Woking News & Mail
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 31st OctoberOct 2015
| Att: 1449

Kidderminster Harriers
Kidderminster Harriers
1 - 0


A change in fortunes wanted

Brian Caffarey
2:52pm, Thu 29th Oct 2015
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
3pm on Saturday 31 October 2015

Both the Cards and the Harriers will be hoping that Saturday’s game will mark a turning point in troubled times. The Harriers haven’t won all season and sit bottom of the table, while the Cards, after a bright start to the campaign, have won only once in the last eight games. In addition, both clubs suffered comprehensive defeats to lower league opposition in last weekend’s FA Cup games. For neutrals there will be at least a ghoulish interest in seeing who comes off worst on Saturday.


Garry Hill’s decision to make the whole squad available for possible loans has made the headlines this week, attesting to the fact that this is the worst spell he’s had to endure in what has otherwise been a markedly successful four and a half years in charge of the Club. The 3-0 defeat at Maidenhead United – and its manner – last weekend was clearly the final straw, leading to this eye-catching move. Presumably, the hope is that this will bring home to the squad just how unsatisfactory their performances have been of late and inspire a reaction. Of course, several of the current squad, including new arrival, striker Adam Cunnington, are on loan from other clubs and therefore not Woking’s to send out on loan, while no club will presumably be interested in signing the long-term injured and badly-missed Scott Rendell and Ismail Yakubu. But Woking fans will be fervently hoping that the message will get through to all the squad.

Although Woking have slipped to 16th place in the table, it is worth noting that they are only six points behind fifth-placed Tranmere Rovers with a game in hand – but bridging that gap would certainly require a huge improvement over recent performances. At present the main concern is not to be dragged into a relegation fight.


The Harriers’ underlying financial difficulties became very apparent last season as they were forced to allow a number of talented players to leave for pastures new, resulting in an over-reliance on young and inexperienced players and a fall down the table. Further substantial budget reductions over the summer left manager Gary Whild with an unenviable task and he lasted only eight games before it was announced that he would be leaving the club. After a good deal of confusion former Forest Green Rovers (and, very briefly, Leeds) manager Dave Hockaday was appointed as Whild’s successor earlier this month. He had the misfortune of presiding over Kiddy’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat at Stourbridge last weekend. He was quoted afterwards as saying: ‘We cannot get any lower than that – over my dead body. This club is too big to suffer that without a reaction’, adding, ‘That has to be the watershed moment. We cannot have three players performing and the rest showing no bravery or match-management’. Sentiments that Garry Hill might easily echo.

Kidderminster have drawn three and lost six league games at home this season, scoring six goals and conceding fifteen.

Hockaday has brought in seven players since taking over the reins at Aggborough but they are mainly young players on loan from League clubs and are, not surprisingly, struggling in a side lacking in confidence and experience. A few well-known names remain at the club, including striker Reece Styche and defender Jared Hodgkiss.


Aggborough Stadium
Hoo Road
DY10 1NB

Official website: www.harriers.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is £22 for members and £27 for non-members, with accompanied U16s at £11/£14. Ring (01483 772470) or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

By car
Leave M5 at junction 4 (signposted A491 Stourbridge). After approximately five miles, turn left onto A456 and follow towards Kidderminster. At roundabout on Kidderminster Ring Road, take first exit (signposted A451 Stourport). At next roundabout, take first exit (signposted A448 Bromsgrove), then take first turning on right into Hoo Road for the ground. There is a car park (charge £5) behind the away section of the ground (the South Stand) and also at the Stadium Close car park (free).

By train
The ground is only a very short walk from Kidderminster Station. You would need to get a train up to Birmingham New Street, via Basingstoke or from Euston, and then walk across to Birmingham Moor Street to pick up a train to Kidderminster. Look up www.trainline.com or www.nationalrail.co.uk for some options.
Kidderminster’s website gives the following directions from the station: “Walk down Comberton Hill towards the town centre and take the left turning just before Motorway Tyres near the bottom of the hill. Walk up Hoo Road for approximately half a mile to the Aggborough Stadium.� But there is a shortcut if you take the first turning on the left after leaving the station entrance on Comberton Hill; this leads to the public car park in Stadium Close.


Adults: £14
Over 60s, Under 18s & Students: £8
Under 16s: £5
Under 8s: Free (standing or sitting)

£3 extra to sit for all but Under 8s.

Away supporters can stand in the South Stand or sit in Blocks L and M in the East Stand.

Aggborough is renowned for its hearty food, so arrive with a good appetite!


Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 1
14 February 2015

The Cards went into this game seeking their first away win since November but had to be satisfied with coming back from a goal down to claim a point against fellow play-off contenders.

The Harriers had more of the game in the first half but without creating anything out of a number of half chances. That changed, however, in the 39th minute when Lee Hughes, who had just returned to the club which kicked off his career, cut in and hit a shot which deflected off a divot to deceive Jake Cole.

The Cards went on the offensive immediately after the break, with John Goddard causing problems for the home defence. An equaliser came in the 68th minute when a Josh Payne corner was deflected into Yemi Odubade’s path by his strike partner, Scott Rendell. The on-loan Eastleigh forward slammed the ball home from seven yards.

For a while the Cards had the home side on the ropes but Jake Cole had to make a magnificent save to deny Obeng in a one-on-one encounter. Both sides pressed for the winner but could not make the decisive breakthrough.

Kidderminster Harriers: Danny Lewis, Kevin Nicholson, Jamie Grimes, Josh Gowling (c), Jared Hodgkiss, Aaron Wildig (Keyon Reffell 72), Jack Byrne, Aman Verma, Dominic Knowles (Ahmed Obeng 64), Lee Hughes (Akwsi Asante 80), Danny Wright

Unused substitutes: Jake Green, Jordan Tunnicliffe

Goal: Hughes (39)

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Joey Jones, James Clarke, Adam Newton, John Goddard, Josh Payne, Mark Ricketts (c), Charles Banya (Kevin Betsy 66), Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 72), Scott Rendell (Ross Lafayette 85)

Unused substitutes: Andy Little, Keiran Murtagh

Goal: Odubade (68)

Attendance: 1,646


The Cards are at home to Sutton Common Rovers in the Surrey Senior Cup on Tuesday evening. Their next league game is at home to Braintree Town on Tuesday 10 November.

Come on, you Cards!

Kiddie Wake Up Late To Take Candy

Ray Avards
12:45pm, Sun 1st Nov 2015
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0

The Vanarama National League

31st October 2015

The Cards brought in new loan signings Adam Cunnington up front for Giuseppe Sole and Cameron Norman at right back for Jake Caprice. Brian Saah returned from suspension to replace Terell Thomas at the heart of the defence whilst Nick Hamann came in for Jake Cole in goal. They lined up in an orthodox 4-4-2, matching the home side's set-up for this game.

Joey Jones’ free header from a corner early on was well over. He would get a similar chance mid-way through the first half with the same outcome.

As Kidderminster probed, they gained an early free kick for Jared Hodgkiss to whip in but it was cleared by the Woking rearguard. Shortly afterwards, Chris Arthur was in trouble from Hamann’s pass out as he slipped but the defence snuffed out the threat.

Vociferous support from the visiting fans sought to lift the Cards’ effort. A Keiran Murtagh shot was half blocked and Cunnington got in on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but was given offside.

The Cards asserted control without ever looking quite penetrative enough in the last third. Holman had another headed chance from Murtagh’s set-up but couldn’t finish on target. A swift counter attack was then led by John Goddard as he weaved clear from halfway. He shot early when he might have taken it on with a promising three-on-three situation looming.

Lathaniel Rowe-Turner made inroads down the Cards' right and a left wing cross fell to Harriers’ returning striker Matthew Barnes-Homer well inside the area, deflected to him with time and space, but he shot over.

A Holman shot on the turn lacked power and was easily saved by Dean Snedker in the home goal. Goddard then arrived late on a Robinson cross and was wide of the far post with his header. The midfielder's chip a little later was easy for Snedker and a Mark Ricketts' flick set up Robinson’s cross but Holman's header in front of goal was wide.

On a home side counter from a corner, Murtagh took the legs away from a Harriers midfielder and found his way into the referee’s notebook.

There was another overlap after a debatable free kick given to Kidderminster. Rowe-Turner and Zaine Francis-Angol combined and forced Ricketts into a crucial interception, to give away another corner.

A Holman run then led to a corner which Snedker flapped at but when Robinson returned it in, a foul was given against the visitors.

The Cards were now starting to press and when Holman had his shot charged down, the ball flew for Cunnington in the area on the byline. He turned back as 'keeper Snedker rushed out and set up Goddard but his shot was blocked and the chance was gone.

For Harriers, Francis-Angol was away again in stoppage time and won another corner, which was deflected back into the middle of the box only for Ricketts to clear.

