Harriers 4 Hereford FC 1
What was originally pencilled in as a friendly transformed into the inaugural Steve Millington Memorial Trophy a few days ago and in the process also turned into a full blown, blood and crunch, high tempo game that was a joy to watch. For a team that have found themselves having to start again from the bottom Hereford looked to be a very good side and, on this evidence, it shouldn't be too long before they return from whence they came and you can see why they more or less romped their league last season.
We were debuting our latest signing, kind of, following the signing of Tyrell Waite just before the game. He has been on trial for a few weeks here and was the one that scored the penalty against West Brom. Also in the starting eleven was the mystery trialist number 8 and I'd be happy to see him signing a contract with us too.
Elton N'Gwatala and Arthur Gnahoua were the first to test the useful looking Hereford keeper, Alex Harris, with both their shots going slightly off target. Hereford responded with a fine header from Jamie Cuss that Sam Hornby tipped over the bar at point blank range.
Most of the first half though was a tale of chances going begging for both sides after getting into good shooting positions only to say the chance wasted through either dithering or a lack of power in the shot. It took until ten minutes from the break to see another shot that would get the fans off their seats when Zaine Francis-Angol struck a sweet shot that stung the hands of Harris.
After the break it was Hereford that started the strongest but their top scorer last season, John Mills, lashed the ball wildly over the bar. We made an early change by bringing on Emmanuel Dieseruvwe for Andre Brown and then soon after on came James McQuilkin for Trialist 8 to a round of applause from the Bulls fans packing out their section of the East Stand (McQuilkin was a former player for them). With that move we began to look more potent and it wasn't long before the first goal arrived.
Tyrell Waite chased a ball down to the bye-line and crossed the ball perfectly for Arthur Gnahoua to smash it home into top corner of the net. Three minutes later and the Harriers had doubled the lead with another goal, this time coming from Dieseruvwe, when he forced the ball home from close range following some hesitancy in the Bulls defence.
Mid way through the half disaster struck when Tyrone Williams crashed to the ground and lay prone for quite a long time. Too long. He was eventually stretchered off and on the way out from the ground at the end of the game he was in an ambulance receiving treatment. We can only hope that it isn't too serious and the ambulance was just a precaution.
The i9njury took a bit of the wind out of our sails for a short while but it was enough to give Hereford hope after they scored with a shot that hit the bar and bounced down onto the wrong side of the line. John Mills took the honours for that but we responded in the best way possible by going straight up the other end and scoring. Even though it was a penalty, awarded for a foul on Waite and converted by him, they all count. Six minutes later and the game was put to bed.
Another substitution and another trialist, this time number 14, came on for Elton N'Gwatala and within a few minutes his flying header had given us a three goal cushion and the match. Hereford tried to save face by scoring a second goal but it wasn't to be and in the end the Harriers ran out 4-1 winners.
So the first Steve Millington Memorial cup was rightly awarded to the Harriers and hopefully this fixture will now become an annual one in memory of the KHIST chairman who helped the Bulls during their darkest hours.
Hornby, Williams (Hancocks), Francis-Angol, Lowe, Thomas, Carter, Waite (Austin), Trialist 8 (McQuilkin), A Brown (Dieseruvwe), N'Gwatala (Trialist 14), Gnahoua.
Subs: J Brown, Hancocks, McQuilkin, Trialist 14, Dieseruvwe, Austin.
Harris, Parry, Edge (Robbins), Purdie, Barker, Tumelty, Stanley, Birch (Phillips), Mills, Haysham (Huntbach), Cuss.
Subs: L Clarke, Phillips, Robbins, Huntbach, Horsell.
Ref: Mr S Plane (West Midlands)
Att: 989 (tba away)