LCS Events
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 5th AugustAug 2023
Aggborough Stadium | Att: 3116

Kidderminster Harriers
0 - 0


Match Preview and Guide | Kidderminster Harriers (A)

William Bewsey
1:56pm, Tue 1st Aug 2023
Match previews sponsored by Nuffield Health

Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
Vanarama National League
5th August 2023
15:00 Kick-Off

Woking will kick off their 2023/24 National League season with a trip to a newly promoted side, but a very familiar opponent in Kidderminster Harriers.

With pre season preparations completed, seeing the Cards win four and draw two of their pre-season games, scoring seven and conceding just two, those games are history now, as Darren Sarll has the unenviable task of picking a squad of 16 from 22 potential names.

Such squad depth is matched by the fact that every single player barring Jermaine Anderson, still recovering from an injury suffered in February, featured in pre-season and is therefore available for selection.

Opposition Watch
Traditional National League stalwarts Kidderminster Harriers were relegated in 2015/16, and it took seven seasons until their unexpected promotion last season via the play-offs for the Harriers to return to the division. Russ Penn's side snuck into the play-offs in sixth place on the final day, but after beating Alfreton, King's Lynn and Brackley Town all away from home, they will start the season as somewhat of a surprise package.

Penn took over as manager in 2020, and the former midfielder led Harriers to an unbelievable fourth round tie against West Ham United in 2022, beating then Championship side Reading along the way, with only added time goals from Declan Rice and then Jarrod Bowen deep into extra time denying them a famous cup shock.

Key players include Ashley Hemmings, a striker who scored twelve times last season, former Wrexham keeper Christian Dibble and summer signing Jack Lambert from Darlington.

Last Time Out
A 1-1 draw between the sides at the Laithwaite Community Stadium in March 2016 saw an early goal by Daniel Carr cancelled out in the 79th minute by James McQuilken, as the relegation bound Harriers picked up four points that season, with a 1-0 win at Aggborough in October 2015.

In fact, you have to go back to December 2013 for Woking's last win over the Harriers, with a Scott Rendell goal sealing a 1-0 win, whilst the Cards' last success at Aggborough was all the way back in April 2007, Liam Marum with the only goal in a 1-0 win.

Around the Ground
This game is segregated, with Woking fans allocated some seating in the East Stand and standing room in the South Stand.

Ticket information is available here.

Aggborough Stadium is just a ten minute walk from Kidderminster train station, which is served by regular trains into Birmingham Snow Hill and Birmingham Moor Street.

For satnav users, the postcode is DY10 1NB, with the car park behind the away terrace costing £5 for cars. Parking is also available at the nearby Severn Valley Railway station for £3.

Recommended pubs include the King & Castle which is located inside the Severn Valley station, and serves pub snacks and real ales. Across the road is another pub called the Railway Bell, and also the Weavers Real Ale House down the road.

Inside the ground, unfortunately the legendary Aggborough pies are no more, but there are refreshment facilities within easy reach for away fans.

Match Report | Cards in opening day stalemate against resilient Kiddy

William Bewsey
5:09pm, Sat 5th Aug 2023
Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Woking
Vanarama National League
5th August 2023

Woking returned to competitive action on Saturday when Darren Sarll took his side to newly promoted Kidderminster. There were league debuts for new signings Greg Taylor and Matt Robinson, whilst there were four new players on the bench, as the Cards lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.

The hosts got the 2023/24 season underway, with the opening ten minutes of the game chanceless as both sides struggled to find their feet. The first chance of any note came on eleven minutes, when Padraig Amond found himself some space in the channel, but his cutback was well claimed by Christian Dibble.

A long free kick caught Woking by surprise, but Zak Brown could only find the arms of Will Jaaskelainen on the stretch before a Woking counter saw Jim Kellermann fire into the arms of Dibble.

The hosts were showing all the confidence of a newly promoted side, putting together some nice passing moves, and they almost took the lead with a moment of brilliance. Joe Leesley hit a volley from a tight angle, and the ball very nearly nestled in Jaaskelainen’s top left-hand corner.

With high winds and torrential rain, both sides were finding it hard to create chances. However, an intricate move between Matt Robinson, Kellermann and Rhys Browne saw the latter bend the ball just wide from inside the box. However, the best chance of the half came on 40 minutes when Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain found room inside the box, forcing an excellent low save from Jaaskelainen.

That was the last action of the half, as the hosts were fairly dominant without fully seizing the initiative.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Woking

Once again, the first ten minutes were uneventful, and Sarll turned to his bench, bringing on Nana Boateng for his competitive debut for Reece Grego-Cox. Then came a huge moment in the match, as first Jaaskelainen then Rohan Ince had to make vital interventions to deny a couple of Harriers players shots on goal. Zak Brown attempted to round the Finn, before his save saw another Kiddy player drill the ball at Ince.

Another big Harriers chance came on 75 minutes, when substitute Gerry McDonagh almost converted a cross from close range after bearing down on goal. After a spell of good Woking pressure led to a free kick opportunity, Robbie Willmott’s effort forced an excellent save out of Dibble. Woking’s best chance came shortly after, when a deep cross from Amond was met by the head of Scott Cuthbert, and his looping header was inches away from dipping into the back of the net.

Ashley Hemmings had been causing problems all game, and his strike from outside the box moved in the air before rattling the crossbar, just before nine minutes of added time were announced.

A few half chances came to nothing, but a point a piece to kick off the season seemed fair on all accounts. Woking will take positives out of the way all three subs influenced the game, with a banana skin avoided on opening day.

Woking: Will Jaaskelainen, Dan Moss, Josh Casey (Akinola 73’), Scott Cuthbert, Greg Taylor, Rohan Ince, Jim Kellermann, Matt Robinson (Willmott 64’) Padraig Amond, Reece Grego-Cox (Boateng 57’), Rhys Browne

Unused subs: Joe Day, Ricky Korboa

Bookings: Grego-Cox 13’, Moss 18’

Kidderminster Harriers: Christian Dibble, Caleb Richards, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Krystian Pearce, Joe Leesley, Amari Morgan-Smith, Ashley Hemmings, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, Zak Brown (McDonagh 73’), Matt Preston, Shane Byrne (Lissimore 87’)

Unused subs: Penny, Phillips, Lambert

Bookings: Pearce 16’, Brown 31’, Leesley 81’

Attendance: 3116 (420 Woking)

Referee: Dale Baines

Man of the Match: Greg Taylor was exemplary on debut, key to a Woking clean sheet.
Kidderminster Harriers LINEUP
21Christian Dibble
12Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain
3Caleb Richards
5Krystian Pearce
16Matt Preston
4Nathaniel Knight-Percival
8Joe Leesley
14Zak Brown ('73)
23Shane Byrne ('87)
10Ashley Hemmings
9Amari Morgan-Smith
2Alex Penny
11Jack Lambert
18Kai Lissimore ('87)
7Kieran Phillips
15Gerry McDonagh ('73)
22Will Jaaskelainen
2Dan Moss
3Josh Casey ('73)
4Scott Cuthbert
5Greg Taylor
24Rohan Ince
17Jim Kellermann
12Matt Robinson ('64)
9Reece Grego-Cox ('56)
14Rhys Browne
10Padraig Amond
1Joe Day
16Tunji Akinola ('73)
8Robbie Willmott ('64)
7Ricky Korboa
15Nana Boateng ('56)

Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Woking | Darren Sarll Interview

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