DON'T be surprised if there was a slight sense of trepidation in the West Ham United boardroom the moment they were drawn to face Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup.

That's because the Hammers hierarchy have seen it all before... to their expense.

Mrssrs Gold, Sullivan and Brady were previously at the helm with Birmingham City when they suffered the agony of a 2-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of the Harriers.

What's the betting they won't be taking the Harriers so lightly this time around.

Former Harriers boss Graham Allner remembers it all too well and claimed: "The coincidence is amazing!

"Did we do anything special when we were drawn against West Ham? I  can't honestly remember. I think we just went to the local church and prayed!

" In truth, I don't think we had to do anything special because the players were always going to be up for it and I think we had a job trying to dampen down the excitement. West Ham were a team full of stars, led by Billy Bonds and Harry Redknapp. It was like we'd gone into another world.

"The one big difference was the media attention with the BBC and Sky sports turning up for training sessions.

"We tried to keep a lid on things, because there was always a danger that the media attention could take over our preparations.

"It seemed the whole world wanted to know, I was even giving interviews to Australian television".

"My real worry was that the cup run would damage our progress in the league.

"We were top of the GM Vauxhall Conference at the time and I didn't want things to rebound on us after we went out of the cup.

"The club had already been told we wouldn't be promoted to the Football League because of the ground.

"I wanted to prove to the FA that we could handle league football. It would have been easy to have switched the tie to West Ham's Upton Park ground but this was more about proving something to the FA.

"We installed a temporary stand which brought the ground capacity at Aggborough up to 8,000. We'd already got plans in place to build a new stand but the decision not to promote us had already been made the previous Christmas.

"At least we had a chance to change their minds and we went out of our way to accommodate the press. It was the type of game that brings all the big guns out from Fleet Street. We turned the old social club into a press centre and to be fair, after the game, the press backed us in our bid to obtain promotion.

"Although we lost the game in the end 1-0, we held our own and it took quite a late goal to beat us.

"As far as the day went, it was brilliant, but unfortunately it didn't make any difference in the end.

"I'd been so pleased that the players had kept things going and we went on to win the league but we still didn't get promoted.

"The decision was already cut and dried by then. Had there been automatic promotion and relegation into the Football League, then Northampton Town would have been the club to come down.

"One newspaper even took  aerial shots of the two grounds and compared them. Aggborough easily came out best.

"They changed the rules after that. I'm glad they did and scrapped the old ones.

"It was the second time I've won the league and not been promoted.

"It happened to me at my previous club Leamington.

"You could say I've been unlucky".