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The Report: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Blues 3

Posted: Sat 26 Jul 2014
Author: Andy Walker

The Report: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Blues 3

Image by: Roy Smiljanic

Blues’ pre-season continued in earnest with a comprehensive win at Aggborough.

The 3-0 victory – courtesy of a Wes Thomas brace and a well-taken strike from Clayton Donaldson – maintained Lee Clark's side’s 100 per cent record this summer and a third straight clean sheet.

A bumper travelling crowd of 2,481 Bluenoses were on hand to cheer their side to victory and enjoy another sunny July afternoon.

It was that vociferous support that may have helped to add to the tempo of this game; gusto that remained right through until the raft of second-half substitutes that are common place in these friendly fixtures.

With Blues lining up 4-4-2 for the first time this pre-season, Lee Novak helped carve out the first chance of the game in the sixth minute when he squared for Mark Duffy only to see Danny Lewis smother his low effort at the right, far post.

With Duffy and David Cotterill continuing to cause problems for Harriers, the hosts were forced into an early change with Marvin Johnson hobbling off injured to be replaced by Ahmed Obeng.

Cotterill forced Lewis into action twice in the space of two minutes. The first, a dipping strike from the left, proved awkward for Lewis to deal with before the goalkeeper tipped clear a 25-yard free-kick from the Wales international.

Then came the breakthough in the 37th minute with Cotterill assisting but not in his traditional manner. Rather than a cross from the left, it was a defensive header from the ex-Doncaster Rovers man that set Thomas on his way. The striker’s energy forced Harriers into successive defensive errors and Thomas burst through to blast past Lewis.

Darren Randolph was called into action on the stroke of half-time to brilliantly keep out Craig Reid’s goalbound strike from 16 yards.

The second-half was only 26 seconds old when Thomas doubled his and Blues’ tally. Novak’s pass found the former Rotherham United loanee 12 yards out on the right side of the area and he made no mistake in stroking beyond Lewis into the bottom left corner.

Duffy went close to making it three in the 51st minute. The Liverpudlian weaved his way into the box from the right and tried to outfox Lewis with a dinked effort. It almost worked – the effort spun beyond the goalkeeper but Obeng was back on the line to hoof clear.

The 56th minute ushered in the start of a combined total of 13 substitutions from both sides and that naturally hampered the rhythm of this game.

One of those subs, Donaldson, continued where he left off at Forest Green Rovers 11 days earlier. The ex-Brentford hitman brought Mitch Hancox’s ball from the left down with a deft touch before calmy picking his spot in the bottom right corner.

Gleeson tried but failed to make it four when he saw his well-struck free-kick from 25 yards met by a fine diving save from Lewis.

Vital match minutes under the belt, plenty of positives and another win – all in all it was another successful pre-season run out for Blues.

Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis; Dunkley, Gowling (Williams 72), Grimes, Hodgkiss (O’Keefe 56), Storer, Byrne (Green 56), Johnson (Obeng 22) (Hales 76), Gittings (Verma 56), Blissett (Styche 65), Reid (Gash 65).

Subs:Singh.

Blues: Randolph; Eardley, Hall (Packwood 61), Gunning (Grounds H/T), Hancox; Duffy (Brown 76), Edgar (Gleeson 61), Adeyemi (C), Cotterill (Gray 72); Novak (Donaldson 61), Thomas (Shinnie 72).

Subs: Preston, Reilly, Lee, Caddis, Adams.

Attendance: 3,928 (2,481 Blues fans)

20140724 Brighton