A very poor result at Bradford PA last Saturday in the FA Trophy wasn't really what we wanted although many fans opinions would contradict that and then on Wednesday a much changed side lost miserably at Redditch in the Worcester Senior Cup: one trophy that many fans couldn't give a dying duck about. Now we have the chance to beat a team that were at the same level as us us last term and one that we have beaten in spectacular fashion over the past two seasons.
We all know about the two games featuring Nick Wright and a late hat trick and then last season the game featuring Jamille Matt and a, err, late hat trick but what about the last two games down in South Wales when we beat Newport 3-1 and then towards the end of last season when we struck late on through Chey Dunkley (left) to win 2-1. That's four games we have put paid to County and tomorrow shouldn't be any different.
It goes without saying that we need to be in that hat for the next round and then hopefully draw a money spinning game against a senior club. In the most recent past we have been drawn against Wolves and Coventry City and going further back who could ever forget the trilogy of Birmingham City, Preston North End and West Ham. We must be well overdue an appetising game against another such team.
We should be able to do it with a fully fit squad at the ready after Anthony Malbon, who had gone off with a calf injury at Bradford, played a full ninety minutes at Redditch. Unless we get the usual injuries in Friday morning training then we're good to go.
Newport went up last season as runners up to Mansfield after beating Wrexham in the play-off final at Wembley. Since then the manager Justin Edinburgh has strengthened the side for League 2 and they now sit just outside the play-offs but that is mainly down to their home form. On the road they're not so good not having won in the league since a 2-0 victory at Exeter City on September 21st.
They have a few injuries to key members of the team with the most serious being Chris Zebroski who could miss the remainder of the season after getting a dislocated kneecap and ligament damage in their FA Cup game at Braintree in the previous round. Also two other top players for them, Aaron O’Connor and Max Porter, have serious groin injuries and both will be out until at least Christmas. Byron Anthony is also on the long term list.
They have a familiar face to Harriers fans playing for them now, albeit on a short term loan. Billy Jones joined them in the last transfer deadline from Cheltenham after falling out of favour with Mark Yates and we all know what life is like for a player that falls out with the former Harriers manager. Billy will be expected to start from the bench tomorrow.
This game is going to be tough to call and I can't really see a repeat of the last two seasons in this game. The Cup is a different kettle of fish.
We possibly have three players capable of scoring three late goals for us but two of those, Anthony Malbon and Michael Gash, need decent service to score but the other, Joe Lolley, is capable of that but no doubt Newport will have done their homework and he could find chances hard to come by.
Even so I think we should have enough in the locker to get a result against them without, hopefully, being taken to a replay in two weeks time. The possibility of a decent draw in the next round should be sufficient inspiration tor the Harriers to do it first time of asking.
Photo © KHFC
Lewis, N Vaughan, L Vaughan, Grimes, Dunkley, Demetriou, Brown, Gowling, Tolley, Storer, Fowler, Jackman, Lolley, Angus, Dance, Byrne, Johnson, Malbon, Morgan-Smith, Gittings, Gash, Blissett.
Pidgeley, Stephens, Pipe, Hughes, James, Yakubu, Chapman, Minshull, Crow, Willmott, Sandell, Washington, Burge, Jones, Flynn, Jackson, Naylor, Oshilaja, Worley, Jolley, Barker, Redman.
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