Rowe 14, 48; Smith 53; Finley 65
Taylor 73; Brown 90
- Cup exit at Mill Farm
- Three quick-fire goals prove key
- Danny Rowe grabs two for hosts
- Taylor and Brown notch consolations
HARRIERS saw their Emirates FA Cup run end at National League AFC Fylde courtesy of a 4-2 defeat.
The home side were ahead early through Danny Rowe but the first half ended fairly even.
Quick-fire goals early after the restart really decided the game, clinical finishing from Rowe once more, Smith and Finley putting Fylde in a commanding 4-0 lead.
Joel Taylor and Andre Brown netted late consolations, leaving Harriers to focus once more on league action.
Rowe's opener came with one of the first chances of the afternoon, a typically accomplished finished into the bottom corner.
Harriers, through Wright and Ironside, responded in search of a leveller, and O'Connor went close with a diving header before McQuilkin deliveries saw Pearson and Horsfall also force chances - all before half time.
A killer period after the break really put the tie to bed, and Rowe's second was gift-wrapped at close-range before a mazy run from Smith saw him finish inside the area unchallenged.
Smith turned provider for Finley to make it 4-0 with another low finish, before sub Dec Weeks tried his luck with a couple at the other end.
Joel Taylor, on 73 minutes, curled home a good finish to score his first in club colours - a fine solo effort - before Ironside struck the woodwork ten minutes later, Brown's driven effort following soon after.
One final flurry wasn't able to produce any further goals, leaving Harriers beaten and out of this season's competition.
SAM AUSTIN says Harriers are up for the challenge of trying to reach the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup as they head to AFC Fylde this weekend (3pm Sat).
For the second round in succession, John Eustace’s men must take on higher-graded opposition in the shape of a National League team.
Having seen off Chester in the Fourth Qualifying Round, AFC Fylde now stand between Harriers and the Second Round proper.
It’s a tie packed with the ironies and coincidences that only football seems to provide.
The fact that balls 59 and 60 respectively were pulled out during the live televised draw respectively was quirky enough – even more so given that it pits together two teams who did battle for a league title just months ago.
That particular battle was won by the Mill Farm outfit as Harriers were forced to make do with a place in the play-offs.
But whilst acknowledging that history, Austin was at pains to point out that both teams and clubs have seen their fair share of change since the ‘North’ meetings of 2016/17.
“They did well to get promoted but it’s a different team for them and a different team for us,” he explained of the two outfits who, in direct battle couldn’t be separated in two entertaining draws last season.
“So it will be a completely different game from last year’s.
“Hopefully, with the support from the fans, who’ll be up for it as well, we can go there and get the result.
“It is going to be a really entertaining game [but] it is going to be a challenge, and we’re up for it.”
Harriers are expected to be backed by around 200 fans at Fylde this weekend.
The team and supporters have certainly put in the miles in this season’s competition.
Before the Chester contest at Aggborough, lengthy treks to Deeping in Peterborough and Newcastle Benfield earned them hard-fought victories.
In short, the team have made it this far on merit, with Austin adding: “We have had to work hard, we’ve had a few games and it hasn’t been made easy for us.
“We won 1-0 at Newcastle in tough conditions and it was a long way to travel.
“So it has not been easy but we’ve got here now and hopefully we can push on.
“It is going to be a really entertaining game [but] it is going to be a challenge, and we’re up for it.” Sam Austin
“The Chester game was the highlight because the lads really got together and performed well – hopefully we can get the same outcome [on Saturday].”
Former Burton Albion man Austin came into the starting line-up for Harriers in the 2-1 win at Stockport County last weekend.
He admits he enjoyed the afternoon and is keen to make the most of any opportunity that’s thrown his way.
Eustace and the management team will have some decisions to make – chiefly whether to introduce Jimmy O’Connor to the fray after he served a one-match suspension in the Stockport match.
Injuries to James Pearson (hamstring) and Dan Bradley (knee) are being monitored ahead of the game.
Liam Truslove and Lee Vaughan, Harriers’ two longer-term injury absentees – have both begun training schedules as they ramp up their quests to return to action.
Kick-off at AFC Fylde on Saturday is at 3:00pm.
BUY: Harriers fans are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance of the game to avoid queues on a match day. You can buy and print tickets at home.
WATCH: Sam Austin’s full pre-match video interview courtesy of our YouTube channel using the video tab above.
READ: The thoughts of Harriers boss John Eustace ahead of the Emirates FA Cup tie.
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Sam Austin pre-match
John Eustace post-match
Jimmy O'Connor post-match
Extended Match Highlights