Date: 24-07-21Harriers get shown how to finish

24-07-21 - Friendly - Harriers get shown how to finish

Report by Harriershane

After 518 days the Harriers returned to Aggborough on a Saturday, as League Two Walsall came to town. Unlike Cheltenham Town’s offering on Tuesday night the Saddlers appeared to be near full strength whilst Harriers named a plethora of trialists, including the two centre halves.

Despite the relative differences in both stature and permanent players there was very little to choose between the two sides, both trading efforts from range. Omari Sterling James whipped a free kick over the bar from a wide angle for Harriers whilst for the visitors, “Trialist A”, believed to potentially be former Harrier Manny Sonupé, blazed over.

Both sides appeared comfortable in possession and it would be some inspired possession play which broke the deadlock. Calm, considered play from the League Two outfit saw Connor Wilkinson eventually dink a superbly weighted chip over the Harriers backline, dropping invitingly for Emmanuel Osadebe to lash past Luke Simpson. As magical a team goal that was Osadebe’s second was just as magic and entirely of his own doing, curling in an exceptional effort from around twenty five yards, clipping the post in the process and earning applause from all four sides of Aggborough.

A tight half, decided by two moments of higher level class.

HT: 0-2

The second half started with the biggest disappointment possible from a Harriers perspective as Wilkinson grabbed his goal, finishing comfortably after Trialist A had played him through.

Confident and comfortable Wilkinson and Walsall settled into dictating the game and the aforementioned nearly doubled his tally with an effort that had Simpson at full stretch.

Just short of the hour mark Walsall’s superiority was further evidenced as Osadebe turned provider; Kieran Phillips making it four with another good finish for “The Boys from The Bescot”.

As is often traditional in pre season friendlies the hour mark signalled a bunch of changes, including Jaiden White for Harriers who narrowly missed the target with a fierce strike. One of the Walsall substitutes, Ashley Taylor, saw his header comfortably collected by Simpson but the fifth and final flourish would soon come and ruthless in its execution it was too.

Liam Kinsella picked the ball up in his own third and sprayed a crossfield ball into the path of the experienced former Wolves man Stephen Ward. His fizzed cross across the box was met by an onrushing Brendan Kiernan who could not miss.

The Harriers should have an easier test at Stratford Town on Tuesday evening but easy is not what we want to see as the days count down to the start of the season.

FT: 0-5


Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Player J (Lowe 58), Austin (Bell 70), Carrington (Montrose 74), Hemmings (White 58), Sterling-James (Tolley 84), Player I (Martin 58), Player K, Freemantle (Morgan-Smith 58).

Subs: Player A, Dutton, Morgan-Smith, Lowe, Montrose, Bell, Martin, Bastable, Tolley, Lissimore, White.

Walsall: Rushworth, Foulkes (22, 69), Mills (Ward 61), Labadie (Kinsella 61), Menayese (Taylor 61), Monthe (Leak 61), Phillips (White 69), Perry, Wilkinson (Trialist B 61), Osadebe (21, 61), Trialist A (Kiernan, 69).

Subs: Rose, Ward, White, Trialist B, Kinsella, Taylor, Leak.

Att: 1163 (403 away fans)