FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Match report Vs Deeping RangersVenue: Outgang RoadDate: 16-09-17Att: 696 (away fans: 100 est)

16-09-17 - Report - FA Cup 2nd Qual Rd - Deeping Rangers 2 Harriers 4

Harriers dispose of Deeping in the Cup

Report: Centreforeword

On a typical showery autumn day, an inconsistent Harriers side ventured to deepest darkest Lincolnshire to take on Deeping Rangers who were having a great start to the 2017/2018 season in the United Counties League. For many a giant killing might have been in the offing.

Harriers had a few absentees of note: Dan Bradley following the birth of his child, James McQuilkin with a knock and Ryan Croasdale due to close personal family reasons. The BBC cameras were there to stream live a potential fairy tale type of story for Deeping especially with Harriers coming off a midweek defeat to local rivals Tamworth. The one BBC fixed camera initially showed the good but grassy playing surface and a record near 700 crowd waiting in great anticipation for the match to start in the sunshine.

The Harriers largely took control in the early stages. The boys from Worcestershire knocking the ball around the relatively slow and benign home team’s midfield stalwarts. On 7 minutes Sam Austin provided a dangerous cross but Andre Brown could not control it and ball eluded him. Then a few minutes later the ever-dangerous Joel Taylor found Manny Sonupè who had a great first touch but the shot did not match.

The Carpetmen’s best chance to date came on the quarter hour mark. Declan Week’s corner was headed just over the bar by Fraser Horsfall, on loan from Huddersfield Town, and Eustace’s men continued to dominate. Brown playing in the inside left position, cut in and let loose a rasping effort which sailed just wide of the post.

The away side continued to look a threat from corners and just before the half hour mark another Weeks corner was met by captain Tyrone Williams. His firm header was well held by the portly Deeping goalkeeper. Shortly afterwards Sam Austin progressed into space and his long range drive was not far over the bar. Surely Harriers’ domination would tell and eventually it did. Brandon Hall with his quality trademark distribution found Andre Brown in space and advancing towards the opposition’s penalty area. His long range shot nestled in the top corner. Nothing the Deeping goalkeeper could do about it. It was a goal similar to the one he had scored against Southport the previous Saturday.

Deeping’s heads dropped a bit – largely due to the quality of the goal – and the Harriers continued to press. Weeks let fly from around 20 yards but his shot was just over the bar. Then it was Austin’s turn with his left foot, the Deeping goalkeeper having to tip this one round his post. New signing James Pearson (son of Nigel) also had a crack but his effort was comfortably wide.

On 40 minutes the men in yellow went deservedly two nil up. A fine long ball over the top from Horsfall found Sonupè who had sufficient composure to lift the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. Great pass and great finish.

There was time for one more though as Sonupè once more marauded down the inside right only to be upended in the Deeping area. After a brief discussion with Joe Ironside, Sonupe took the penalty with aplomb, placing the ball in the bottom left corner of the net.

Half time could not come soon enough for the home team.

HT: 0 – 3

At the start of the second half as the showery rain started to fall, splattering the BBC camera, it was clear that the Harriers were intent on resting on their laurels somewhat. Rangers were coming more into it and whilst up until that point it had not culminated in anything serious, a goal nevertheless came for the home side on 53 minutes. A threatening corner was not dealt with by the away team’s defence and Danny Schiavi was at hand to deflect the ball home.

John Eustace then decided it was time to use the first of his 3 substitutions. Joe Ironside who had worked hard but had not really produced anything of note, came off to be replaced by Andre Wright. This did seem to energise Harriers to a degree.

The ever sprightly Weeks played in Brown who shot at goal but his attempt was well saved by Danny Bircham in the Rangers’ goal. Then on 60 minutes a good free kick from Weeks just sneaked over the home side’s cross bar. Harrier’s second sub came on 65 minutes with Austin being replaced by Jack Finch to add a bit of bulk to the midfield.

The away team’s fourth goal came soon after. A good passing move allowed Wright to tee himself up and shoot low past Bircham from just inside the penalty area. Good finish. That should have been the game tidied up and put to bed but the Harriers management team decided to bring Elton Ngwatala, who had had a relatively quiet game, off the field and bring on Doncaster Rovers loanee Will Longbottom. The third sub used in the 75th minute.

Temporarily Harriers seemed to struggle for shape whilst they came to terms with this latest substitution and that allowed Scott Mooney to nod in a free kick for the home side. The game may not have been quite fully over just yet.

On 82 minutes Will Longbottom was caught by an illicit Deeping challenge in midfield and despite trying to run it off, had to go off the field injured soon after so Harriers had to play the last ten minutes or thereabouts with only ten men. Hence, effecting the last substitution with still over 15 minutes to go against a slow and physical non-league opposition, proved to be rather naïve on John Eustace’s part.

Nevertheless the away team held out and in fact created another couple of chances. On 86 minutes Brown broke into space and let fly an effort which forced Bircham to parry away for a corner. Then on 89 minutes a Brown cross-cum-shot skidded off the top of the crossbar with the goalkeeper stranded. With that the game was brought to a close. Banana skin avoided and whilst some might have wanted more of a crushing victory, an away win is a good result in the FA Cup in these circumstances. Also with 6 goals in the game, the television audience should have also been pleased to see what was on offer.

Harriers did ok. In the first half the defence looked the more solid than at any time during the season to date. The defence was a bit more frail in the second period but given Horsfall and Pearson are new additions, hopefully that might improve when they get used to playing together. There is no doubt Harriers have some quality but what this team is crying out for now is stability and certainty, not the constant coming and going of new squad members and loanees following the very poor pre-season preparation and squad selection. Stability will breed confidence.

Andre Brown and Manny Sonupè deserve a mention for their performances. Both were a handful throughout with Sonupè nicking the man of the match award due to his slightly better work rate and skill and composure.

FT: 2 – 4

Goals for Deeping: Schiavi 54, Mooney 75

Goals for Harriers: A Brown 33, Sonupè 40, 43 (pen), Wright 70

The Harriers Online MotM is: Emmanuel Sonupè

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Latest table and stats here

Deeping Rangers Goals Subs Time Cards
Flack   83
Kilbride   50  
Coulson   27  
Dunne   27  
Simpson    83  
Hunnings   50  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Austin   66  
Ironside   55  
N’Gwatala   75  
A Brown      
Wright 55  
Finch   66  
Longbottom   75  
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