JIMMY O’Connor hailed the performance of Ethan Freemantle as Harriers progressed in the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Ware at Aggborough on Tuesday.

The striker was brought back into the starting line-up for the Third Qualifying Round replay on the back of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Wodson Park.

He supplied the ammunition for the team’s first goal of the night as part of a tireless performance and netted the second to ensure they had a commanding 2-0 lead at the break.

The Reds then sealed the victory with a late goal from Alex Penny, with Freemantle at the forefront of the Aggborough Assistant Manager’s mind after the final whistle.

“I think we started the game right and learnt our lessons from Saturday,” reflected O’Connor, who saw Harriers deflated by a late Ware equaliser in the initial tie. “We put a lot of pressure on them from the off and I think the damage was done early in the game by how hard we worked.

“That was epitomised by Ethan at the front who came and showed a load of energy and a willingness to run.

“I think that set the tone for the rest of the team.”

Fresh from Joe Foulkes’ injury and subsequent lengthy lay-off on Saturday in the initial tie, Harriers were forced into one change as Alex Penny replaced him – elsewhere, Ethan Freemantle was handed his first start since win over Chester in August as he took Jaiden White’s spot in the eleven.

O’Connor and boss Penn can indeed have no complaints about their side’s comprehensive approach to attacking the tie – within the first half-hour they’d racked up enough chances to comfortably see of the opposition, with Freemantle, Sam Austin and Mark Carrington all going close early.

Austin then shot wide before Freemantle’s header went within a whisker of opening the scoring – Hemmings then trying his luck with a shot wide, all with barely 15 minutes on the clock.

The breakthrough came with 29 played, though, as Freemantle’s low centre was tucked beyond the keeper by Amari Morgan-Smith who made netted for the second consecutive game.

Ten minutes later Harriers were 2-0 up and it was the youngster who got in on the act, stretching to stab home the ball after Geraldo Bajrami had headed a corner into his direction.

The Reds had to adjust at half-time after Carrington was withdrawn, and it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of things after the restart as Buchanan and Mulley both had opportunities, the former denied by a good save from Simpson, and an offside flag for good measure.

Adamson then headed over with 67 minutes played before Hemmings volleyed narrowly wide, Penny’s very first goal in Harriers colours eventually rubber-stamping the team’s place in the Fourth Qualifying Round where they’ll travel to London side Bedfont Sports.

Up next for Harriers, though, is a home league game against Brackley Town on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Bajrami (Lowe 81), Cameron, Carrington (White 46), Martin, Austin, Morgan-Smith, Hemmings, Freemantle (Bell 77).

Subs not used: Emery, Tolley, Lissimore.

Attendance: 906

Referee: Greg Rollason