Harriers 2 Worcester City 1
After five long years the Harriers can once again rightfully call themselves the Pride of Worcestershire following this battle for the Worcester FA Senior Invitation Cup. Or just the Worcester Senior Cup for us mere mortals. The last time we won the glittering trophy was back in 2010 when we put paid to Halesowens hopes of taking the trophy outside of the county.
With not quite the experienced side that Gary Whild said he would put out the Harriers took to the field with just three recognised players with any experience. Jack Byrne had been handed the captains armband while behind him was Jamie Grimes and in front was Craig Reid. All the rest of the side was made up with fringe players that don't start regularly with Akwase Asante leading the line, Keyon Reffell and Ahmed Obeng out wide while at the back was Kennedy Digie and Jake Green were parked in front of Jas Singh in goal. On the bench were Danny Wright, Lee Hughes and Jared Hodgkiss while George Forsyth and Gurjit Singh made up the rest of the subs.
City put out their full first team so us Harriers fans had the chance to see Sean Geddes, Mike Symons andDaniel Nti up close. There was no sign of the former Harriers maestro Danny Jackman. He is out with a long term injury.
Following a long drawn out period of poor possession from both sides it was the 'visitors' who looked slightly the better side with some passing on the floor compared to our very little passing on the floor. Both sides were still guilty of the aerial game though. It was City that looked the most dangerous on the break though with Digie having nightmares trying to cope with the pace and power of Nti. It got so bad that he was withdrawn from the game on the thirty minute mark for Hodgkiss to come on and snuff out the threat.
We had the ball in the net soon after but it was ruled out for offside even though when Reffell fired the ball home Asante was offside but not in a position to interfere with play. It's a pity these refs don't watch more Premiership games. The man in black seemed more intent on waving yellow cards in all directions.
The half drew to a close without any goals scored but in the second half the play from both sides improved significantly enough to make the game more watchable. The Harriers came out of the dressing rooms with the intention of making a better go at it and to actually keep the ball and do something with it. Sadly it was City that took the lead.
A quick break and some poor defending combined to give Sean Geddes the room to curl the ball into the net with Jas Singh a bit slow to react in time. Their lead didn't last long because we responded in the right way by almost immediately going in search of the equaliser.
That came two minutes later when Luke Maxwell scored his first ever goal for the first team, when he got onto the end of Craig Reids free kick, and bundled the ball home.
A flurry of Harriers substitutions took place with Danny Wright coming on for Reid while a few minutes later Lee Hughes replaced Asante. From that moment on the Harriers began to take control of the game and our fitness began to show.
In the seventy eighth minute we went into the lead and kept it. A fine run by Ahmed Obeng took him into the area where he tried a shot at goal. It came back out but landed just right for Hodgkiss who sent an arrow like shot into the net to seal the game for the Reds.
The second goal was enough to break the hearts of City and by the time the end came we could have added a third goal through Danny Wright but he couldn't quite get his shot away after a twisting run acrossthe face of the goal.
The whistle blew and at last the Harriers have a piece of silver in the cabinet.
J Singh, Digie (Hodgkiss, 22), Green, Byrne, Reid (Wright, 64), Obeng, Grimes, Reffell, Maxwell, Tunnicliffe, Asante (Hughes, 73)
Forsyth, G Singh.
Veiga, Weir (Sousa, 86), Khan (Smith, 67), Charles, Rowe, Denny, Elvins, Deeney, Symons, Geddes (Dunkley, 79), Nti
Referee: Wayne Barrett.