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Harriers 4 Newport County 2    FA Cup 2nd rd

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Date: 07-12-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2636gif away fans: 537
Harriers roar into the 3rd round of the FA Cup

gif Report by Richard Cranium
History has proven that games involving Kidderminster Harriers and Newport, particularly those at Aggborough, are always exciting and this one was no different.  The Welsh fans will now have further reason to loathe journeys to Worcestershire after witnessing the Harriers put four goals past them to remove them from the FA Cup in this 2nd round game, presenting the opportunity for a money spinning match against Premier League opposition*.

League Two Newport started the match very well, creating plenty of chances to open the scoring.  Indeed Danny Crow had the Newport fans cheering for a goal early on but it wasn't to be; a rare defensive misjudgment from Chey Dunkley saw him receive the ball with only Danny Lewis ahead of him and, with a twist and a flick, he put the ball past him only to see it run across the face of the goal and out of play.

Newport continued their early dominance by creating a handful of decent chances and had an excellent chance when the ball was pulled back to Tom Naylor around five yards from goal, but the ball sailed wide.  It was first half shots off target that the team from Wales would ultimately rue, with a multitude of shots and headers rising high above the bar, Adam Chapman's from close range being one of the worst misses of the lot.

Midway through the first half Harriers got their reward for having what Newport lacked: clinical finishing.

Michael Gash was teed up on the edge of the area by skipper Kyle Storer and expertly poked a shot through the Newport defence and into the corner of the net.  1-0 Harriers.

The lead was doubled shortly afterwards.  The exciting Joe Lolley had found himself more involved in the game following the goal and it was his skill, direct running and shooting which ultimately brought about the second goal.  Goalkeeper Lennie Pidgeley saved his shot from a tight angle but was unable to hold on to it.  Callum Gittings, the heartbeat of the Harriers' midfield, was perfectly placed and able to place home the rebound though.

Eager to go to half time with only a one goal deficit Newport committed forward even more and pinned the Harriers into their own half.  However Joe Lolley yet again found himself involved in another goal, expertly finding Callum Gittings with a through ball, who ran about forty yards with it and slotted his second past the goalkeeper.  3-0 and the crowd went wild.

Kidderminster Harriers had been playing some excellent football and were halfway to the third round.
  HT: 3 - 0
The Newport players deserved a kick up the backside at half-time and it appeared that that was what they got with a much more dominant, and dangerous, display in the second half.  A couple of corners saw them win yet more headers in the penalty area with one having to be scrambled off the line by Danny Lewis, whilst a powerful Robbie Willmott effort struck the crossbar, just lacking enough dip to go in.  Newport were also punished for yet more wayward shooting after firing further efforts into the crowd.

The Harriers were struggling to find as many chances in the second half, largely playing on the counterattack, and although Joe Lolley was able to run at goal a few times some excellent defensive work prevented him the space to shoot, and shooting wide when he did get the opportunity - especially a 2-on-1 situation where he should arguably have squared the ball to Gash.

Unbelievably Harriers were able to go 4-0 up when Gash scored his second of the afternoon, firing a low shot into bottom corner from a free kick that can only be described as 'one from the training ground', but there were still nervy moments to be had.

The dangerous Robbie Willmott bustling the ball into the net with ten minutes to go after the Harriers defence were unable to clear.  Mere minutes after and the Harriers were finally punished for the amount of headers they had been allowing Newport to win, with Willmott scoring a second, rising at the back post and nodding home.

Reinvigorated, Newport pressed for two more goals, but Harriers were able to keep the ball well and limited their chances.  Late on, midfield men Kyle Storer and Lee Fowler both received their fifth bookings of the season therefore missing Tuesday's away match at Woking, but Harriers held onto their lead and booked a place in the FA Cup Third Round.


* In the draw for the 3rd round the Harriers were drawn out of the hat to face League One play off hopefuls Peterborough Utd.  That game will be played at Aggborough on the weekend of January 4/5th meaning that the league game at home to Dartford that day will need to be re-arranged.
  FT: 4 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Gash 19, 63, Gittings 28, 43
 Goals for Newport County: Willmott 79, 83


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Callum Gittings



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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Newport County  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Pidgeley  
L Vaughan     Jackson  
Jackman     Hughes  
Storer   Willmott gif  
Dunkley     Worley  
Gowling     Oshilaja gif
Gittings gif gif   Chapman  
Fowler   Minshull gif  
Gash gif     Crow gif  
Morgan-Smith gif     Washington  
Lolley     Naylor  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Stephens  
Demetriou     Sandell gif - 64  
Byrne gif - 73     Pipe  
Malbon     Jones  
Johnson gif - 70     Flynn gif - 67  
Blissett     Jolley gif - 45  
Dance     Barker  

REFEREE:
Mr M Heywood
Cheshire





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