Williams OG 79
- Williams own goal settles opener
- Ironside header is hosts' best chance
- Hall and Weeks among several debutants
- Boss Eustace keen to respond quickly
THE new season started in frustration for Harriers at Aggborough as a late own goal saw them beaten 1-0 by Chorley.
The reds dominated for large spells of the game and went close through Tyrone Williams and Joe Ironside.
Those chances straddled the break; Williams within a whisker of finding the net with a header as he stretched to reach a corner, and Ironside drawing a fantastic save from Urwin between the sticks for Chorley as he rose up well to get on the end of a dangerous delivery from Cieron Keane.
Hard-working Chorley strode ahead with barely a dozen minutes left as a driven cross found its way past Hall via the helpless Williams.
Substitute Andre Brown almost snatched an equaliser in the dying moments; he had two good sniffs of a goal as he warmed Urwin's palms with one effort and struck just wide with another.
In the end, Chorley held on for the victory.
Today's match was sponsored by The Community Housing Group.
The curtain finally lifts on the new 2017/18 Vanarama National League North season on Saturday as Harriers host Chorley at Aggborough.
The two sides have embarked on a gruelling pre-season schedule, but the time for competitive action is here at last.
In a twist of football’s typical irony, the season begins as the last one ended for the home side with Chorley the visitors – just as they were a few months ago.
Back in May the Magpies came to town for a play-off semi-final – though boss John Eustace knows only too well that much has changed since then.
He’s looking forward to seeing how his new-look Harriers match up against Matt Jansen’s men.
“It’s going to be a completely different game to the games we played against them last season,” he commented.
"...that togetherness is going to be needed throughout the whole season..." John Eustace
“We have a new team now and it is important that we are competitive against a very good, experienced Chorley team.
“We started away at Curzon last year and had a good day there so let’s hope we can have a good day on Saturday.”
Harriers are in fine condition at the end of a long pre-season programme.
Lee Vaughan remains the only definite absentee, though he is progressing nicely as he rehab from a broken leg continues.
Midfielder Ryan Croasdale will lead out the reds after it was confirmed he would captain the side this season.
Eustace added that the mood in the camp is good as the group quickly bonds together.
“The atmosphere is good and it should be,” he went on to say.
“The lads have worked very had over the last six weeks.
“There’s a good togetherness there and no matter what happens on Saturday, that togetherness is going to be needed throughout the whole season.
“I know I’ve got that with this group.”
Kick-off at Aggborough Stadium on Saturday is at 3:00pm.
Stay tuned to the match centre throughout the weekend for team news, match report, reaction and more.
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Pre-match: Gaffer looks to Chorley
Pre-match: Josh Webb on opener
Post-match: John Eustace reacts
Reaction: Skipper Croasdale speaks
Highlights: Harriers 0-1 Chorley