The Harriers easily pushed a youthful and weak Nottingham Forest side at Aggborough today. In fact the 3-0 scoreline could easily have been 6 or 7 nil and that wasn't because the Harriers were superb but, sorry to say, that Forest looked totally un-interested and seemed to be wishing they were at Peterborough with the first team.
We were without winger David Hankin, who was best man at his brother's wedding, and new signing Mike Williams. The Welsh defender was awaiting international clearance to play. Trialists Aaron Griffiths and Callum Gittings started in their place.
With drops of rain starting to appear across the ground it was Forest who started the game more strongly and, but for some wayward shooting, should have opened the scoring when Robbie Gibbons' shot went wide following a cross from Tom Mullen. They had a few more attempts on goal but all ended up just the same way.
It took us until twenty minutes in to get going with anything of our own on target and that fell for our other new signing, Lee Morris, to bring out a good stop from the Forest keeper, Karl Darlow. He got his goal soon after though.
Aaron Griffiths sent over a peach of a cross from deep in midfield and Morris was there to lose his marker and head the ball home for his 'first goal' for the Harriers.
The second goal came minutes after to signal the start of Chris McPhees' (left) brace. Tom Shaw's strike on goal was deflected by a Forest defender into the path of McPhee who didn't hesitate in striking the ball home from the corner of the area. It could have been three following the next attack on goal when the same two players combined again but this time McPhees' header went straight at the keeper and he collected easily.
He didn't make the same mistake just before halftime though. Lee Morris played the ball into the path of the incoming McPhee and his powerful shot took a deflection off a defender to leave Darlow wrong footed as the ball went into the back of the net.
HT: Harriers 3 Nottingham Forest 0
First half side: Danny Lewis, Lee Vaughan, Aaron Griffiths, Tom Sharpe, Tom Shaw, Mark Albrighton, Jack Byrne, Keith Briggs, Lee Morris, Chris McPhee, Callum Gittings.
The second half commenced with the Harriers making a number of substitutions. John Finnigan, Kyle Hadley, Michael Briscoe and Matt Blair all came on in place of Tom Shaw, Mark Albrighton, Jack Byrne and Lee Morris.
This half was a far better experience for the watching Harriers supporters with more goal mouth action than in the first period even though we couldn't get any into the net. Forest were the first to threaten again and they should really have scored with a fine, rising shot from Robbie Gibbons that struck the underside of the bar and bounced down on the right side of the line.
Kyle Hadley was trying hard to make an impression the game and he tried his luck a number of times from distance but most, if not all, of his efforts went either well wide or over the bar. Lloyd Kerry, on for Keith Briggs, came the closest to scoring when his shot crashed against the crossbar.
A few more subs took place for both sides and then just before the final whistle Matt Blair headed just wide of the far post from a Hadley cross.
FT: Harriers 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Second half side: Danny Lewis (Andrew Stevens 75), Lee Vaughan (Paul McCone 59), Aaron Griffiths, Tom Sharpe (Joe Hull 75), John Finnigan, Kyle Hadley, Michael Briscoe, Matty Blair, Keith Briggs (Lloyd Kerry 59), Chris McPhee (Robert Thompson-Brown 75), Callum Gittings (Kevin Holsgrove 59)
Nottingham Forest: Karl Darlow, Jordan Kay (Patrick Bamford 65), Kieron Freeman, Kostaris Artymatas, Jamaal Lascelles, Neill Byrne, Danny Meadows, Robbie Gibbons, Nialle Rodney, Tom Mullen, Darragh Reynor.
Attendance: 859 (153 away)
Photo © Harriers Online