ASSISTANT boss Gary Whild admits Kidderminster Harriers will have to do it the hard way if they want to set off on the road to Wembley in the FA Trophy.
The Aggborough outfit have been handed a tough first round test at Alfreton Town on Saturday (3pm ko), who are enjoying their best ever season.
Nicky Law’s Derbyshire battlers are 12th in the Blue Square Bet Premier after Tuesday’s draw with Hyde, their highest ever position in the non-league pyramid.
But Harriers head into the clash in good form after back-to-back wins over Nuneaton and Telford.
They have also been boosted by the return of striker Jamille Matt after his nine-month exile came to an end last week.
Whild said: “It’s the luck of the draw and we’ve been given an all-Conference Premier clash away from home, which is a very tough test.
“When the draw came out we realised we faced a hard game as Alfreton are having a good season.
“But we got a point there in September and our confidence is high after winning the last two matches.
“The Trophy is a competition Steve (Burr) and I haven’t really done well in at Harriers and we’d love to put that right.”
Harriers can take some confidence from October’s 4-2 win over Grimsby Town in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round at Blundell Park, a tie that they were given very little chance of progressing from.
Whild added: “No-one thought we would win at Grimsby apart from ourselves but we played very well that day and got a result.
“We’ll certainly be going to Alfreton to try and win the game.”
Callum Gittings, Danny Pilkington and James Vincent will have knocks assessed ahead of the Saturday’s Trophy clash.
However, hitman Richard Peniket looks set to return to parent club Fulham now that Matt has been given the all-clear to play for Harriers by the UK Border Agency and the FA.
The Stourbridge-born forward joined on loan in August and has made 11 appearances but Matt’s availability has decreased his chances of playing.
Harriers already have hitmen Ryan Rowe, Anthony Malbon, Matt, Nathan Blissett and Steve Guinan on their books.
Matt is now working hard in training to fight his way back into contention for a starting spot.
Harriers kept faith with the 23-year-old when it was revealed he was not eligible to work in the UK earlier in the year, despite moving from Jamaica with his parents aged seven.
The club took up an option to extend his deal in the summer but it has taken longer than expected for his issues to be resolved.
Chairman Mark Serrell believes the centre forward can let his football do the talking.
He commented: “We’re happy to have Jamille back playing again.
“He’s gone through a tough time but he’s a likeable young man who deserves this chance.
“He’s got a lot of hard work to do but now at least he can focus on playing again.”