Match report from the FA Youth Cup First Qualifying Round clash at Aggborough…
By Matty Paddock - 14/09/2021
Posted 2 weeks ago
FOUR first-half goals helped Harriers cruise through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup with a 4-1 victory over Pershore Town at Aggborough.
Having exited the competition at the hands of this opposition last year, Harriers were keen to banish one or two demons and, with more than a few players remaining from that tie, the Reds set about a strong start and had the lead inside the three minutes.
By that point Tolley had already crossed for Keegan Horan to head over after a good leap in the area – moments later it was Tolley on the end of a Kai Lissimore cross as he turned the ball home from close range.
Ten minutes later, Pershore fashioned their first chance of the night when Ben Banks strode forward with the ball, but his low drive was a comfortable gather for goalkeeper Ben Wood.
Harriers were two goals to the good on 21 minutes and again it was thanks in part to great delivery inside the area – this time Tom Cole supplied the ammunition for Samson Hewett to slot home an accomplished finish.
That certainly gave the home side the confidence they needed as the ball began to move even more freely; seven minutes later Josh Parker went close twice in quick succession as he shot wide with one effort and saw another deflected behind for a corner.
The third wasn’t long in coming, though, and just after the half-hour mark a foul in the area gave Harriers a penalty. No doubt haunted by three chances squandered from 12 yards for the team last time out, it fell to Cole to do the honours and he did, calmly planting the ball beyond Scott Loader.
Parker would then get his goal four minutes before the break. Beating the offside trap, he took a pass with a composed touch before drawing loader and firing past him into the back of the net.
With that commanding four-goal lead behind them at the break, Harriers emerged for the second period with obvious belief and, on 49 minutes Horan epitomised that as he confidently strode along the edge of the area before curling an effort over the bar.
Parker then warmed the fingertips of Loader from distance before, ten minutes later, firing firmly into his chest from just a few yards. As we entered the last ten minutes, Horan arced a shot that looped towards the far corner before Loader showed it a safe pair of hands.
With just a quarter-hour remaining, the visitors got themselves a goal thanks to a powerful finish through a crowd of bodies, but Harriers almost immediately restored their four-goal advantage when Jack Male narrowly headed over from a free-kick.
Male then aimed a free-kick from just outside the area at the top corner and only missed the target by a whisker, before an unmarked Lissimore got underneath a corner and directed a header over.
With just a minute left of normal time, Horan side-footed high over the bar as he tried to finish a low cross, Harriers always looking for more goals to add further gloss to the score line.
Harriers team: Wood, Downs, Cole (Drakeley 68), Lissimore, Tait (Taylor-Bradley 80), Arrowsmith, Tolley, Male, Parker (Salter 80), Horan, Hewett.
Subs not used: Cox, Malek, Philip, Lee.
Referee: Nelson Oppong