1st Team - Report
|Kidderminster Harriers||0||vs||1||Stourbridge FC|
Kidderminster Harriers 0 Stourbridge 1 - Written by Nick Pullen
SUPER Stourbridge produced a stunning display to deal Conference giants Kidderminster Harriers with a shock 1-0 defeat to retain their Worcestershire Senior Cup crown in front of a 1,000 plus crowd at Aggborough.
The Glassboys took the game to Harriers with a pulsating first half show and were full value for their 1-0 lead at the break.Harriers boss Steve Burr had named the strongest side at his disposal but could only watch as his players were rocked back on their heels as Stourbridge came storming out of the starting blocks.
Twice in the opening minutes Stourbridge could have taken the lead.
Sean Geddes picked out Sam Rock with a glorious pass which resulted with Harriers goalkeeper Danny Lewis making a point-blank save to stop Rock after just three minutes.A further three minutes later Lewis was inexplicably caught in possession by Ben Billingham while lining up a clearence kick, but Billingham stabbed the ball wide.In the eighth minute, Stourbridge struck with the all-important goal.Stuart Hendrie let fly from fully 30 yards out and saw his shot strike the post and rebound back out for the advancing Rock to ram home. Harriers were visuably rattled and produced a catalogue of errors, particularly in defence but Stourbridge were unable to take further advantage by half time.
Unhappy Burr made changes to his defence at half time bringing on left back Mickey Demetriou, while Mike Williams was switched to central defence.It gave Harriers a much more solid look and they went onto dominate the second half. At times Harriers laid seige to the Stourbridge goal but they could find no way through.Central defenders Nathan Bennett and Paul McCone were a tower of strength in the heart of the Stourbridge defence while goalkeeper Lewis Solly pulled off a string of inspired saves.Twice McCone made headed goal-line clearences and must have given Burr food for thought as McCone was on trial with Harriers during the summer - but eventually not taken on.Solly also had an afternoon to savour, making two point blank saves from former Glassboys favourite Ryan Rowe and second half strike partner Steve Guinan.Stourbridge also rode their luck at times, especially when Demetriou fired against the post - but the ball stayed out.
Ironically Stourbridge should have increased their lead at the death when substitute Lindon Dovey beat Harriers off-side trap - but then fired over with only Lewis to beat.
The only dismay from Stourbridge's point of view was the fact manager Gary Hackett was unable to witness this fabulous win as he was away on holiday, so assistant Jon Ford took over the reins.
He praised his players, singling out Bennett, McCone and Solly, while Sean Geddes oozed class in midfield. Ford accepted Harriers superior fitness had come into play during the second half.
However Ford , with a twinkle in his eye, hinted he might ring his boss later and insisted that Gaz had deserved his holiday - while he couldn't afford one!
Burr was much more blunt about the game and described the defeat afterwards as 'a kick up the backside'.
He added: "None of my players came out of the game with any credit. We played as 11 individuals - not as a team."
It was hardly the performance he wanted, especially with a trip to Lincoln City in seven days time.
Harriers: Lewis; Dunkley (Demetriou 45), Geohaghon, Austin, Williams, Shakes, Vincent, Briggs (Storer 70), Pilkington ( Guinan 450, Rowe, Johnson. subs not used: Vaughan, Gittings.
Stourbridge: Solly; Lloyd, Griffiths, Rock (Dyson 83), McCone, Bennett, Hendrie (Ward 79), Geddes, Turton (Dovey 68), Billingham, Canavan. Subs not used: Knight, Slater.
Ref: Wayne Barrett (Worcester)
A selection of photographs from the cup final taken by Andrew Roper can be viewed on the following link -