Romulus 2 Harriers XI 1
The Harriers officially kicked off their delayed friendly season today with this defeat at Romulus although some of the side did play in a game earlier this morning at West Broms training ground. Goals from Ryan Rowe (2) and James Vincent gave us the 3-2 victory.
The game later in the day, at Sutton Coldfields ground that they share with Romulus, was a payment in kind for the signing of Marvin Johnson from there last season.
Following a quiet start it was Callum Gittings who was the first to try his luck with a shot that went slightly wide of goal. It went quiet again until a penalty was given to the hosts following a handball but Nicky Campbells spot kick was well saved by Ed Baldy trialling in goal for us.
A few minutes later and we had opened the scoring.
Another triallist, Justin Naisbitt, had his effort saved but the ball only got as far as Jack Byrne to head goalwards and into the net. Rob Thompson-Brown almost added a second just after but his shot went the same way as Callums earlier, wide. Ryan Simmons, yet another on trial, could have scored just before the break but his shot was cleared off the line.
HT: Romulus 0 Harriers XI 1
1st half team:
Baldy, T Williams, Checketts, Demetriou, 'Charlie', Thompson-Brown, Gittings, Byrne, M Johnson, Simmons, Naisbitt.
It didn't take our host long to pull a goal back. The veteran Paul Devlin, formerly of Birmingham City a long time ago, slotted the ball beyond the reach of James Collister who had come on in place of the first half keeper at the break.
Five minutes later and Romulus had taken the lead with the goal coming from Nathan Jackson. It was a lead they were to keep until the game had ended.
The Harriers boss, Steve Burr, made a few more changes with a load of players named Johnson coming on to replace just as many Johnsons going off. Zeff Johnson had already replaced R T-B at the break and now Marvin Johnson and Ashley Checketts made way for James Johnson and Jean Guyes. Soon after Judd Ellis and Paul Hurrell replaced Jack Byrne and Charlie Blakemore.
Paul Hurrell soon made his mark with a shot that that went just over the bar from the edge of the area.
The game came to a close with two chances for Naisbitt. His first shot ten minutes from the ninety was saved well and then in the dying seconds a one on one with the keeper saw the Romulus custodian win the ball from the strikers foot.
Our next friendly will be on Tuesday evening at Wulfrunians.
FT: Romulus 2 Harriers XI 1
2nd half team:
Collister, T Williams, Checketts (Guyes), Demetriou, Z Johnson, Gittings, Byrne (Ellis), M Johnson (J Johnson), Naisbitt, Blakemore (Hurrell), Simmons.