Date: 15-09-20Another friendly, another defeat.Report: Harriershane

15-09-20 - Friendly - Another friendly, another defeat

The Harriers made the short trip to Halesowen on Tuesday night to take on a Yeltz side who were playing their final preseason game following their victory against Newcastle Town in the FA Cup on Saturday. Manager Russ Penn named three trialists in his first half side, with two playing at centre back in their bid to earn a deal. New loan signing Caleb Richards was also getting significant game time.

Given where the two sides stand in their respective preparations, ahead of the differing starts to their seasons, it was perhaps unsurprising that it was the home side who threatened first as highly rated forward Simeon Cobourne drove at the makeshift defence, who would deal with his delivery.

Potentially sensing a possible lack of cohesion in the Harriers backline the Yeltz set about getting in behind again as Ahmed Ali got to the byline and fizzed a ball across goal which was turned in by Richards in an attempt to deny Dan Westwood from doing the same thing.

The home side’s domination would continue and just seven minutes later they doubled their lead with a corner fizzed to the edge of the box where Rob Evans drove a low effort at goal. It appeared to take a deflection, but nonetheless Tom Palmer was left beaten and Halesowen were left two goals to the good.

Cobourne’s pace was causing Harriers all kind of problems and he wanted in on the action himself, curling an effort wide of the far post on the half hour mark.

The Harriers were struggling to create clear openings, often being thwarted by the home defence as they looked for the killer ball. With ten minutes to go though they were awarded a free kick around twenty yards from goal. Ashley Hemmings would claim responsibility for it and duly dispatched it comfortably over the bar.

HT: 2 – 0

The second half was only five minutes old when the hosts were gifted a great opportunity to make it three. In a packed penalty box one of the trialist centre backs tripped a home forward, giving Ali the chance to score from the spot. His penalty was well struck but Palmer was more than equal to it, getting two strong hands to the strike to turn it away for a corner that was eventually well dealt with.

If Palmer was expecting some respite following his spot-kick heroics he would be sorely mistaken as he was called into action once again, making a smart save from Jack Holmes, before smothering the ball twice bravely.

As to be expected in pre season the game became more of a scrappy affair as the changes were rung by both dugouts. Sadly, for Harriers though, these changes would not yield any clear cut chances as they were restricted to more speculative efforts from range, this time from Sam Austin and sub Jaiden White.

With just a couple of minutes remaining Town very nearly put the proverbial icing on the cake as Josh Hawker strolled through the Harriers resistance and tried to dink an onrushing Palmer. Unfortunately for him the ball was lofted onto the top of the net, denying what would have been an excellent solo goal.

FT: 2 – 0