Kidderminster Harriers are out of the FA Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat to Alvechurch following a 2-2 draw.

Manager Russ Penn was able to hand Harriers debuts to a number of his summer signings, not least the pair signing on Friday – Manchester United youngster Max Taylor slotting into the defence while goalkeeper Luke Simpson started between the sticks.

Amari Morgan-Smith made his second Reds debut after re-joining in the summer, but there was no such joy for Luke Maxwell who missed out through injury.

There was a dream start for the home side as they stole ahead inside just three minutes; stealing possession near the half-way line, the Church charged forward through Jake Wakeling, he crossed low and dangerously for Keiron Cook who fired home from just shy of the penalty spot.

Harriers did, after the early scare, settle more into a rhythm and got a greater control on the game – all without truly troubling Alvechurch goalkeeper Jonno Brown, with Lowe and Sterling both going close but ultimately not forcing a save.

That pressure told eventually, though, and on 26 minutes there was an equaliser – good build-up play featuring Richards and Hemmings help find Sterling, whose perfect cross was side-footed home coolly for the first Harriers goal of the new season.

The visitors then stayed in the ascendancy until the break, although there was virtually no further goalmouth action as the hosts desperately battled to stay solid.

After the break the action was decidedly slower to get started as the two teams cancelled each other out but, three minutes shy of the hour Church were back in front – a glancing header from Hull enough to steer Botfield’s cross past Simpson and into the net.

Wakeling almost then made it 3-1 as he forced the debutant custodian into a save, with Harriers up at the other end seeing Austin go close to his second. Played through by Morgan-Smith, he tried his best to chip the ball up and over Brown, who stayed strong and made the save.

On 71 minutes the topsy-turvy Cup tie was equal once again as Austin’s cross in the area – eventually – found Hemmings who drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

Both sides were then forced to do some drastic, last-ditch defending to prevent any further breaches as penalty kicks loomed, but it became evident that’s exactly where we’d head.

There was plenty of quality and composure shown early on as the day boiled down to spot kicks – Luke Prosser and Hemmings both finding the net from 12 yards, but Morgan-Smith and sub Martin were unable to test Brown, their efforts going off target as Alvechurch revelled in the joy of four successful kicks, and progress into the Third Qualifying Round.

Harriers must now pick themselves up for a big first league game of the season this coming Tuesday night as Chester visit at Aggborough, fresh off a penalty shoot-out win of their own in the Cup.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Lowe, Montrose, Austin (Martin 80), Morgan-Smith, Hemmings, Sterling, M. Taylor, Prosser.

Unused subs: Tolley, Palmer, Freemantle, Arthur, White, B.Taylor

Attendance: 445

Referee: Darren Rogers