Date: 28-07-18Harriers finish friendlies with a flourish

After a somewhat disappointing series of friendly results during the month it was encouraging to come away from Solihull Moors with a win, and a good win at that.

Contrary to how the hosted saw the game we came with a game plan of treating it as a full blown league game kind of workout. What should be the starting eleven began the game with the exception of Declan Weeks who reported injured before the game. In his place was Billy Daniels.

Joe Ironside
Joe Ironside
Grabs a brace at Solihull

For the Moors there was a healthy smattering of former Harriers with Tyrone Williams, Liam Daly, Jermaine Hylton and Kyle Storer starting while on the bench was Dan Sweeney, Jordan Murphy and Luke Maxwell. Missing, also injured just before the game started, was Danny Wright.

Under a rain filled sky, at odds with the expectancy of another scorching hot day, the game got underway with the Harriers slowly gaining complete control. We pressed the Moors defence relentlessly causing them into mistake after mistake with Ty Williams and Daly struggling to cope.

After twenty five minutes of domination we took the lead from a defensive error that let Ashley Chambers run onto a through ball that the rigid Daly failed to see. Chambers confidently rounded the keeper to give us the lead.

Five minutes later and the Reds were two up. This time the outstanding Lee Vaughan crossed beautifully into the area towards Joe Ironside but the ball was met by Ty Williams who tried to chest the ball back to his keeper and failed. Ironside accepted the gift and slotted home.

The Moors had a rare chance with a free kick that was squared across to Storer by Darren Carter. The former Harriers captain fired goalwards but Brandon Hall pulled off a fantastic save to tip the ball over the bar.

Five minutes from the break and Chambers was withdrawn from the game after picking up a slight knock even though he didn’t really want to leave the pitch. On came the lively Kane Richards for his first game since signing for us yesterday.

The second period was much of the same although the home side did improve slightly but still not enough to cause us any worry. The rain was getting heavier and so was the pace of the game. In fact it was getting quite wintery out there and plane spotting was getting harder by the minute.

It took us eight minutes into the half to get the third goal of our game and to give us a convincing win. Yet another defensive mix up from the Williams & Daly show allowed Ironside in once again to burst through and prod the ball home for his brace.

It was pleasing to see that there was no longer any of the game management that we saw under John Eustace with the team working as a unit in search of more goals although none came.

Vaughan saved us from giving a goal away with a flicked header over the bar from a Callum Coyle volley while a minute later Fraser Horsfall blocked a shot on the line. Up the other end Richards was terrorising the Solihull defence in the style of the departed Manny Sonupè with some some blistering pace that was ending every time in cynical tackles to stop him in his tracks.

With the rain coming down heavier by the minute it was time to call an end to the game with the Harriers as worthy winners. We now need to up our game a fraction to more committed levels and take that into the opening game of the season at Alfreton next week. If we can do that then we shouldn’t be too far away come next April.