Date: 06-08-22 Match preview Vs Blyth Spartans Venue: Croft Park Kick off: 15:00hrs

05-08-22. Match preview Vs Blyth Spartans

Preview: Phil Lench

The Harriers will have a long way to go in the search for their first three points of the new season. We were given a long trip to Blyth Spartans when the fixtures were announced a month ago and it’s a trip that is probably better out of the way in a warm, sunny August than a cold, dank February.

Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne
Harriers marquee signing

With a largely new squad of players to see there should be a good, healthy following off to the Northern suburbs of Newcastle to see the Reds.

A few days ago we added what is seemingly the final player to the team when Ben Margetson signed up following his impressive performances as Trialist A during the pre-season. The young Welsh born defender will have to fight for a starting place along with around six others in contention. Now if he had been a striker it would have made more sense with us only having two recognised centre forwards (one of which is injured) in Ethan Freemantle and Amari Morgan-Smith.

AMS has followed his usual trend of missing out at the start of the season for the past three seasons now. In the past it was due to a carry over of red cards etc but this time it’s an unknown injury and accordingly he’s a few weeks from returning although he is back in light training. Alex Penny is another that’ll miss the start and that’s due to a minor spinal fracture that he’s being treated for. That’s all going well but he’ll still be out a little longer.

We have no other known injuries so it’s all looking good in the camp.

As mentioned we do have a lot of new faces in addition to Ben. Starting from the back we have Nathaniel Knight-Percival alongside Krystian Pearce and Tom Leak while Joe Foulkes returns to the club for his second season with us (why don’t we just buy him?). In midfield we have a host of new bodies with Shane Byrne being the stand out. I big coup for Russ Penn and the club there. Alongside him we have Nathan Lowe, Zak Brown, Tom Owen-Evans while Gabby Rogers and Yusifu Ceesay play out a bit wider.

2022-23 season shirt
Modelling the new shirts (click)

Most of those will start the game tomorrow in front of the new number one keeper Tom Palmer. Jamie Emery will be the new back up keeper.

Blyth are also looking good with a good supply of new faces in their team. The legend that was Robbie Dale has finally hung his boots up (we think) and, like us, they had a fair few departures but theirs came at the end of a disappointing season, unlike ours. They still have a small squad though and could still strengthen before tomorrow.

Their only injury doubt is Josh Gillies who is on his way back to fitness following a knee injury.

We, at long last, will be showing off our new kit and the good news is that the half & half shirts are back. Early images show it to look pretty good and they have to be following last seasons bulk buy Matalan T-Shirts. I can see these flying off the shelf so let’s hope that they’re reasonably priced.

So we go into the new season suitably suited and booted with great expectancy from the club, the fans and non-league football in general. The forecast is that we should be running away with the title, along with that team from west of Preston, but we know how hard it is to get out of this level and how it comes back to bite yer bum. Hard work and team work is the way to help us get there along with the fans behind us 100% of the way.

Watch out Blyth, and the National League, we’re coming!!!

Photo © KHFC


Harriers from:

Palmer, Emery, Penny, Richards, Knight-Percival, Foulkes, Pearce, Margetson, Lowe, Bastable, Leak, Lissimore, Byrne, Brown, Owen-Evans, Rogers, Martin, Freemantle, Tolley, Hemmings, Morgan-Smith, Ceesay.

Blyth Spartans from:

Mitchell, Evans, Liddle, Nicholson, Buddle, Lees, Richardson, Hickey, McNall, O’Donnell, McKeown, Gillies, Fishburn, Elsdon, Deverdics, Dopson, Cornish, Barlow.

Referee: Ms Helen Conley. Bishops Auckland

Talk about the game here

Links to Blyth Spartans websites here

Find Pubs around Kidderminster here

Previous games against Blyth Spartans
Played: 11Won: 6Drew: 3Lost: 2
Results marked (v) are for information only following the season being made null & void in 2021 due to the pandemic
Date H/A Comp: Score Goals Att: (away)
23-04-2022 A Vanarama North 1 – 1 Morgan-Smith 671 (50)
21-08-2021 H Vanarama North 3 – 0  Freemantle, Austin, Hemmings 1462 (47)
31-10-2020 H Vanarama North 2 – 0 (v) Hemmings, Taylor 0000
04-01-2020 H Vanarama North 0 – 1   1532 (35)
07-09-2019 A Vanarama North 1 – 1 Prosser 796 (50)
23-02-2019 A Vanarama North 3 – 3 Horsfall, Ironside, Williams 705 (50)
08-09-2018 H Vanarama North 3 – 1 Chambers, Horsfall, Williams 1570 (27)
07-04-2018 A Vanarama North 1 – 2 Croasdale, Sonupè 738 (100)
23-09-2017 H Vanarama North 5 – 4 Brown, Pearson 2, Sonupè, Wright 1524 (71)
25-10-1997 A FA Cup 4th qual rd 2 – 1 Casey 656
06-02-1982 H FA Trophy 2nd rd 2 – 1 Mullen 2 1182