Harriers 1 Birmingham City 1
In the first friendly of any importance so far the Harriers managed to earn a draw at home to Championship side Birmingham City. City, featuring David Cotterill, Jonathon Grounds Lee Novak and Demarai Gray in their first half line-up had bought over 1980 of the crowd that numbered 2801 while the Harriers gave that crowd the first glimpse of the possible team that will start the season at home to Grimsby Town.
Along with the players already signed up we had Rob Taylor (ex Tranmere), Dean Snedeker in goal and for the second week running Adam Dawson started after having featured at West Brom in a closed doors friendly last Saturday. On the bench we saw the return of Nathaniel Kelly who came on loan to us from Birmingham last season but has now been released by them.
The game got underway on the fine, new pitch and it was the Blues that made their mark first with chances falling the way of Lee Novak and Demarai Gray but neither of them appeared to trouble the Harriers keeper Dean Snedeker. The first real chance came from David Cotterill, but steered the ball high over Snedekers bar from ten yards out.
Our first chance came to Reece Styche but, with just the keeper to beat, he dragged his shot wide. Harriers started to get into the game more after that chance with Joe Clarke getting our best chance of the closing minutes of the half when his shot went just over the wrong side of the bar before Styche sent another shot again wide.
Blues came out for the second with a different side from the first half with Clayton Donaldson, Jaques Maghoma, Wes Thomas and triallist Rostyn Griffiths playing in the second half squad. Thomas was the first to make an attempt on goal but his shot went over while at the other end Kelvin Langmead, on his return to us, got enough on a Maghoma shot to deflect it out of play as was Clayton Macdonalds shot a few minutes later.
With the Blues once again in control of the game it was out of the blue when the Harriers took the lead through Adam Dawson. The City keeper mis-kicked a clearance and it fell kindly for the ex Bristol Rovers man to return the ball with interest into the back of the net.
The Harriers lead lasted only five minutes before the equaliser came. Stephen Gleeson swung in a free-kick and Shane Lowry rose the highest to power home a header into the back of Snedekers net. Blues could have gone home with the win if they had scored in the final minute but Wes Thomas' shot went just the wrong side of the post.
Snedeker, Hodgkiss, Langmead (Tunnicliffe), Rowe-Turner, Taylor (Kelly), Verma, Clarke, Reffell (Green), Reid (Sweeney), Styche (Singh), Dawson (Jones).
Subs: Bunn, Green, Tunnicliffe, Jones, Singh, Sweeney, Hales, Kelly.
Ist half team: Legzdins, Eardley, Grounds, Spector, Robinson, Davis, Brown, Cotterill, Shinnie, Novak, Gray.
2nd half team: Kuszczak, Caddis, Lowry, Morrison, Hancox, Gleeson, Griffiths, Arthur, Thomas, Maghoma, Donaldson.