Jimmy O’Connor praised Harriers for seizing the opportunity and causing an FA Cup shock by knocking out National League side Grimsby Town at Aggborough.

The Reds, who play a league below the Mariners, upset the odds with a superb display to seal a 1-0 win on home soil.

The success, given to them to Ashley Hemming’s second half penalty, takes the side into the Second Round for the first time since 2013, and the run that ended at Premier League Sunderland in the Fourth Round.

2,800 packed into Aggborough, with the majority roaring Russ Penn’s men on to one of their biggest wins in many a season.

It was them that assistant chief Jimmy O’Connor thought of when speaking after the final whistle - delighted that the team snapped up the opportunity to put smiles on faces.

“Seeing the faces at the end of the people who’ve come to support us today - we’ve made their week, he said.

“The players and their efforts all this week has been planning to play against a really good team - one of the best teams in non league.

“To come and dig a performance out like that in really tough conditions is massively satisfying for me and Russ.

“Coming in at 0-0 at half time, we said to the players it was a fantastic opportunity and that it was important we grasped it and have it a good go, and I think we did that in the second half.”

The day started with one change for the hosts, the suspended Geraldo Bajrami replaced by veteran Keith Lowe, who ended the day as the fans’ Man of the Match after a heroic performance.

He and the rest of the Harriers defence stood firm to record a clean sheet against a team pushing hard for a promotion to the Football League - restricting Paul Hurst’s men to a limited number of clear-cut chances.

Amari Morgan-Smith had one of Harriers’ best sights of goal in the first half, a superbly directed header saved well by Max Crocombe.

The visitors were slick moving forward, and before the break they went close when the ball was played to Will Bapaga in the area, his slow shot dealt with by Luke Simpson.

Grimsby arguably created greater momentum in the second prior to going behind - sub John-Lewis going close before Luke Waterfall fired narrowly wide from inside the area past the hour with a gilt-edged chance.

Eight minutes later it seemed sure to be Harriers’ day. Michee Efete struck the post for Grimsby at one end before, at the other, sub Ethan Freemantle was felled in the area. Penalty specialist Hemmings coolly stepped up to stroke the ball beyond Crocombe who had dived the opposite way.

In truth, while Grimsby did their best to up the pressure once more, Lowe and co were imperious in stemming any serious attacks before they had chance to develop, with euphoric scenes greeting the final whistle. Penn’s Cup heroes are back at Aggborough for a forth consecutive Saturday when they entertain AFC Telford United in league action on 13th November (3pm). Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Cameron, Lowe, Austin, Carrington, Bonds, Morgan-Smith (Freemantle 64), Hemmings (Martin 80) Sterling.

Subs not used: Lissimore, Emery, White, Bastable, Bell.

Attendance: 2,799