FA Trophy 3rd round
Match report Vs Boston Utd Venue: Jakemans Community Stadium Date: 18-12-21 Att: 975 (away fans: 48)

18-12-21 - Report - FA Trophy 3rd rd - Boston Utd 4 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers get it wrong in the Trophy

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers dropped out of the FA Trophy at the 3rd round today in a performance that was well below what was expected of them. It was their second visit to Boston Utd and following last weeks 2-1 win in the league more was expected of them. Especially when we were told that we wouldn’t be fielding a weakened team.

In truth it wasn’t a weakened team but just a slightly tweaked one that saw Keith Lowe, Lewis Montrose, Ethan Freemantle and Keziah Martin come into the starting line-up to the one that won at the Jakemans. It was that tweaking that seemed to be our un-doing with Lowe replacing Nathan Cameron and so with it the defensive mobility of the latter. Also playing himself and Geraldo Bajrami on the wrong side of each other was always going to lead to a lack of understanding between each other.

Freemantle in place of Amari Morgan-Smith looked a good move at first but Ethan cannot lead the line by himself and so, at times, was left isolated. He may be faster than Amari but a leader of the line he isn’t.

The other two: Montrose and Martin in place of Mark Carrington and Omari Sterling-James worked ok with Ashley Hemmings moving wide in place of Sterling. As for Boston they went with a basically un-changed side apart from Jordan Preston in place of the injured Paul Green.

From the start we were on the back foot with Boston going for the jugular. Jake Wright Jnr was also going for the ground too as he followed up last weeks antics of fouling our players then diving to the floor with a tear in his eye as he looked to the referee to hand out a yellow card to the ‘offender’. Like last weeks ref this one today was already wise to him although he did, strangely, give him the free kick.

In the twelfth minute they won a corner, taken by Joe Leesley, and it was Wright who nodded the ball home. We never were good at defending corners.

A few minutes later their centre forward, Jordan Burrow, pulled up with a tight hamstring to force the hosts into an early substitution just like they had to for Green last Saturday. He was replaced by Danny Elliott and he was to be the real undoing of the Harriers.

They were cutting through us like butter and also being helped by a defence that looked at sixes and sevens. Keenan Ferguson had a chance saved by Luke Simpson but within minutes Elliott had scored his first of the day following a deflection off Caleb Richards. The ball fell kindly for Elliott who had an easy finish beyond the Harriers keeper.

In what must have been a shock to the system we suddenly came alive with the realisation that the game was already going out of our grasp. Sammy Austin was the one to get a grip as he cut inside his marker and let fly with a special only to see it deflect up off Luke Shiels and onto the bar. It dropped down in front and Bajrami guided the ball back in only for the Boston keeper, Marcus Dewhurst, to save it well.

That was it for us in this first period but not for Boston. Wright had another chance to score but Simpson saved well and at the same time getting injured after colliding with Bajrami. After a bit of treatment he was able to continue although it looked 50/50 if Jamie Emery would be making his debut for the Harriers. 

HT: 2 – 0

The expected half time substitution of Nathan Cameron for Keith Lowe never came and with it a chance to strengthen our all at sea defence. To his credit Russ Penn did swap Lowe and Bajrami back over and that worked to some extent although Boston were finding it all too easy.

We had the first sighter on goal when Austin and Hemmings combined for the latter to fire goalwards only to see the ball deflected away for a fruitless corner. United replied with a chance for  Kyron Gordon that went just over the bar then it went to 3-0 and too late to do anything about it.

That man Elliott again was the one when he got onto the ball in the middle of the park and strode through as our defence parted like the Red Sea did for Moses. With just Simpson left to go past that’s just what he did. He went past him and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Just the right time to make a substitution now the game was over as a contest for us then? In a bit of a strange move on came Jaiden White for Sammy Austin but in retrospect it did at least give us a consolation goal as a few minutes later Jaiden went on to score his first ever goal in a red shirt when he pounced on a shot from Alex Penny that had come back off the post into his path, off the bar and into the back of the net. 

A couple of subs took place with Joe Foulkes coming on in place of Penny for his first appearance since the injury at Ware FC a few months ago had seemingly ended his season for us. Well done for Joe to make his way back that quickly against all odds. Keziah Martin also made way for Omari Sterling-James.

Boston hadn’t finished and three minutes later they had regained the three goal advantage when Jordan Preston finished off a Ferguson cross into the area that evaded everyone in attendance.

Game over and out of the Trophy for the Harriers then. Many fans wanted us out of it to concentrate on more important things so they got their wish. It was just the way it came about with such a spineless approach to the game.

Still, we can concentrate on the FA Cup now.

FT: 4 – 1

Goals for Boston Utd: Wright Jnr 12, Elliott 29, 59, J Preston 80

Goal for Harriers: White 68

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Boston Utd Goals Subs Time Cards
Leesley   83
J Preston      
Burrow   22  
Wright Jnr 82  
Elliott 22  
Duxberry   83  
F Preston   82  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Penny   70  
Austin   63  
Martin   77  
Foulkes   70  
White 63  
Sterling-James   77  
Mr Matthew Scholes