This long awaited game turned out in the end to be slightly disappointing, for both sets of fans, due to the home side turning up hoping for a draw and the visitors failing to reach the level that we know they are capable of. Being a local derby it was never going to be an open, easy kind of game though and so it proved.
With Worcester City now playing their games at Bromsgrove instead of Aggborough, their choice, we knew to expect a less than perfect playing surface but what we saw when we entered the 'stadium' was nothing short of joke worthy with the level of the pitch leaning in all directions and lumps taken out of it before the game started. Not a cow to be seen either so it's a mystery how that happened.
With just about a thousand Harriers fans packed into the shed behind the goal and a few more around the corner it was quite interesting to look down towards the other end and see the few City fans who had managed to get there from Worcester itself. Unless they lived in Bromsgrove then it wouldn't have been all that far to travel.
For all our fantastic support it's still sad to see that we still have a couple of idiots attaching themselves to us when flares were thrown onto the pitch before and during the game. Sadly although some Harriers fans tried to man handle the culprits towards the stewards they didn't seem to be too bothered and neither were the two police men stood in front of the bar. The club will now receive a fine for their stupidity and sadly they're free to do it all over again because no one in charge had the guts to do their own job.
As for the game itself it was, as I said, a bit of a let down. The former Harriers hero Lee Hughes seemed to be doing his best to get himself an early booking by kicking the ball away and simulation (diving to you and me) before James McQuilkin had the first chance of opening the scoring a few minutes later when he fired in from outside the box and forced the City keeper, Ethan Ross, to hold the ball tightly. Elton N'Gwatala hit the upright with a shot five minutes later after Arthur Gnahoua nodded the ball down for him.
We were doing all the good stuff but the City defenders had been well drilled into closing down as much as possible. When we did get a chance in front of goal the old habit of trying to be too precise came to the fore and the chance, along with the ball, was gone. Mani Dieseruvwe had the best chance in that scenario but, with an almost open goal at his mercy, he opted to pass the ball out wide to Tyrell Waite who then ran straight into a defensive wall.
City started to get back into the game midway through the half and a string of corners should have bought them some kind of reward but didn't. Most of them failed to reach the target and the remainder were dealt with easily by Keith Lowe and Jordan Tunnicliffe. Hughes did get a chance to score from the edge of the area when the early substitute Ebby Nelson-Addy, on for Danny Jackman, split our defence with a through ball for Hughes but his shot was kept from going in by Sam Hornby's feet.
Hughes was again the dangerman five minutes before the break when he laid off the ball for Junior English but, with just Hornby to beat, the Harriers keeper came out to him to narrow the angle and English rolled the ball wide of the target.