Harriers hammer Droylsden to make FA Trophy progress

First published in News

Harriers 5
Droylsden 1

HARRIERS put Conference North side Droylsden to the sword to power into the next round of the FA Trophy with a comfortable victory at Aggborough on Saturday.

A brace for Steve Guinan and strikes by Jamille Matt, Dan Bradley and Nick Wright booked their place in the last 16 and took them a step close to a Wembley final.

The hosts had been troubled by The Bloods in the first half but they stepped it up a gear after the break and two goals in five minutes after the break gave them the platform to record their biggest win of the season. Harriers made the perfect start in the seventh minute when Bradley, making his second start since joining two weeks ago, caught out Bloods keeper Paul Phillips with a low 25-yard strike, which crept past the shot-stopper's ponderous dive to nestle in the bottom left corner.

The hosts looked comfortable for the first 20 minutes but their Conference North opponents started to grow in confidence. Dean Lyness showed quick reactions to dive and get a hand to Hall's shot from the edge of the area.

Moments later, Mickey Demetriou slid into block Dan Gardner's effort from 20-yards out, which looped behind for a corner.

Veteran hitman Guinan had a chance to create an opening after racing onto Bradley's pass but his effort was neither a shot or a cross.

Ciaran Kilheeney signalled a warning of Droylsden's intentions when he volleyed wide from a Lewis Killeen cross.

However, the home side came very close to going ahead. Demetriou did well to win the ball on the edge of his own box and release Wright with a well-judged pass. The striker's pacy delivery was missed by a flailing Phillips but the keeper recovered well to block Dave Hankin's shot.

Moments later, Wright saw his 25-yard half volley, set up by Mike Williams's good work, double Harriers' advantage in the 35th minute.

But they were pegged back in the 41st minute thanks to a smartly taken free-kick manouevre.

Paul Marshall's short pass allowed Dan Gardner to get free untroubled down the left and deliver a cross, which Steve Hall thumped into the back of the net with a far post header.

There was a change at the start of the second half as on-loan Hereford man James McQuilkin replaced out of sorts Hankin.

But two goals in five minutes took the game away from Harriers' Manchester-based opponents.

First, Matt made it 13 goals for the season when he rose to meet Demetriou's header to make it 3-1 in the 49th.

Guinan then put the game beyond Droylsden in the 54th. Bradley won the ball in midfield and broke forwards, slipping in Guinan, who chipped the ball calmly over the prostrate Phillips.

Harriers could have had more and the opposition shot-stopper then denied Guinan and Briscoe.

The home teamed looked capable of scoring more and the impressive Bradley came close with a low curling right-footed effort from the edge of the box.

Droylsden offered little going forwad but Lyness was called into action to block Dale Johnson's effort from close range.

Guinan grabbed his second to make it 5-1 in the 83rd minute, finishing from close range after Demetriou delivered a tantalising low ball across from box to complete an excellent day for Harriers.

Harriers: Lyness; Mike Williams; Hankin (McQuilkin, 46); Guinan; Wright; Sharpe; Briscoe; Matt (Marc Williams, 80); Demetriou; Storer (Gittings, 73); Bradley.

Unused substitutes: Checketts; Hurrell.

Droylsden: Phillips; Killeen; Holden; Langford; Kerr; Peyton (Gerrard, 58); Marshall; Hall (Owen, 79); Kilheeney; Johnson; Gardner (Rouse, 46).

Unused substitutes: Thompson; Lake.

Referee: Amy Fearn. Attendance: 1,104

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