A HAT-TRICK from Ashley Hemmings helped Harriers cruise through to the FA Trophy Fourth Round with an emphatic 4-1 win over Stourbridge at Aggborough Stadium.

The Reds produced a dominant and professional showing to banish the memories of some cup horror shows against The Glassboys in previous seasons. 

Harriers rang the changes for the tie, with Amari Morgan-Smith and Sammy Robson among those dropping out of the 16 entirely, while Alex Penny and Caleb Richards were restored to the eleven alongside Ben Tollitt and Zak Brown.

On the bench there was a place for new signing Gold Omotayo, who made the move to Aggborough in advance of the tie from AFC Fylde for an undisclosed fee.

The hosts netted as early as the 14th minute when Ryan McLean showed superb composure to steal the ball from a poor back pass to round goalkeeper Charlie Price and score his first goal in club colourS since joining on loan from AFC Wimbledon.

Though more understated, McLean’s performance was arguably as influential as that of Hemmings in the first half. Barely 20 minutes had been played when McLean stole possession to get one on one Price, this time being fouled to the award of a penalty, which Hemmings converted at the second attempt after an initial effort was ordered to be re-taken.

Still McLean remained a threat and, on 34 minutes he helped Hemmings to Harriers’ third goal of the day, flicking the ball neatly between Stourbridge players for the talisman to finish off an excellent team move. 

That treble had Russ Penn’s charges firmly in the driving at the interval and, as such, a fairly tepid second half then followed, though Hemmings' hat-trick goal on 70 minutes brought things back to life.

Another loanee in Ben Tollitt turned the ball around well for Hemmings to run on to, a charging drive towards ending as the stalwart rounded Price and finished firmly into the net. 

Tollitt took over at that point with a mission to beat Price once more, but the Glassboys custodian thwarted him on three separate occasions, including a good stop from a 20-yard free kick. 

Stourbridge did get themselves on the score sheet before the end of the afternoon, netting a consolation effort with arguably the sweetest strike of the entire afternoon. With just a minute of normal time left, a corner was headed down straight on to the boot of Niall Flint who superbly volleyed past Dibble and into his bottom left corner.

Harriers head into January's FA Trophy Fourth Round, and return to National League action on Saturday, 16 December when they visit Maidenhead United.