Aggborough Date: 05-02-22 Kick off: 12:30hrs

04-02-22 - Preview - FA Cup 4th rd - Kidderminster Harriers Vs West Ham Utd

Preview: Phil Lench

The eyes of the world will be on Aggborough, and Kidderminster Harriers, tomorrow when our 4th round FA Cup game against West Ham Utd is televised for everyone to see. Because of that we need to turn in a performance that will get people talking. Admittedly, against a team of West Hams stature, it would be a miracle if we won but if we did wouldn’t that get the world talking?

This game is our reward for putting paid to Readings hopes in the previous round and that was just one of six games on our 2021-22 FA Cup journey. Sporting Khalsa, Ware FC, Bedfont Sports, Grimsby Town and FC Halifax Town have all fallen by the way in our march towards this dream game but hopefully it won’t be the end. The chance to test themselves against a footballing giant and players of international stature is what all lower level footballers dream of and cherish those memories for ever. To actually win would be the icing on the cherry or summat like that.

Nathan Cameron fist pumps after the win against Reading
Nathan Cameron fist pumps after the win against Reading
Mark Carrington about to take off after the Reading game
Mark Carrington about to take off after the Reading game
The Harriers celebrate the win against Reading
The Harriers celebrate the win against Reading

Of course it isn’t the first time that we’ve played West Ham in the FA Cup. That first came about in February 1994 when we came together in the 5th round and back then, as like tomorrow, it was our reward for beating Birmingham City at St Andrews in the 3rd round and then Preston North End in the next round, a Preston side that had a certain David Moyes playing for them. He’ll turn up tomorrow again but this time he’ll be managing his team from the dugout.

Another link to this game from twenty eight years ago is that the West Ham owners comprise Karren Brady, David Gold and David Sullivan. All involved in Birmingham City when Jon Purdie scored that legendary goal to put paid to their hopes. I doubt very much they’ll be at the game.

West Hams FA Cup journey, by comparison, has been very short having only played one game so far. That was at home to Leeds Utd in a game that they won 2-0 with the goals coming from Manuel Lanzini and the former Hereford Utd player, and one time signing target for the Harriers, Jarrod Bowen.

It’s thought that they’ll possibly play a weakened (ie. not 1st team regulars) side against us but that side would still be full of well known names. It’s very doubtful that Michail Antonio would play due to him being on international duty with Jamaica while Angelo Ogbonna has been out injured with an ACL for a while now with no sign of his return just yet. We’ll possibly see Mark Noble though with it being his last season with the club before retirement and he’d love to have our scalp tucked into his belt.

We will possibly be without the services of Keziah Martin, out with a knee injury, and it’s unlikely he’ll even make the bench. Ethan Freemantle is another with a question mark over his head and his chances of recovering fully from the hamstring injury picked up at Hereford FC a few weeks ago might also see him missing but with an outside chance of warming the bench just in case. Joe Foulkes is another in the first aid room following the clattering he got at Kettering Town two weeks ago. Again it’s touch and go.

There has been plenty of media attention around the club this week and also with the fans. Russ Penn has had a ‘diary’ on the BBC website all week while players like Freemantle and Sam Austin have been involved in podcasts and suchlike. Even yours truly has done a stint on a German TV channel that, thankfully, will only be seen in Germany unless it gets chucked into the circular filing cabinet. Harriershane has also been doing stuff for the BBC and Talksport this week. Heady times.

Jarrod Bowen celebrates his goal against Leeds in the FA Cup
Jarrod Bowen celebrates his goal against Leeds in the FA Cup
Manuel Lanzini pleased with his goal against Leeds Utd
Manuel Lanzini pleased with his goal against Leeds Utd
David Moyes celebrates the win against Leeds
David Moyes celebrates the win against Leeds

The game itself was sold out within a few days although some aspects of the selling process have disappointed many long time Harriers fans. I saw yesterday on Facebook one so called fan bragging that he had got tickets even though the last time he saw the Harriers play was at Sunderland in the FA Cup six years ago. Not really the kind of fan that any club wants.

It’s to be hoped that with the stadium packed to the rafters then the policing/stewarding will have been much improved since the Reading game. We don’t want those pitch invasion and flare/bottle throwing scenes at this game, or at any other teams games.

For those of us, both of a Harriers and a West Ham persuasion, then have a great day, enjoy the game and go home safe and happy with what you have seen. We just have to cross fingers that the happy ones don’t have too far to go home.

Photo © various sources


Harriers from:

Simpson, Emery, Richards, Cameron, Foulkes, Moyo, Penny, Preston, Bajrami, Lowe, Austin, Redmond, Lissimore, Montrose, Carrington, Martin, Freemantle, Bastable, Tolley, Hemmings, Morgan-Smith, White, Sterling-James.

West Ham Utd from:

Goalkeepers: Fabianski, Areola, Martin, Randolph. Defenders: Cresswell, Zouma, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson, Alese, Ashby, Longelo, Baptiste. Midfield: Fornals, Lanzini, Vlasic, Noble, Soucek, Kral, Oko-Flex, Rice, Ekwah, Chesters, Forson, Potts. Forwards: Yarmolenko, Antonio, Bowen, Benrahma, Perkins.

Referee: Mr Jonathon Moss. Leeds

Talk about the game here

Links to West Ham Utd websites here

Find Pubs around Kidderminster here

Previous games against West Ham Utd
Played: 1Won: 0Drew: 0Lost: 1
Date H/A Comp: Score Goals Att: (away)
19-02-1994 H FA Cup 5th rd 0 – 1   7850