How long have we waited for this? A meaningful game against our closest rivals Worcester City has been a long time coming and, after twenty five years of the Harriers being the prominent team in Worcestershire, we have never had a real chance to prove that. Now we have.
You cannot count the meaningless Worcester Senior Cup games that always seem to arrive right in the middle of a busy spell of games and so then get put back to almost the end of the season. Or, as in last seasons final against Evesham Utd, it didn't get played until the start of the following season.
Once upon a time long, long ago City were the major force in the County (sorry, that should read Bromsgrove Rovers) and had ambitions of gaining entry into the Football League but a lack of investment in the structure of the club and St Georges Lane meant that dream would never come to fruition. Now they find themselves desperately trying to fund a new home at Nunnery Wood at the same time that the world is in it's biggest financial depression since the inter war period.
Behind the scenes rucks don't help matters much with boardroom squabbles ending up with directors leaving and a lack of new investment coming in. Now at least they do seem to be getting their act together and last week dismissed Richard Dryden from his managers position and re-instated Carl Heeney as the caretaker manager until further notice. In the boardroom they have had a couple of new people come in and they have started well by holding a fans forum last week and then actually having the nerve to inform their fans that they have money troubles due to the recent bad weather and are asking for financial help from the fans.
Under Heeney they have now won their last two games. The first win was probably the easier of the two by beating struggling Weymouth at home but then, against the odds, they won the Trophy replay at Carshalton on Tuesday night. That must be obvious by the fact that we play City tomorrow.
The win against Weymouth still sees them sitting near to the bottom of the table and it's going to take a lot of hard work to get them out of the mess they find themselves in. I'm sure that the last thing Harriers fans want to see is City getting relegated and plummeting towards the Zamarretto playing Rovers.
When the sides run out on Saturday it'll be like watching two Harriers teams coming out. City are chock full of ex Harriers from different stages of their time at Aggborough. Wayne Daniels was with us years ago and left us to join Stafford Rangers. At the other extreme Carlo Adaggio never actually played for us but did make a fair number of pre-season appearances for us before he was told he would not be needed and Rob Elvins likewise.
Ones that did actually play for us are Rob Davies (Hmmnn), Graham Ward (ok) and Mark Clyde (legend). I'm sure that out of those it's Mark Clyde that'll get the biggest cheer from the Harriers fans.
City have no injury worries and we have just a couple with David McDermott (stomach, but now out of hospital) definitely out and Dean Bennett doubtful with a groin injury. Robbie Matthews should be back for us having now recovered from flu.
This is going to be a big game for both sides and certainly the biggest game in the County for a long, long time. It's not going to be easy getting past City and I think it might take a replay at Aggborough to achieve that but I'm hopeful that we complete the task first time round.
On Saturday we find out.
Photo © KHFC
Coleman, Singh, Baker, Riley, Courtney, Sharpe, Farrell, Finnigan, Knights, Hadley, McPhee, Bennett, Hayward, Caines, D Spencer, Smikle, Dolman, Matthews.
Meredith, Mace, Elvins, K Spencer, Daniel, Clyde, Wilding, Ward, Khan, Dinsmore, Walker, Kemp, Adaggio, Fitzpatrick, Carter, Davies, Birley, Hinchcliffe, Bridges, McGregor, Meredith, Emery, Ledgister, Carey-Bertram, Connolly, Brown, Wardle, Cornes.
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