Harriers 3 Cheltenham Town 0
The Harriers finished off the friendlies in fine style as they beat Mark Yates' Cheltenham Town 3-0 in a thrilling first half that saw the Reds look as if they were the higher level club.
Goals from Nathan Blissett (with the un-intended help of former Harrier Lee Vaughan), Jack Byrne and Craig Reid saw the Harriers totally blow away the League 2 visitors and also give the home fans a glimpse of what we could be capable of this coming season with a fair wind behind them. For the second game in a row we included Kevin Nicholson in the side and it now looks likely that a deal will be offered to him at some stage over the weekend. He's a player that we would be foolish to let go.
After a tentative opening five minutes the Harriers began to take control of the game. A minute later and the scoring started when Blissett chased a ball down and forced his way past a couple of defenders to fire the ball goalwards as Lee Vaughan made a desperate and futile attempt to stop it going in. He could only help it on its way.
Blissett could have grabbed a second minutes later but his really powerful shot was tipped over the bar by the Cheltenham keeper Trevor Carson after looking destined for the back of the net.
Town tried their best to get back into the game with a long range effort from Matt Richards but a quick one-two put paid to that. First Ahmed Obeng threaded his way through a ruck of defenders to feed Jack Byrne the ball, and an easy tap in, and then just a minute later it was game over when Craig Reid finished of Nicholsons super free kick that had been awarded following a heavy challenge on Obeng by Vaughan.
The Harriers went into the break with an un-assailable lead.
HT: Harriers 3 Cheltenham Town 0
As is the way with friendlies the other half was never going to be as good with so many changes being made and so it was in this game. Cheltenham probably held the upperhand in possession but they could not make it tell.
Only two shots tested either keeper during the second period with Gornell, for Town, forcing Danny Lewis to palm the ball away and then Callum Gittings firing a long range effort in for the Harriers. The keeper just managed to tip it around the post for a corner but if it had gone in it would have been a contender for goal of the season, if the season had already started that is.
With just the one loss to date, against Birmingham City a week ago, it now looks to be a more promising season approaching than many thought there would have been with all the turmoil at the club. We just need to get Nicholson tied down to a deal now.
Lewis (Singh 83), Hodgkiss, Gowling, Dunkley, Nicholson, Byrne, Gittings (Grimes 89), Obeng (Hales 55), Blissett (Styche 65), Reid (Gash 65), Storer (Green 77).
Carson, Vaughan, Brown, Elliott (Deaman 83), Richards (Arthur 66), Harrison, Gornell (Dale 87), Hall (Hanks, 65), Black (Braham-Barrett 46), Sterling-James (Howarth 65).
Sub not used: Bedwell.
Referee: Marvyn Amphlett.
Att: 815 (93)