Redditch Utd 3 Harriers 2
The Harriers dream of Worcester Senior Cup glory came to an end at Redditch Utd this evening after they crashed out to a lower level side that contained a smattering of some of Harriers own Academy players.
Our own line-up contained a fair selection of first team players, players not quite making the first team regularly and a few Academy lads too. Of the senior players Jamie Tolley was making his first ever start for us while on the bench was Steve Guinan looking for a chance to shine and hopeful of a place in the side that will be meeting Newport County on Saturday coming.
On a freezing cold evening it took a while for the first goal to arrive but when it did it came for the home side. Following early chances for Tolley and James Dance it was Omari Sterling-James that finished well for Redditch after Nathan Vaughan parried his first shot away but couldn't do anything about the follow up. It was almost two a split second after but Edwin Akenhorah sent his shot just the wrong side of the post (or the correct side depending on where your heart lies).
With time running down to the break the Harriers clawed a goal back through Nathan Blissett after he finished off a good move at the far post. The joy was not to last though because it took only another minute before the Redds regained their lead over the Reds.
It was a former Harriers youth teamer that regained the lead for them when Jermaine Hylton sidestepped Vaughan to go past him and fire towards goal. Harvey Hadley was on hand to make sure by getting a touch on it but it was already home.
Following the break it took only a minute for United to increase their lead further with another goal from Hylton. He broke free from his marker and drove the ball low and hard beneath Vaughan to make it 3-1.
The game settled down for a while after that, mainly due to the cold, but finally we managed to grab something of a consolation goal. Academy player, Josh Riis (Australian), came on in place of another youngster, Kwasi Tuffour, and sent in a header from Dances cross.
With the Harriers finally waking up it came very close to being an equaliser when Anthony Malbon sends a chance just wide and again a minute later when Jack Byrne repeated the move and did likewise. And as the game drew to a close we had further attempts at drawing level through Demetriou, Tolley, Blissett and Malbon again but the threat of extra time obviously wasn't all that appealing and the game ended with Redditch the winners and the Harriers out of another cup.
Vaughan, Tuffour (Riis), Demetriou, Brown, Tolley, Grimes, Byrne, Dance, Blissett, Malbon, Johnson (Doyle).
Doyle, Ellis, Riis, Guinan.
Hornby, Caines, Ballinger, Oshungbure, Jackson, Mutton, Hylton, Sammons, Sterling- James, Youngs, Ahenkorah.
Catlow, Headley, Bridgwater, Bains, Weatherby.