The Harriers came up against the class of Coventry City in this penultimate friendly tonight and ended up losing 5-1 but can take heart from the fact that they competed throughout the game and can be pleased with their performance. City fielded a very strong side with the names of Dele Adebola, Stern John, Michael Doyle and Stephen Hughes catching the eye before the game.
We started with our latest signing, Jeff Kenna, at full back and the remainder of the side made up with what could well be the first choice eleven for when the season kicks off on August 12th. We still looked strong on the bench too and it's hard to believe that we have such talent in depth compared to last season when that talent was just not there.
It's just a shame that there were so few fans to see the game, both from ourselves and City. People complain about un-attractive opposition for friendlies and when we do get a good side to Aggborough they all stay away.
For the first ten minutes of the game City passed the ball around with a slick precision that left one wondering if we would be able to cope when they stepped up a gear but against the run of play we took a surprise lead. A poor header back to his keeper from Ward was intercepted by Michael Blackwood who put the ball onto his left foot and slipped it past Andy Marshall.
Ten minutes later and it was back to all square when Faygal Gliorissi, on trial for the Sky Blues, shot from the edge of the area and watched as his shot took a deflection to send the ball just out of reach of Steve Taylor. The same player had a hand in the second goal too when his corner flew low into the area and Matt Heath ducked low to send it into the net off the back of his head. It was hard to decide whether it was a well crafted goal or a fluke.
Towards the end of the half the Harriers started to make some headway in the game but then a killer blow was struck by Dele Adebola when he beat a square defence and drew Taylor too far off his line to stop the ball going into the net. If Taylor had stayed where he should it could have been an easy save.
The Harriers made a few changes at the start of the second half with Luke Reynolds replacing Andy White and Gavin Hurren on for Jonny Harkness. Ten minutes later another exchange was made with Stuart Whitehead making way for Mike McGrath.
We were still just about competing with the slick City side but no more goals were to come for us. Adebola grabbed his brace and Moussa N'Daiye capitalised on poor keeping from Taylor to slot the fifth goal into an empty net.
We never looked overawed by the visitors and will have taken heart from the fact that we look ten times better that we did last season. With a bit more toughness added in League games I think we should do well in the coming months and I could easily fancy our chances for promotion next year.
Harriers: Taylor, Kenna (Eaton), Harkness (Hurren), Creighton, Whitehead (McGrath), Sedgemore, Sturridge (Smikle), White, McClen (Russell), Blackwood, Penn.