Report: Kidderminster Harriers 1 Blues 1

Clayton Donaldson receives the congratulations of his team-mates after netting Blues' equaliser.

Clayton Donaldson finished off an incisive move to equalise the hosts effort, an unfortunate own goal by Paul Robinson.


Clayton Donaldson registered his first goal of pre-season as Blues dominated without securing victory.

Donaldson finished off an incisive move to equalise the hosts effort, an unfortunate own goal by Paul Robinson.

Blues camped out in the Kidderminster half after the break but were unable to make their play count.

However, there were a number of good individual displays at Aggborough as Blues quality and correct attitude told in everything but the eventual scoreline.

Blues started with trialists Simeon Slavchev, as a deep-lying midfielder, and Ravel Morrison supporting  Donaldson.

David Cotterill made his first appearance of pre-season.

If Blues thought it was going to be a straight forward encounter then they were given  much to think about after Kidderminster took a 10th minute lead.

James McQuilkin got free down the middle after Blues, passing out from the back via Slavchev, were caught.

McQuilkin's run was a clever one and unchecked and as he took the ball into the area his touch let him down. But, to his and Kidderminster's good fortune, the ball rolled in front of Robinson who had closed in pursuit and whose momentum saw him inadvertently stab it past Adam Legzdins.

Blues spent a lot of the early play passing in their own territory without really finding any penetration.

That almost changed in the 21st minute when Morrison slipped the ball to the right of the area for Cotterill, who nipped back inside Cieron Keane.

Cotterill hoisted up a left-footer towards the far top corner but Brandon Hall was equal to it with a decent tip over save.

Next Cheick Keita went bombing up in support of a quick raid and was fed the ball to the left of the area by Morison. Before he could get a shot away Tyrone Williams unceremoniously barged and dumped him over, but the referee waved away the penalty appeals.

From a quick throw out by Legzdins after taking a Kidderminster corner, Blues suddenly sprang a four-on-three break.

Maikel Kieftenbeld, driving through the heart of the pitch, took a dinked pass from Keita past the 18-yard line but couldn't execute a finish as Keane and Declan Weeks did very well to get back at speed and sandwich him.

Kidderminster had no answer, however, in the 32nd minute when a rapid combination move opened up the home defence.

Slavchev played a lovely pass inside the right full-back, Keita immediately crossed it low on the full and there was Donaldson, in between the centre-halves, to stick it away from six yards.

Josh Dacres-Cogley had to be substituted in the 36th minute, following a tackle by Keane. Corey O'Keeffe replaced him.

That was a disappointing way to end to the half for Blues, who had recovered and got to grips with their opponents after the initial blow of falling behind.

Kidderminster were struggling to lay much of a glove at Legzdins goal as Blues continued to press ahead in search of a second goal.

A couple of trademark pieces of individual skill by Morrison (backheel) and Keita (chop) set up an opportunity for Kieftenbeld, but he thumped a 20 yarder over the bar on the run.

Half-time: Kidderminster 1 Blues 1

Blues opened the second period at quite a clip, and pressed higher up.

In the 52nd minute a strong challenge on Morrison just outside the D resulted in a free-kick, which Cotterill teed-up.

He struck it low and hard, with some whip, and Hall made a good parrying stop by the base of his post.

Morrison was next to show again when he ran onto a ball played behind by O'Keeffe and twisted and turned a Kidderminster trialist into a tizzy before arching an attempt not too far wide.

Cotterill's evening then ended as Kevin Bond - in charge with Harry Redknapp away elsewhere on Club business - sent on Eddie Afonso.

It meant a reshuffle with Keita pushed on at left wing and Stephen Gleeson, who started there, moving across to the right flank.

Kidderminster struggled to lay a glove on Legzdins goal as Blues maintained their dominance in search of a second.

Trademark pieces of skill by Morrison (backheel) and Keita (chop) carved an opportunity for Kieftenbeld, but he thumped his attempt over the crossbar on the run towards the edge of the area.

Beryly Lubala replaced the impressive Slavchev with 20 minutes to go, allowing Gleeson to drop inside to his more natural position.

Morrison continued to ooze quality for Blues to the finish whilst at the other end of the pitch mention must go to Under-23s captain Wes Harding who acquitted himself very well alongside captain Robinson.

Blues: Legzdins, Dacres-Cogley (O'Keeffe 36), Keita, Harding, Robinson, Slavchev (Lubala 70), Gleeson, Keiftenbeld, Cotterill (Afonso 61), Ravel Morrison, Donaldson. Not used: Seddon, Weaver.

Attendance: 2,387 (1,506 away).