Morgans first and then Harrys.
Harriers 0 Wolves XI 0 Report by Morgan Nock
An easy-going performance from both sides ended in a 0-0 draw on a chilly summers day at Aggborough, with no one really impressing.
From the off the Wolves young side showed their youth exploiting and frequently dispossessing a slow Harriers side. The experience in the away side was based in a solid defence made up of former Norwich defender, and £1M signing Jason Shackell, who dominated aerially, alongside Darren Ward and fans favourite Neil Collins.
Their experience shone through on a dull day, as they constantly broke down Kiddy's attacks. The only shot on target in the first half was a floated free kick from Gavin Strachan, which was less than troubling for the Wolves keeper Richard Wooley. Fortunately for the Harriers the Wolves' attacking options and chances were limited so Dean Coleman had a quiet afternoon.
With barely a minute gone in the second half Sam Winnall, a half time substitute for Wolves, went down mysteriously with a serious looking injury which resulted in him being stretchered off several minutes later.
Wolves made a couple of changes, bringing on some younger faces in the form of Michael Wardle and Perez. Shortly afterwards Dean Bennett picked up the ball and after being encouraged to shoot shook the cross bar with a rasping shot from 30 yards on the hour mark.
Harriers then enjoyed a spell of dominance nearly capitalised on by a header from Chris McPhee that was denied by the post. Aaron Farrell and Brian Smikle also had chances at the end of the game, but Wolves held out for a goalless draw.
Harriers 0 Wolves XI 0 Report by Harry Taylor
The Germans would call it langweilig, the British would call it boring.
No I'm not on about the Golf open, instead I'm on about the first of the four Harriers home friendlies this season, commencing with a Wolves XI at Aggborough. The Wanderers, who have been promoted into the Premiership, sent a youth team along with the likes of Neil Collins, Darren Ward and Darren Potter to Aggborough to battle it out with the Harriers. It wasn't so much of a battle, more of an agreeable stalemate.
Harriers lined up with ex-Aldershot Rob Elvins retaking his place upfront alongside Matthew Barnes-Homer with there being no sign of Lee Hughes. Gavin Strachan and Gavin Caines also returned to the lineup after playing for other sides in midweek. They'd better have performed well in those games as after today Harriers could do so much better than having such players.
Harriers kicked off shooting towards the Town end and immediately the tediousness of the friendly set in with neither side able to break each other's defences. We ended up resorting to the long ball game which would never work with Championship defenders heading balls away for fun. Barnes-Homer and Elvins huffed and puffed and couldn't break down the defence.
Chances were few and far between and whilst Darryl Knights was doing his best to play balls along the ground and try some clever and tricky moves the Wolves defence were wise to them and neither of the Harriers first half strikers got a decent chance. The closest Harriers came to scoring was from Gavin Strachan who struck a free kick well over the wall but straight at the Wolves goalkeeper Richard Woolley who grasped it firmly.
One positive that the Harriers could take from the game was that Dean Coleman kept a clean sheet and with the first half strike pairing of Paris Simmonds (formerly of Derby County) and Ashley Hemmings it was surprising that he wasn't tested as much as he should have been. The closest the Premiership newcomers came to scoring was a cross goal shot from right winger Kyle Bennett - who looked lively - which went wide of the far post.
In the second half the game started much like the one that it had followed, a slow drawn out process of the ball being lofted towards the Harriers strikers, and it being headed away yet again for the drawn out midfield battle to resume. By this time Smikle and Dean Bennett had made their ways onto the pitch which enabled more ball play and gave the second half a better feel than the first.
Bennett was solely responsible for the best chance of the game which was a drive from twenty five yards out that smacked the crossbar. Wolves had probably their best chance of the game then through Hemmings who headed just over the bar from a Kyle Bennett cross.
After that the Harriers picked up the tempo and gained a faint control of the game with Zac Costello making a run from the back to force a good save from Wooley and Chris McPhee heading against the outside of the post much to the fans and his own dismay. After this there were no other significant chances for Harriers, despite the hard work of Brian Smikle, McPhee and Bennett for Kidderminster.
Harriers can take little from this game apart from the fact that Dean Coleman got a clean sheet as he was relatively untroubled. Some of the triallists looked very poor and players such as Aaron Farrell and Kyle Hadley are too lightweight to be first team players next season.
There seems to be no creative influence in the squad now Martin Brittain has gone and unless this is sorted we will struggle to make mid table.
My MOTM was Dean Bennett who played very well against the club who he faced in the FA Cup in 2004 and his drive from 25 yards was unlucky not to go in.
Dean Coleman, Joe Wilcox (Liam Dolman 45), Gavin Caines (Tom Sharpe 60), Martin Riley (Zac Costello 72), Daune Courtney (Lee Baker 45), Gavin Strachan (Dean Bennett 45), Chris McPhee, David McDermott (Brian Smikle 45), Darryl Knights (Aaron Farrell 60), Matthew Barnes-Homer (Nathan Hayward), Rob Elvins (Kyle Hadley 45).
Richard Woolley, Neil Collins, Jason Shackell, Danny Batth, Darren Ward, David Davis, Elliot Bennett, Kyle Bennett (Perez 64), Ashley Hemmings, Paris Simmons, Perez (Sam Winnall 45 (Michael Wardle 51)).
946 (290 away)
Photo © KHFC