Harriers 0 Birmingham City 3
In front of an almost full stadium, and in blistering heat, the Harriers tried hard to impose themselves on their Championship visitors but struggled to make any real efforts on goal although any chances we did come by were thwarted by a nit picking referee who tended to come down on the side of the visitors nine time out of ten.
Starting with just two new faces in the team from last seasons side, Jared Hodgkiss in place of Lee Vaughan and Craig Reid in for Michael Gash. Replacing the departed Mickey Demetriou was Jamie Grimes out of his usual position in the centre of defence. On the bench we had Jake Green, Ahmed Obeng and Reece Hales as the new face contingent.
For Birmingham City we had what was probably many first choice players but I didn't recognise many of the names on the team sheet. Jon Grounds played against us for Oldham in the FA Cup a few seasons ago while Wes Thomas once played for the now defunct Rushden & Diamonds many years ago.
Both teams were evenly matched at the start of the game but slowly the Blues took control. The first real effort on goal came from the Harriers though when Marvin Johnson fired a strong shot in but took a bad knock and had to be replaced after only twenty minutes. Obeng replaced him.
The Blues began to pile on the pressure and peppered Danny Lewis' goal with shots that were tipped over well by the Harriers keeper.
The first goal for the visitors eventually came and it was down to a series of defensive errors that let in Thomas to capitalise on the freedom of an undefended goal to slip the ball around Lewis.
HT: Harriers 0 Birmingham City 1
After the break it took Birmingham all of a minute to double the lead to two. Again Thomas was the scorer and this time he beat the offside trap to slot the ball home effortlessly.
They sat back for a while after that goal and let us come onto them but a lack of a creative player in midfield and a slow reacting forward line wasn't going to get us back into the game although we did get a 'goal' ten minutes from the end that was ruled out for having two players offside. Obeng was the scorer and to be fair it was a well taken goal that showed what the tall, stringy striker is capable of.
Clayton Donaldson finished off the scoring fifteen minutes from the end when he fired home from distance to leave Lewis well beaten. He could also have bagged his brace minutes from the end but his lob over our keeper landed on the roof of the net.
Considering the level that our guest play at the result was to be expected. We tried hard and at times produced some nice football but it's still the lack of anyone to create anything worthy that worries the most. Hopefully that'll come against Shrewsbury on Tuesday evening.
Lewis, Dunkley, Gowling (Williams 72), Grimes, Hodgkiss (Green 56), Storer, Byrne (Verma 56), Johnson (Obeng 22, Hales 76), Gittings (O'Keefe 56), Blissett (Gash 65), Reid (Styche 65).
Not used: Singh.
Randolph, Eardley, Hancox, Hall (Packwood 61), Gunning (Grounds ht), Duffy (Brown 76), Edgar (Gleeson 61), Adeyemi, Novak (Donaldson 61), Thomas (Shinnie 72), Cotterill (Gray 72).
Not used: Preston, Reilly, Lee, Caddis, Adams.
Ref: Mr S Bratt
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