1:56pm, Tue 1st Aug 2023
Match previews sponsored by Nuffield Health
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
Vanarama National League
5th August 2023
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.
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.