Harriers shot down by Thomas brace

First published in Sport
Last updated

Harriers 0, Birmingham 3

HARRIERS found Championship outfit Birmingham's fire power too strong in an entertaining pre-season clash.

The Reds more than matched the Blues in the first half and had their chances.

But an error allowed Wes Thomas to put the away side ahead in the first half.

Thomas added a second just after the break before Clayton Donaldson finished the scoring off.

Harriers manager Gary Whild fielded something close to his strongest line-up with two of his big name summer additions, Craig Reid and Jared Hodgkiss, starting.

Jamie Grimes played at left-back with Marvin Johnson pushing forward.

The third big addition, Reece Styche, was handed a spot on the bench.

City boss Lee Clarke started with a powerful looking XI with new additions such as David Cotterill and Mark Duffy.

The game felt more like a cup match thanks to a great atmosphere created by the 2,481 strong contingent of City supporters and an impressive turn out by the home fans.

It was Kidderminster keeper Danny Lewis who was called into action in the sixth minute, denying Duffy after good work by Novak.

Johnson nearly opened the scoring in the 20th minute when he raced down the wing and tested City stopper Darren Randolph into a fine save.

Unfortunately, the Harriers attacker limped off after taking a tumble and was replaced by new addition Ahmed Obeng.

The first half continued to be entertaining, with both sides creating chances.

Lewis tipped over two long range efforts from Cotterill but Harriers fell behind in the 37th minute.  Reid's poor corner allowed Wes Thomas to lead a counter-attack and after an error by Hodgkiss, the striker evaded Josh Gowling and slotted home.

But the hosts responded with gusto and Chey Dunkley's thunderbolt crashed off the angle of the  upright.

Obeng then set up Reid in the 45th minute when the forward's fine effort drew an athletic save from Randolph.

City doubled their lead less than a minute into the second half when Novak's fine run  caught out the defence and Thomas finished accurately.

Obeng then cleared the ball off the line after a fine run from Duffy.

The match then became disjointed as both teams made the customary glut of substitutions.

One of City's big name summer additions, Donaldson, made it 3-0 in the 75th minute.

Lewis continued to thwart Harriers' opponents and he flung himself to get behind Stephen Gleeson's long rang effort.

Donaldson nearly added a fourth in the87th minute but fired over the bar.

Harriers: Lewis, Dunkley, Gowling (Williams, 71), Grimes,  Hodgkiss (Green, 56), Storer, Byrne (Verma, 56), Johnson (Obeng, 71) (Hales, 76), Gittings (O'Keefe, 56), Blissett (Gash, 65), Reid (Styche, 65).

Subs not used: Singh.

Birmingham: Randolph, Eardley, Gunning (Grounds, 46), Edgar (Gleeson, 61), Duffy (Brown, 71), Thomas (Shinnie, 72), Cotterill (Grsy, 73),Hall (Packwood, 61), Hancox, Adeyemi, Novak (Donaldson, 61).

Subs not used: Reilly, Lee, Caddis,  Adams, Preston.

Referee: Steve Bratt.

Attendance: 3,928 (2,481)

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