FA Cup 2nd qualifying round
Match report Vs Atherstone TownVenue: AggboroughDate: 22-09-18Att: 1212 (away fans: 179)

22-09-18 - Report - FA Cup 2nd Qual Rd - Kidderminster Harriers 5 Atherstone Town 0

Harriers coast to a big FA Cup win

Report: Harriershane

The Harriers welcomed Step 6 side Atherstone Town to Aggborough as we got our FA Cup journey underway. Atherstone have had a good cup run this year, with this meeting being their fourth game in the esteemed tournament and were one of a handful of Step 6 sides remaining.

The Harriers boss Neil MacFarlane was keen to avoid a shock and named a strong side with just four changes made to the team that were defeated by Chester on Saturday. Ryan Johnson, James Baxendale, Dan Bradley and Sam Austin all received the nod whilst the bench was warmed by U23 and Academy prospects Declyn Cummings, Harry Stratford and Reiss Taylor-Randle.

Atherstone kicked off but did not see much of the ball, Harriers having virtually all of the early running as one would probably expect; Lee Vaughan, Ed Williams and Dan Bradley all having early sighters at goal. Harriers were always in control and created chance after chance in what was one of the most one sided games you would wish to see; Atherstone goalkeeper Carl O’Neill forced into save after save whilst full back Jonathon Gould offered most of the limited threat to Harriers.

The onslaught continued with Fraser Horsfall twice going close from corners and Dan Bradley again dragging wide. James Baxendale, in his first start, also had a pot shot bending an effort over the bar.

The breakthrough came ten minutes before the break. Declan Weeks had an ambitious effort from fully thirty yards which was parried by O’Neill into the path of Bradley who finished expertly. Moments later it should’ve been two with a scramble that evoked memories of our home draw vs Peterborough Utd in our last great run. Vaughan was played in and had a shot which was well saved by O’Neill, before firing it back in and somehow fell to Bradley. His effort hit the bar and Joe Ironside was poised to finish however his effort was blocked and cleared.

Just before the break O’Neill’s suspect handling came to the fore again with him fumbling an Ed Williams shot but, fortunately for the visitors, the ball fell safe.

HT: 1 – 0

Just the twenty two efforts in the first half then. You had the feeling that the pressure would eventually tell as the lower league side faltered and this became clear quite quickly.

The Harriers doubled their lead from the penalty spot when Adam Bilic upended Ironside who picked himself up to dispatch the penalty with aplomb. Moments later it was 3-0. This time Weeks fed Ironside who squared to Bradley who stroked the ball into an empty net for his second of the day.

The score line now had the comfortable look that the chance creation statistics suggested it would have.

Bradley almost had his hat trick with a header which dropped just wide and Kane Richards came on with just over twenty to go and no sooner had he arrived it was 4-0. Weeks again at the centre of it, playing Bradley through who finished cooly past the stricken O’Neill.

Academy prospects Harry Stratford and Reiss Taylor-Randle both made it onto the pitch, with the former playing a key role in the final goal of the day. Stratford’s tenacity in midfield saw him emerge with the ball before releasing Vaughan down the right. The full back’s ball evaded Taylor-Randle but Kane Richards was arriving late at the far post and lashed the ball into the roof of the net.

A professional performance from Harriers saw them progress into Monday’s third qualifying round draw. The final word must go to the visitors though who were well supported by 179 vocal fans and a credit to themselves and their league as their great cup run came to an end. They can rightly be proud.

FT: 5 – 0

Goals for Harriers: Bradley 34, 55, 68, Ironside 53 (pen), Richards 86

The Harriers Online MotM is: Dan Bradley

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Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Ironside 67  
Bradley 80  
E Williams   75  
Richards 67  
Stratford   75  
Taylor-Randle   80  
Atherstone Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Goodby   80  
M Williams   58  
Naughton   69  
Ruff   58  
Obi   69  
Harris   80  
Mr Lewis Smith