Harriers 1 Port Vale 1
A humid Friday evening saw League 1 side Port Vale pay a friendly visit to Aggborough and that meant a welcome return for Harriers legend Lee Hughes and a return to the scene of his launch upon the footballing world.
Also hoping to impress upon a club he started with was Anthony Malbon but his failure to make the kick off due to traffic congestion saw him have to bide his time awhile until the second half.
It was Hughes who almost drew first blood when he saw his header go wide but still managed to draw a gasp from the crowd of just over 500. Their account was opened some fifteen minutes later though when the speedy Jennison Myrie-Williams escaped the attentions of stand in left back Danny Jackman and sent in a shot that could have taken the slightest deflection off Josh Gowling.
Michael Gash and Ryan Rowe were playing as a pair upfront for the Harriers and that combination almost provided a riposte when Rowe pointed a header downwards but it went straight at the Valiants keeper. The rest of the half was end to end stuff with Vale having the superiority but having nothing more to show for it
HT: Harriers 0 Port Vale 1
Malbon finally came on in place of Rowe at the start of the second period but failed to make much impression on the game but not through lack of effort. This half saw a stronger showing by the Harriers and Kyle Storer came very close to bringing the game level when he sent a powerful shot flying in only to see it just about pushed over the bar by the keeper.
In the fifty fifth minute the Reds drew deservedly level through Marvin Johnson.
He chased what looked to be a lost cause into the corner but superb control saw him sidestep two Vale defenders and then, when it seemed he had lost momentum, he struck a looping, dipping shot over the keepers head and into the far corner.
A host of substitutions by Steve Burr saw Chey Dunkley withdrawn from the game, amongst others, and that saw us give the advantage back to the visitors without them seeming to do much with it. We still managed to come the closest to winning the game though when Lee Vaughan was bought down in the area. Up stepped Gash to take the spot kick but even though it was a powerful kick the ball somehow crashed off the underside of the crossbar and onto the goal line below from whence it was cleared upfield.
Shades of England v Germany all those years ago but Gash is no Geoff Hurst.
The sapping heat had taken its toll by the time the end of the game drew near and the final score of a goal apiece was a fair reflection of a very good, all action, friendly game.
Lewis, L Vaughan (D Bennett 82), Gowling (Grimes 76), Dunkley (Fox 76), M Johnson (Angus 64), Byrne (Tolley 46), Fowler (Dance 76), Storer (Gittings 82), Jackman (Demetriou 76), Rowe (Malbon 46), Gash (Blissett 76).
Neal (S Johnson 80), Jones (Mohammed 14), Griffith, Reid, Doumbe (Robertson 63), Myrie-Williams, Lloyd, Hughes (Pope 72), Williamson (Tomlin 72), Shuker (Dodds 76), Duffy (Lines 46)