The Harriers finished their pre-season programme with this emphatic win at Hednesford Town made special with what could be one of our quickest goals ever. It took just twelve seconds for Chris McPhee to convert Tom Shaw's long ball into the area and so set us up nicely for the start of the Blue Square season at York City next Saturday.
The Harriers manager, Steve Burr, started the game with a strong looking side that could very well have been the one that would start next week but then when John Finnigan was stretchered off with a bad knee injury and minutes later defender Tom Sharpe was also forced to leave the field that all looked very unlikely. On the bench for the Pitmen was the former Harriers keeper Stuart Brock (right).
The replacement for Sharpe was Michael Briscoe and his impact on the game was crucial. His first touch of the ball was to stop the home side from scoring and his second was to come close to adding a second goal when he stabbed a shot against the foot of the post.
Just before the break the Harriers doubled their lead through the new number nine, Lee Morris. Callum Gittings supplied the pin point pass for Morris to lob the keeper from eighteen yards out.
HT: Hednesford Town 0 Harriers 2:
After the break we could have increased the lead to three when Jack Byrne, on for McPhee earlier, sent in a shot from the edge of the area that Danny Crane did well to keep out.
Burr made a few changes following that with Nick Wright and Lee Vaughan coming on in place of Dave Hankin and Tom Shaw. A few minutes later more changes were made and Kyle Hadley and latest signing Matty Blair coming on in place of Chris McPhee and Callum Gittings.
Keith Briggs added the third and final goal eight minutes from the end of the game when he latched onto a loose ball in the area to seal the win. He could have scored much earlier though but his strike from a Mike Williams cross was judged to have been offside.
So that's it then. After a poor start to our pre-season with three defeats to West Brom, Solihull and Nuneaton we managed to turn it round and racked up six consecutive wins to Chasetown, Notts Forest, Redditch, Burton Albion, Crewe and today Hednesford. It's just a shame about Finners.
FT: Hednesford Town 0 Harriers 3:
Daniel Lewis (Andrew Stevens), Mike Williams (Aaron Griffiths), Mark Albrighton, Tom Sharpe (Michael Briscoe), Tom Shaw, Lee Vaughan) Callum Gittings (Klye Hadley), Keith Briggs, John Finnigan (Jack Byrne) Dave Hankin (Nick Wright), Chris McPhee (Matty Blair), Lee Morris.
Dan Crane, Sean Platt (Jamie Osbourne), Louis Keenan, Ben Bailey (Cheyenne Dunkley), Jimmy Turner, Jay Denny, Darryl Proffitt (Tom Overfield), Dave Bridgewater (Josh Craddock), Mark Bellingham, Chris Clements (Kyle Patterson), Aaron Gibson (Justin Burger).
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Photo © KHFC