FA Trophy 2nd rd
Match report Vs Stockport CountyVenue: AggboroughDate: 13-01-18Att: 1348 (away fans: 190)

13-01-18 - Report - Harriers 2 Stockport County 2

Harriers Trophy hopes live another day

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers will be off to Stockport County on Tuesday evening after coming back from the dead to draw 2-2 in todays FA Trophy 2nd round tie. A missed penalty by Emanuel Sonupè, after County had gone a goal up, looked to be a bad day at the office when the visitors added a second soon after but then in the space of four minutes the game was turned on it’s head as a goal from Fraser Horsfall was followed quickly by Sonupè atoning for his error to draw us level.

It was still a bad office day though when Horsfall was unreasonably sent off for a second yellow card that wasn’t even worthy of a talking too let alone a drastic punishment. Considering that Stockport had been getting away with murder throughout the game it makes you wonder why the FA keep sending these officials from Lancashire to officiate in a game that involves a club from that area.

The early news before the game was that Tyrone Williams was being allowed to leave the club and is expecting to move within the next three days. It seems that his red card at Chorley, his second this season, is the reason and the club feel that he can no longer be trusted. Sadly the footage of the incident at Chorley wasn’t conclusive as to his guilt and one feels that maybe the club have acted hastily. 

The game got underway with the Harriers having the lions share of the possession but, as is the case in recent games, unable to do much with it. We had an early chance for Dan Bradley that forced the Stockport keeper Ian Ormson saved easily and then Elton N’Gwatala tried his luck with a header that Ormson pushed just over the bar.

Twenty five minutes in and, with the Harriers still well in control, Bradley and Lee Vaughan combined well together in a move that ended with Bradley stinging the hands of the keeper as he pushed the ball around the post. Then chances came the way of James O’Connor and Sam Austin and again it was Ormson coming to his teams rescue.

Although the Reds were seeing chances to score County were running a tight ship and clearcut opportunities were few and far between. In the middle of the park it was an effort to find a player in a red shirt to pass the ball to at times.

Ironically against the run of play Stockport took the lead with a fine goal just before the break. A Harriers attack broke down and as the County defenders bought the ball out of their area too many bodies in a red shirt failed to put a tackle in and the ball was played out wide to Darren Stephenson who sent in a good cross that fell perfectly for Jason Oswell to head the ball over Brandon Halls fingers and into the net.    

HT: 0 – 1

In an effort to get an early goal back John Eustace, the Harriers manager, sent on Manny Sonupè in place of defender James Pearson in the hope that Manny’s pace would open the County defence up. It would have done straight away if he hadn’t been playing so deep though but he eventually cottoned on to what he was supposed to do.

A ball through the middle found James McQuilkin but, as he ran into the area, he was bundled down by Harry Winter and the referee pointed to the spot. Instead of waiting for the usual penalty taker, Joe Ironside, to claim the kick Sonupè picked the ball up and before you could blink had taken the kick but he had never looked confident and the keeper palmed the ball away. It fell just right for someone to bury the follow up but again the keeper pushed the ball away and this time to safety.

A few minutes later and County turned the screw when they added a second goal and this time it wasn’t against the run of play. With the penalty fiasco they had grown in confidence and we were struggling to cope with them. They had been given a corner and, taking it short, the ball was played in to the un-marked Stephenson to roll the ball under the dive of hall to give his side a two goal lead.

The fight had looked to have gone out of us but suddenly another sub almost found a way through. Andre Brown had come on earlier for Dan Bradley but he had been invisible for the best part of twenty minutes. That was until he suddenly popped up and sent in a shot from distance that looked to be going nowhere but then picked up pace and cannoned off the foot of the post. That spurred us into action once more.

In our next attack we scored. A McQuilkin free kick was floated into the area and, in the panic, Fraser Horsfall got the highest and sent the header into the back of the net to great relief to the Harriers fans. Minutes later and we had drawn level.

Liam Truslove had come on earlier for Lee Vaughan and had already tried his luck from distance but when he rolled the ball into the path of Sonupè the wiry striker needed no prompting and turned his marker before firing the ball home.

From the re-start County tried to build a couple of attacks but from one of them Bohan Dixon tried to make his way towards goal but was tackled, quite fairly, by Horsfall. Of course Dixon making a meal of it didn’t help and the referee fell for it and booked Fraser a second time and he left the field early.

In the dying minutes of the game we should have won it when Ironside sent a shot in with some force and Ormson saved brilliantly but still spilled it right in front of O’Connor. The suddenness of it all saw the ball come off O’Connor and straight back into the hands of the keeper.

So we have it all to do on Tuesday evening now but we won there, in Stockport, in October and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.

FT: 2 – 2

Goals for Harriers: Horsfall 77, Sonupè 81

Goals for Stockport: Oswell 42, Stephenson 70

The Harriers Online MotM is: Lee Vaughan

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

Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Vaughan   76  
Pearson   46  
Bradley   60  
A Brown   60  
Truslove   76  
Sonupè 46  
Stockport County Goals Subs Time Cards
Cowan   48  
Oswell 83  
Turner   59  
Winter   48  
Dixon   83  
McKenna   59  
Mr Paul Marsden