An easy tap in goal from Darryl Knights gave the Harriers the honours in the first of our friendlies tonight. The Hereford goalie, new signing Darren Randolph, hesitated when clearing the ball and then tripped over it leaving Dazzler with the easiest of tasks to rob him and then slide the ball into the net.
From then on the game belonged to the Harriers with Hereford seemingly un-interested in making a game of it during the first half. They were treating it as more of a parks kick about and it wasn't until the second half that they began to perk up a bit.
The Reds had four triallists in the first half line-up and all four cut the mustard in terms of deserving a further look. David McDermott harried away in midfield and looked very similar in style to Darryl Knights while Michael Bowler seemed to be solid at the back as did Keith Lowe. The weakest, to my eyes, was Brittain who looked useful out wide but couldn't take a corner to save his life.
Knights came close to adding to his goal just after Luke Jones had gone off as a precaution against a worsening of a knock that he had taken earlier. Brittain also had a good shot saved by Randolph who had now made up for his earlier error.
The second half saw a completely new team take the field for the Harriers and a first chance for us to see our new keeper. Adam Bartlett looked very confident and his kicking was much better than we have seen from previous keepers from last season.
Simon Russell played in this half and had a couple of shots early on. The rumours are that he has only been offered a rolling monthly contract and to be honest he deserves better than to be treated in such a way considering that he's our longest serving player. There was no sign of the other 'contract rebel' Dean Bennett.
Of the triallists in the second half none really stood out. Addagio tried hard without convincing as did McCullum. Interestingly one of them, Darryl Taylor, was at Hereford in a previous season.
We could have gone on to add to the single goal during the second half but we didn't and it's only a friendly so it doesn't really matter. As a chance to see how players react in a semi-competitive game it was useful and I can see the first half triallists being given a further chance to shine and would expect three of them to be here at the start of the season.
Harriers first half:
Coleman, Ferrell, Lowe, Jones (Riley), Knights, Penn, Richards, McGrath, Brittain, McDermott, Bowler.
Harriers second half: Bignot, Russell, Barnes-Homer, Bartlett, Smikle, Riley, Foley, Taylor, Addagio, McCallum.
Hereford United: Randolph, Reid, Taylor, Dobson, Breen, Broadhurst, Johnson, Smith, Guinan, Hudson-Odoi, Done.
Subs: Hunt, Sampson, Beckwith, Rose, MacLeod, Diagouraga, Easton, Gbale, Jones.