Report: Reds through after Stourbridge thriller

A report of the action from the FA Youth Cup Second Qualifying Round action at Aggborough…

Keegan Horan. Image: (c) KHFC

HARRIERS edged out local rivals Stourbridge 3-2 to reach the next round of the FA Youth Cup after a thrilling tie at Aggborough.

An explosive half of football had seemed to begin in relatively calm style – Jack Male getting in a brace of early efforts with one low shot and another than angled over the bar after the ball had run loose on the edge of the area.

The scoring began in sensational style with just ten minutes on the clock. Great work by Kai Lissimore saw him dig out a cross when tight to the by-line, pulling it back to Samson Hewett who met it with a glorious, first-time volley that rose high over the keeper and into the net.

Tom Cole got in on the act five minutes later and made it 2-0. Not to be outdone in the screamer stakes, he arced a sweet angled finish that bend beyond stopper Whitmarsh.

Stourbridge never looked too deterred from the early double salvo, though, and after they’d responded with two good headed chances from respective corners, they pulled a goal back on 23 minutes as Elliott Ball found space and drove into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Just before the half hour, Harriers came close to a third goal when Keegan Horan, having nudged a shot beyond Whitmarsh, ran forward to try and beat him to the loose ball. The keeper managed to parry it, but the Harriers man turned and hit it back at goal, striking the underside of the bar.

Amazingly there was still just half an hour on the clock when Stourbridge struck back with their equaliser, Tyler Smith turning sharply in the area and firing smartly beyond Ben Wood.

The visitors even had chances to take the lead before the interval; Smith’s firm drive was well held on 40 minutes and Harry Lewis saw an effort tipped over the bar five minutes later.

Cole had the home side’s first chance of the second half when he struck wide of the near post after the ball ran to him across the area, but the Reds soon had their third when Hewett, dancing with the ball along the touchline and keeping it tight to his feet before slamming it into the far corner.

Barely than two minutes later, Horan’s driving run into the area was ended by a foul to the award of a penalty, but Whitmarsh got down well to his left to keep the ball out and keep his team in the tie.

For the first time in the match there was then a quieter spell as the teams began to introduce changes, but Harriers always stayed lively. On 70 minutes, Male’s low shot was deflected wide for a corner as he looked to add to the score.

With eight left of normal time, a clever pass released Stourbridge’s McEvoy inside the area, he looked a threat as he charged down the target but his eventual shot glanced narrowly over.

In the final minute the Glassboys came closer still when a Lewis free kick took a wicked deflection, but Wood watched it carefully and got down well to make the save.

Harriers: Wood, Bastable, Cole (Pierpoint 87), Lissimore, Tait, Arrowsmith, Tolley, Male, Parker (Lee 62), Horan, Hewett (Melia 82).

Subs not used: Downs, Cox, Taylor-Bradley, O’Sullivan.

Attendance: 501

Referee: Jack Shepherd


This article is about: Academy, Youth


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