Match preview Vs Chorley FCDate: 05-08-17Venue: AggboroughKick off: 15:00hrs

Harriers Vs Chorley FC - Preview - 4th August 2017

And with that short close season we’re back to where we finished off last season with Chorley arriving on opening day. You’d wonder if it was worth them going home.

Yes, it’s only a few months since that dreadful game in May that saw the Harriers dream of a quick return to normality dashed in one of the most insipid displays seen at Aggborough all season. We had gone into second leg of the play-offs with our tails up thanks to a marvellous Arthur Gnahoua goal at Chorley a few days previous to give us a narrow 1-0 lead and everything to play for.

Except we didn’t!

We huffed and puffed and got precisely nowhere against a Chorley side that came to defend while breaking up our attacks with dubious tactics. Then break away and score. They did that twice and we were out, rubbing our eyes in dis-belief.

Arthur Gnahoua
Arthur Gnahoua

What goes round, comes around and they got their comeuppance at FC Halifax a week later to remain firmly in this division and give us the early chance to put wrongs right after being matched together for the very first game in the announcement of the fixtures at the start of July.

We’ll have to do it with a load of new faces in the team after most of last seasons crew moved on to ‘better’ things. Three of them jumped ship to AFC Fylde hoping things might be greener in bleak Blackpool while others turned down the chance to play for us and looked for better options elsewhere. Out went Jordan Tunnicliffe, Josh Ezewele and Zaine Francis-Angol all to Fylde while Keith Lowe and Jared Hodgkiss joined Macclesfield Town. Tyrell Waite went to join the Adam Murray tea party at Boston and Mani Dieseruvwe went to try his luck at FC Utd of Manchester.

Ashley Carter, Darryl Knights, James Hancocks and George Forsyth were all deemed to be surplus to requirements but the biggest loss of all is undoubtedly going to be Arthur Gnahoua (right). He is, realistically, the only one of that fine side that has truthfully bettered himself by joining League One side Shrewsbury Town. It’s just a pity that we didn’t get a penny for him.

So tomorrows game will kick off with a new look to the side. Starting from the back we’ll have a new keeper in Brandon Hall while other new faces in front of him could be Josh Webb, Liam Daly and Cieron Keane but not Lee Vaughan who will be out injured until November. In the middle of the park we’ll have Declan Weeks, Emmanuel Sonupè and Jean-Michel Joachim while up front we’ll have, err, no one new.

Basically we haven’t replaced Gnahoua yet and will be asking Elton N’Gwatala, Joe Ironside and Daniel Nti to supply the goals that they didn’t last season.

Elton is the one we’ll be expecting more from to better his tally of eight goals last season. We know he’s capable of it but his dithering on the edge of the box does him no favours at all. He’ll also have the worry of his shoulder to contend with but that has been operated on so should now be ok.

The other one that would like to score more goals is Joe Ironside and we know that given the right service he can score freely but it’s that lack of service that is the worrying aspect. It’s to be hoped that John Eustace and Matt Gardiner have addressed that with the signings of two new widemen – Joachim and Sonupè.

Chorley come to us with very few changes to the team we faced in May. Two fringe players have left the club and the only real signing is striker Terry Gornell who was released from Accrington Stanley in May.

Possibly returning to the club that he left a year ago for Stockport County is Courtney Meppen-Walter. He played in their friendly at home to Wrexham last week but the club haven’t said whether or not he is actually re-joining them yet. In fact the club never say much anyway.

So there we have it. The first preview of the new season and it’s like we’ve never been away.

Photo © KHFC


Harriers from:

Hall, J Brown, Webb, Williams, Digie, Daly, Keane, Clarke, Croasdale, Joachim, Truslove, Weeks, Austin, A Brown, Sonupè, McQuilkin, N’Gwatala, Ironside, Nti.

Chorley  from: 

Ashton, Branagan, Urwin, Awe, Azam, Blakeman, Beesley, Bullock, Carver, Challoner, Charnock, Cotterell, Gornell, Jordan, Jarvis, Leather, Likoy-Elumba, Meppen-Walter, O’Keefe, Phillips, Roscoe, Teague, Walker, Wilson, Witham. 

Talk about the game here and phone the Harriers Hotline on 01905 577 777 after the game too.

Links to Chorley FC websites here

Find Pubs around Kidderminster here

Previous games against Chorley FC
Date H/A Comp: Score Goals Att: (away)
07-05-2017 H Vanarama North PO SF 2nd leg 0 – 2   3407 (342)
03-05-2017 A Vanarama North PO SF 1st leg 0 – 1 Gnahoua 2487 (400)
18-02-2017 A Vanarama North 2 – 1 A Brown 1242 (100)
13-08-2016 H Vanarama North 0 – 0   1339 (84)
10-02-1990 A Vauxhall Conference 1 – 0   615
30-09-1989 H Vauxhall Conference 3 – 1 Casey 2, Forsyth 1725
01-04-1989 A Vauxhall Conference 1 – 3 Davies, Bancroft, Own goal 712
03-09-1988 H Vauxhall Conference 0 – 2   1321