REPORT | Kidderminster Harriers 0-4 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 19 Sep 2020

While results are certainly the be all and end all of pre-season games, there is no getting away from the fact, that a few goals give everyone a lift.

So it was at Hoo Road on Saturday, as we hit the back of the net four times and also could afford to miss a penalty.

After some early pressure it was Wrexham that took the lead on nine minutes, as Luke Young fired home from the edge of the Harriers box.

It was set up by the persistence of Kwame Thomas, who outpaced Keith Lowe close to the halfway line, raced forward done the left and crossed in twice, both were blocked but with the ball running back to the forward. For his third attempted he saw support had arrived and slipped a pass back towards Young.

The midfielder side-stepped his marker and with space available, picked out his spot to fire into the corner of the home net, giving the diving Tom Palmer no chance.

An Anthony Jeffery’s corner on the left after 18 minutes carried to the back post, where Thomas slide in with his marker, but was able to win the ball and fire home from close range.

Just on the half hour mark, a cross from Jake Bickerstaff on the right caused a few problems for the Harriers defence and when the ball came out to Mark Carrington, his angled drive was only a foot or so wide of the far post.

Three minutes later and winger Jeffery showed his acceleration to cut inside, leaving his marker in his wake, before trying a right-footed shot on the turn, but it was rising and carried over the Kidderminster crossbar.

As play switched to the Wrexham half, right winger Sam Austin beat the offside trap before crossing deep to striker Amari Morgan-Smith, with the veteran player rising high to head on target, but Rob Lainton was able to get across and catch the ball.

Lainton was called in to action again on 39 minutes and it was a flying save to once more deny a Moran-Smith header from another Austin cross.

Two minutes before half time and Thomas was involved in Wrexham’s third goal, picking up a long pass out to the left, speeding away from his man, crossing deep and into the path of Elliott Durrell, who fired first time into the back of the home net.

The first period had certainly offered a great display in finishing by Wrexham, against a Harriers team that had ended last season’s truncated campaign in 16th place, some six points ahead of the relegation spots in National League North.

To be fair to Kidderminster, they had enjoyed a fair amount of possession, but without being able to claim any reward.

HT 0-3

A couple of changes for Wrexham at the break, with Christian Dibble and Adi Yussuf coming on for Lainton and Thomas, respectively.

From the restart Austin found space for a long-range shot, that was always carrying high over the terraces behind Dibble’s goal.

The ever-lively Bickerstaff closed down home keeper Palmer quickly on 49 minutes, forcing him into a hurried clearance, which also gave the Dragons further pressure before the Harriers were able to clear.

A few minutes later and Jeffery left two defenders on the floor as his fierce shot was parried away by Palmer for a corner. In the follow up play, Davies did so well to keep the ball in play and almost set up a chance for Bickerstaff in front of goal, but it was cleared behind for one of a series of corners that the visitors won in quick succession.

On 55 minutes, AJ was fouled by Alex Penney for a penalty, which the winger showed he was keen to take himself. Unfortunately, keeper Palmer guessed correctly on the direction of the kick and was able to make a save going to his left.

The Reds did grab a fourth goal on 68 minutes, when the home keeper could not hold a cross from Bickerstaff and Yussuf jumped on the loose ball to tur and fire home from eight yards out.

There were eight changes for the visitors on 70 minutes (please see below for names).

Wrexham kept the pressure up on their hosts for the last 20 minutes and kept them on the back foot for most of this period.

In the end a satisfying workout for the players, as they start to turn their focus towards the opening VNL game of the new season in two weeks’ time.

Kidderminster Harriers: Palmer, Penney (Martin 65), Richards, Maxwell, Lowe (? 70), Austin, Kellerman (? 46), Morgan-Smith (Freemantle 65), Sterling-James (? 88), Prosser (? 78), White (Hemmings 55).
Subs: Phillips, Henworth, Tolley, Player C, Player E, Player F.

Wrexham: Lainton (Dibble 46), Horsfield (Horsfield 70), Vassell (Cleworth 70), Kelleher (Pearson 70), Carrington (Reckord 70), Davies (Rutherford 70), Durrell (Redmond 70), Young (Harris 70), Jeffery (Jarvis 70), Thomas (Yussuf 46), Bickerstaff.

Referee: Andrew Kitchen


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