The Harriers went crashing un-deservedly out of this years FA Cup after dominating their higher league opponents Dagenham & Redbridge. Although we were in the same Nationwide Conference as them last season no doubt if we had won today the press would have called it a giant killing. Now the possible giant killing is for Dagenham when they find out tomorrow who they could meet in the next round.
We started the game without James Constable after the clubs final chance of a reprieve for our leading scorer fell on deafened FA ears. Mark Yates decided to go with a lone striker upfront in Justin Richards but had insurance on the bench in the shape of Matt Barnes-Homer and Iyseden Christie.
Dean Bennett came back for his final game with us until the New Year when he is expected to sign for us permanently. Because of these two changes Yates went with the 4-5-2 formation that gained us a brilliant win at Burton a few weeks ago.
Dagenham are struggling at the higher level this season and had failed to win at home since September until today. Paul Benson, their high scoring striker from last season has failed to do the same this but sod's law dictated that he got two of their goals today.
The first half was nearly all Harriers and in the first seconds of the game Justin Richards tried his luck but his shot from the far side of the area went across the face of Tony Roberts' goal. Russ Penn was the next to have a crack at goal but his shot went the wrong side of the post.
The Harriers relentless pressure soon got it's rewards though when, in the thirteenth minute, Mark Creighton put us a goal up. We had been given a free kick on the left after Penn was fouled by Jon Boardman and it was taken by Andy Ferrell. The ball was placed perfectly for the Harriers defender, Mark Creighton, to smash home a header and give us a deserved lead.
Dagenham came back into the game for a short period but without really troubling Scott Bevan too much although a lob from Danny Foster deceived him when it bounced in front of him and then went safely over the bar. Glenn Southam did go a bit closer in the thirtieth minute with a shot that Bevan did well to stop.
The Harriers slowly gained the upperhand again but then, against the run of play, Dagenham drew level. Sam Sloma sent over a deep cross for Benson to bring down on his chest and then then strike a volley that had nowhere to go but the back of the net - Bevan didn't stand a chance.
Dagenham were in charge now and could have gone further ahead soon after but luckily for us an overhead shot from Foster struck Creighton before it could reach the goal and went over the bar to safety. In the final seconds of the half Russ Penn could have put us back into the lead but his shot from twenty yards out went across the goal and out of play the wrong side of the post.