Date: 12-09-20Harriers turn in a ‘Rousling’ performanceReport: Harriershane

12-09-20 - Friendly - Harriers turn in a 'Rousling' performance

Those of us with a good memory may recall this was a fixture that took place last pre-season at Aggborough, ending in a highly competitive goalless draw. This time around, in the Bromsgrove sun, with a maximum capacity of 600 in a wholly different world, we witnessed a high scoring thriller in which Harriers would ultimately triumph.

Participants in the “Guess the Trialist” game would have some content, with the Harriers starting two of them in the first half. Also starting were Tom Palmer, Jaiden White and Ethan Freemantle in what appeared to be a mixed first eleven.

It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken – four minutes in fact – and it was Jaiden White who got the goal, bending a fine effort into the far corner from the edge of the box. Not one to rest on their laurels, Harriers doubled the lead just two minutes later. Some fine wingplay saw the ball whipped across the box where Ethan Freemantle was waiting to tap home from a couple of yards out to make it a double for Harriers Academy Graduates.

Aram Soleman then fired a free kick over for the hosts before Harriers were denied a penalty when the busy Freemantle was bundled over in the area.

Without there being fifteen minutes on the clock we saw the third goal of the game, this time going the way of the hosts. It was a familiar story for Harriers as they failed to defend a corner which was duly turned home by Nathan Hayward after the ball was fizzed into him. Harriers may be disappointed to be beaten at the near post from another set piece at this stage.

The offensive impetus never relented with both sides looking for more goals and it was the Harriers who struck again. A hopeful ball was chased down by Freemantle who executed a perfect slide tackle on the Sporting goalkeeper on the edge of the box, winning the ball, which presented him with the opportunity to roll the ball into an empty net.

In the final fifteen minutes of the half Freemantle would be denied his hat trick before the hosts pulled back to within one; Miro Pais firing home from a couple of yards after a couple of goalmouth blocks from Alex Penny.

HT: 2 – 3

Pais would threaten again early in the second half, firing wide but having generally looked lively throughout. For the Harriers,  sub Amari Morgan-Smith linked up well with Omari Sterling-James who fired over.

Perhaps to be expected the second half was a far more sedate affair as both sides made changes but it would burst into life soon enough. Indeed, there were still more goals in this game and Harriers struck their 4th with just over twenty minutes to go. Once again industrious wing play created the goal with Morgan-Smith putting the ball across goal for an arriving White to double his tally for the day.

That’s not the last of the action though as Harriers would then concede a penalty following a trialist’s trip on a Sporting forward. The penalty itself though was poor, high and wide without ever threatening to worry Tom Palmer.

If Harriers thought that was a crisis averted they were sorely mistaken as barely a minute later Sporting pulled back to within one once again; Charlie Dowd turning the ball in after Nathan Hayward had seen his effort blocked. As expected Sporting would search for the equaliser, with Palmer denying a Tommy Taylor headed attempt, but it would be Harriers who would emerge the victors in this entertaining friendly in front of a healthy crowd of 457.

FT: 3 – 4