Venue: Aggborough Date: 05-08-23 Harriers 0 Woking FC 0 Att: 3116 (away fans: 420)

All square on opening day

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers opened their account back at the top level on non-league football with this creditable and hard worked draw at home to old foes Woking FC. 

On a totally miserable day weatherwise, bearing in mind it’s supposed to be August and the season of T shirts and shorts, it took a while for both sides to get used to the slippery conditions underfoot. The referee opted to ignore that and made five bookings in the first half, two of which were probably the only ones valid.

By the end of the half both sides had had chances to take the lead but spurned them all. Then again excellent keeping from Christian Dibble and Will Jaaskelainen had kept clearcut chances to a minimum. One being the chance for Zak Brown that he tried to lob the keeper with but could only put it into his clutching arms.

The Ox came the closest to scoring for us later on when his shot on the angle forced the slipping Woking keeper to save with his feet. For the visitors the closest chance for them was when Rhys Browne, directly in front of goal, turned and shot but the ball went wide and we went into the break all square and goalless.

HT: 0 – 0

The second period, in the continuing incessant blowing drizzle, the Harriers struggled for the first five minutes to get a grip. Woking had come out with a flea in the ear and were making a concerted effort to gain the upperhand. They still couldn’t get through our solid defence though and we held firm.

It was ten minutes into the half when we had a taste of referee Baines incompetence when Zak Brown was bought down in the area, with play waved on, then when the ball was played back in Scott Cuthbert stuck a hand out to divert the ball and again the calls for a penalty were turned down.

On the heavy, soaked pitch fatigue began to creep in and Brown went down with cramp, subbed soon after by Gerry McDonagh for his first start. Within minutes he’d had his first chance to score but dithered and the chance went.

The best chance, and the best save, of the game so far came when a silly free kick given away on the edge of the box by Joe Leesley was fired towards the inside of the post by Robbie Willmott only for Dibble to pull off a tremendous save that kept us in the game.

In the final minute of normal time the Harriers should have won the game when a typical Ashley Hemmings shot from distance looped over the keeper and crashed against the bar.

Nine further minutes were added and they passed without further chances as both sides looked out on their feet and happy to settle for the opening day point.

FT: 0 – 0


The Harriers Online MotM is: Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain

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Latest table and stats here


HarriersGoalsSubsTimeCards
Dibble    
Oxlade-Chamberlain    
Richards    
Knight-Percival    
Pearce   
Preston    
Brown 73
Leesley   
Morgan-Smith    
Hemmings    
Byrne 87 
 
Subs: 
Penny    
Phillips    
Lambert    
McDonagh 73 
Lissimore 87 
 
Woking FCGoalsSubsTimeCards
Jaaskelainen    
Moss   
Casey 73 
Cuthbert    
Taylor    
Robinson 64 
Browne    
Kellermann    
Grego-Cox 55
Amond    
Ince    
 
Subs: 
Day    
Korboa    
Willmott 64 
Akinola 73 
Boateng 55 
 
Referee: 
Mr Dale Baines
Liverpool