Date: 30-07-22 Harriers end pre-season in fine form

30-07-22 - Friendly - Harriers end pre-season in fine form

Report by Phil Lench:

The Harriers finished their pre-season games with a solid 4-1 win away at neighbours Halesowen Town today. Goals from Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Nathan Lowe, Zak Brown and Jack Tolley set them up nicely for the season opener at Blyth Spartans next weekend.

The line-up for the game included just the one trialist (A) with the others (B, C, D and E seemingly no longer around) while Trialist F from the midweek game against a Manchester Utd XI was named yesterday as Gabriel Rogers following his putting pen to paper. He was on the bench while A looked as if he had dropped back into the full back role due to the absence of Joe Foulkes.

Halesowen included three former Harriers in their team with Josh Ezewele being the most obvious while Nathan Hayward was with us in the first Mark Yates era. The third was the recent academy graduate Bailey Fuller who signed for the Town from Worcester City a few days ago.

Following a scrappy start to the game it was the Reds who began to take control after ten minutes. The reward for their superiority was a goal for Knight-Percival in the fourteenth minute when he climbed highest to meet Ashley Hemmings corner and popped it into the back of the net.

The Yeltz keeper, Dan Whitehouse, saved well from Tom Owen-Evans on the thirtieth minute but there was very little in the way of chances, taken or not, in the remaining minutes of the half.

HT: 0 – 1

It took two minutes of the new half for the Harriers to increase their lead and what a wonderful way to do that. Seemingly too far from goal, and looking to be no real threat, Nathan Lowe saw a gap and fired such a powerful volley that almost broke the net as it thundered in off the underside of the bar leaving Whitehouse swaying from the turbulence. 

Halesowen came back into the game following that and chances for Kieran Morris and Hayward went begging before they finally pulled one back. A lax Harriers defence momentarily nodded off and left Richard Gregory with the easy task of lobbing the ball over the head of Tom Palmer in the Harriers goal.

It didn’t take long for the Reds to regain the goal difference. Dexter Dudley-Toole dwelled on the ball too long and allowed substitute Gabby Rogers to rob him of it and play in Zak Brown to tap the ball into an empty net.

A similar scenario followed soon after when Whitehouse dithered on a back pass and lost the ball to Jack Tolley who had the slightly more difficult task of rounding the floored keeper then making his way into a better position to also slot home into another empty net.

All in all it was a decent result against a decent team and one that sets us up nicely for the big kick off.

Just a word about the referee. Didn’t Lewis Mountain realise that this was just a friendly, played in a friendly manner? To rack up five yellow cards for nothing incidents, including one for so called time wasting by Tom Palmer, beggars belief. It was friendly not the World Cup Final. Get a life.

FT: 1 – 4

Halesowen: Whitehouse, Ezewele, Quaynor, Trialist, K Morris (M Morris), Dudley-Toole, Birch, Hayward, Funge (Gregory), Smith (Insall), Fuller (Cobourne).

Subs: M Morris, Gregory, Insall, Cobourne, Mossini.

Harriers: Palmer, Trialist A (Bastable), Richards, Knight-Percival, Pearce, Lowe (Lissimore), Owen-Evans, Martin (Brown), Freemantle (Byrne), Hemmings (Rogers), Ceesay (Tolley).

Subs: Emery, Lissimore, Tolley, Leak, Rogers, Byrne, Brown, Bastable.

Referee: Lewis Mountain. West Midlands

Att: 823