FA Trophy 1st rd
Match report Vs York CityVenue: AggboroughDate: 16-12-17Att: 1138 (away fans: 89)

16-12-17 - Report - Harriers 2 York City 1

Harriers make it into the next round of the Trophy

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers moved effortlessly into the next round of the FA Trophy with only a small blip towards the end to spoil what was a clinical performance against a poor York City side. Two goals in the space of a minute during the first half gave the Reds the win but then twenty minutes from the end of the game we stood back, as usual, and allowed City to get back into the game with a good strike from the former Harrier, Amari Morgan-Smith.

There were a few changes to the Harriers starting line-up with James O’Connor missing with a groin injury while, mysteriously, James McQuilkin went to the bench to sit alongside the returning Lee Vaughan who was making his first appearance for us since leaving for Cheltenham Town and then Tranmere Rovers in 2014. In place of O’Connor and McQuilkin came James Pearson and Emmanuel Sonupè while Joel Taylor also returned following injury.

The opening fifteen minutes of the game was scrappy from both sides with a couple of attempts on goal, from Joe Ironside and Sonupè, for us while Brandon Hall saved well from a City attempt just a couple of minutes before the opening flurry of goals.

Pearson was the first to score on thirty four minutes when a neat one-two with Ryan Croasdale saw the latter fire the ball in only for it to be blocked away to Pearson who made no mistake with the returning ball volleyed back in past Adam Bartlett.

A minute later and we increased the lead with something of a comical goal from Sonupè although from where I was sat it looked suspiciously like an own goal. Declan Weeks had sent a ball slicing through the heart of the City defence for Manny to run onto. As he collected the ball in the area he was clattered down by David Ferguson but, with a penalty looking the likely outcome, a foot flicked out and the ball rolled past the committed Bartlett.

Ferguson was a lucky man who, if the ball hadn’t ended up in the net, should have been leaving the field for an early shower.

The nearest City came to scoring during the first forty five minutes was from a Jon Parkin free kick that was pile driven against the wall and cleared upfield. Apart from the free kick aspect of his game Parkin was a passenger for the majority of the game with Fraser Horsfall keeping a solid eye on him and his antics.

HT: 2 – 0

We started the second half much as we finished the first with us in full control although the visitors tested Hall early on with a shot from the on loan Alex Pattinson. We responded with chances for Sam Austin that went well over the bar and then a couple from Sonupè that he should really have scored from.

His first he should have passed on to either the better placed Elton N’Gwatala and Joe Ironside but chose to fire over the bar instead while the second chance a few minutes later was a well worked chance that saw him leave his marker for dead but then fired into the nearest side netting instead of trying to fire across Bartlett and into the other side of the goal.

York had a chance fall for Pattinson again that was dealt with comfortably by Tyrone Williams and again Parkin failed to hit pay dirt with another poor free kick. We bought on James McQuilkin soon after for the ineffective Austin while for City the former Harrier Amari Morgan-Smith came on to warm applause from the faithful that remembered him from his time with us and are still wondering why he was released.

The start of the City revival was down to the arrival of AMS and the failure of Pearson to cope with his pace. Pearson had been pushing forward to help us get a third goal but then a quick ball out found Morgan-Smith out wide Pearson found himself out of position to stop the run forward as he sent a curling shot goalwards and into the net to give his club fresh hope.

City sensed that the game was far from over and sent men forwards trying to get the second goal that could earn them a replay or even the win. Parkin had another wasted free kick that landed on the top of the net while shots came in from all angles forcing the Harriers to populate the box heavily and try to keep City out.

A break away for the Reds saw Weeks send a shot over the bar and then Sonupè should have done better than sidefoot a shot straight to Bartlett while back up the other end time was now beginning to run out for City but not enough for Dan Rowe to hit the post with Hall beaten and then a volleyed chance for Parkin went straight at Hall with the harriers keeper palming the ball over for a wasted corner. We’ll have those all day long.

So into the next round we go and that’ll mean that our game at home to FC Utd of Manchester on January 13th will now become a Tuesday evening game some day soon. We’ll now have to gather round Twitter on Monday to see who we draw next.

FT: 2 – 1

Goals for Harriers: Pearson 34, Sonupè 35

Goal for York City: Morgan-Smith 75

The Harriers Online MotM is: Fraser Horsfall

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
N’Gwatala   84
Austin   60  
A Brown        
Wright   84  
McQuilkin   60  
York City Goals Subs Time Cards
Newton   41  
McAllister   65  
Gray   57  
Law   41  
Connolly   65  
Morgan-Smith 57  
Mr Martin Woods