Matlock Town 0 Harriers 2 - FA Trophy 1st rd
Venue: Causeway Lane
away fans: 100+
Harriers get through a tough tie at Matlock
Report by Morgan Nock
A solid, professional performance ensured Kidderminster Harriers progression into the second round of the FA Trophy with a 2-0 win away at Matlock Town. In the second half Robbie Matthews scored a belter of a goal from twenty yards and Chris McPhee scored a stoppage time penalty to help the Harriers rake in £5,000 in prize money.
With quite a few regular players missing from the side the line-up was a mixture of firsts and reserves. Both Ryan Charles and Damian Spencer had been refused permission by their clubs to play and we also had Martin Riley missing due to suspension.
At the last minute we also had two players integral to the side having to pull out due to illness with David McDermott being admitted to hospital for tests. Dean Coleman was sent to the bench with a stomach bug but could be used in an emergency. His place was taken by Jasbir Singh who was making his debut for us.
An obvious gulf in class showed throughout as the away side dominated from start to finish. Early on Brian Smikle forced a save from the Matlock keeper, Aaron Jameson, with a testing low shot and this was followed by long spells of possession for the Harriers.
Darryl Knights and Chris McPhee both had efforts off target and Jasbir Singh was also tested thirty minutes in, in a short period where Matlock played some decent football. Singh showed particular bravery to collect a cross under pressure just under his bar.
Nathan Hayward completed the last attempt on goal just before half time with a simple header easily caught by Jameson.
Neither side had looked like scoring though and they went into the wooden shed all square and goal less.
HT: 0 - 0
The second half was much more entertaining than the first but it was still drab by the standards set in games against Oxford and Kettering. Early on in the half Kidderminster again enjoyed long spells of possession and Chris McPhee nearly made that pressure count as the goalkeeper spilled a cross and Chris pounced on it but he fired over the bar from six yards out.
After seventy four minutes the deadlock was finally broken. Aaron Farrell worked well down the left and let fly with a shot that was blocked but fell fortunately to Robbie Matthews who walloped the ball into the bottom corner. He never gave the goalkeeper time to blink, never mind save it.
It wasn't a lost cause for Matlock however and they kept battling. Ross Hannah squeezed past Gavin Caines and then flicked the ball around Duane Courtney before taking a low shot which Jasbir Singh somehow managed to claw back from the very corner of the goal.
The fourth official called for four minutes of stoppage time as Aaron Farrell continued to wreak havoc in the Matlock defence, but this time, as he burst into the box he was brought down and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
Up stepped Chris McPhee - fresh from his penalty miss against Tamworth twelve days ago - to hopefully put the game beyond doubt. An unflappable kick put Kidderminster 2-0 up and ensured progression into the next round.
The draw will be on Monday morning and at least we won't be drawing Luton following their exit today but we might be allowed to play Ryan Charles if he's still with us in January. The same goes for Damian Spencer with Kettering also making an early exit at the hands of Barrow.