Overall, the Cards had seemed comfortable without being threatening enough during the first forty-five minutes, with too many crosses angled in from wide and lacking sufficient penetration to really hurt the home side.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Woking 0

Manager Dave Hockaday had seen enough from the home side in the first half to make immediate changes for the start of the second period. Matt Young replaced full back Rowe-Turner and ex-Fulham Serb Dino Fazlic took over in midfield from Luke Maxwell.

Harriers had their best spell after half-time. Spurred on by Hockaday bellowing out orders from the touchline, Francis-Angol and Ben Whitfield both started to find more space on the flanks.

Jordan Murphy was played in and with clear sight of goal forced Hamann to hold on low at full length to his right. Then Murphy narrowly failed to meet a Barnes-Homer cross swept in from the right after he got away from Arthur. It was Arthur who headed behind his own goal from another curving cross from the left, a foreboding of what was to come.

Next Murphy was put clear as Saah and Jones could not seal up the middle for once. Hamann was out smartly to smother superbly with a crucial save.

The Cards countered and Robinson’s deep cross from the right was met by Holman but it was a fraction too high and he could only head over. Goddard, on the break, cut in on the edge of the area but sliced high and wide. Holman then turned on his axis neatly wide right and curved his left-footed shot superbly, but Snedker got to it full length at his far post to tip round for a corner, in one of the moments of the match. Next, Holman’s shot on the turn was blocked after a Goddard up and under.

Arthur was then caught out by a swift move by Harriers and, although he got back to bring down the overlapping Hodgkiss, he found himself in the referee’s notebook. Barnes-Homer headed the free kick wide. Soon after, perhaps with a stretched hamstring, Chris Arthur stayed down on the pitch and was replaced by Kadell Daniel.

Back came the visitors and Cunnington set up Holman but he shot over. A Murtagh cross then found Cunnington arriving in the six-yard box but he put a golden headed chance wide.

Soon after, Bruno Andrade joined the action for Goddard and Giuseppe Sole came on for the hard-working Holman.

For Harriers, Whitfield got his shot away after a free kick was swung in to him but again Hamann saved low down. Kelvin Langmead, up for the corner, headed back across Hamann but wide of the far post. The warning signs were starting to flash, however, and with 87 minutes gone, a right wing cross was cleared out to the left. The ball was delivered back in low for Murphy to deflect his header across Hamann to nestle in the far corner of the net to give the home side the lead.

In four minutes of added time, the Cards sought to counter, but crosses from Robinson and Norman were too close to the 'keeper. Andrade, behind the defence inside the area on the left, then shot wastefully high and over, when there were players arriving in the six-yard box.

The home side almost added a second as the clock ticked down when Hamann mistimed a dash out of his area. The Woking stopper was forced into a slide tackle and then had to rely on Jones to save his blushes.

Garry Hill’s side were far more solid in this encounter than in last week's FA Cup debacle at Maidenhead and probably deserved a point, although they were rarely able to open up a hesitant home side. With six defeats from their last eight league matches, it is fortunate that their early season form sees them currently in sixteenth place and not lower.

Being out of the FA Cup, they now have a ten-day break (apart from the Surrey Senior Cup at home on Tuesday evening), before they take on Braintree Town at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on November 10th.

Kidderminster Harriers: Dean Snedker, Jared Hodgkiss (c), Kelvin Langmead, Kyle Howkins, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (Matt Young 46), Ben Whitfield, Luke Maxwell (Dino Fazlic 46), Jordan Jones, Jordan Murphy, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Zaine Francis-Angol (Jake Green 61)

Unused subs: Gurjit Singh, Jonathan Brown 

Goal: Jordan Murphy 87

Cautioned: Kyle Howkins 69

Woking: Nick Hamann, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur (Kadell Daniel 78), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts (c), Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 80), Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 86), Adam Cunnington

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Jimmy Keohane

Cautioned: Keiran Murtagh 40, Chris Arthur 72

My MotM: this was a game with few outstanding performances so my vote goes to Brian Saah for a solid performance, coming to the aid of his fellow defenders and dominating his opponents.

Attendance: 1,449
Kidderminster Harriers LINEUP
18Nick Hamann
26Cameron Norman
3Chris Arthur ('78)
7Joey Jones
5Brian Saah
4Mark Ricketts
8Keiran Murtagh
14Matt Robinson
11John Goddard ('81)
20Dan Holman ('86)
25Adam Cunnington
1Jake Cole
23Jimmy Keohane
15Bruno Andrade ('81)
16Kadell Daniel ('78)
10Giuseppe Sole ('86)

Kidderminster Harriers 1 - 0 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Kidderminster Harriers 1 - 0 Woking (Adam Cunnington Interview)

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