Bedfont Sports 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1 - Report

Kidderminster Harriers are through to the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time since 2017 following a valuable 1-0 win at lower ranked Bedfont Sports.

Bedfont Sports 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1 - Report

They clinched victory over their Isthmian League South-Central Division hosts thanks to a second half goal from Amari Morgan-Smith.

Delighted Harriers picked up £9,375 in prize-money for beating a spirited Bedfont side, who are based near Heathrow Airport and were playing in the fourth qualifying round for the first time in their short history.

The win was also a welcome tonic for Aggborough manager Russ Penn’s men who have been finding it tough going recently in the National League North, having lost their last three matches on the trot.

Kidderminster, triumphant over Sporting Khalsa and Ware in the previous two rounds, were unchanged from the side which tumbled to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat against Brackley Town in a league clash seven days earlier.

The first ever meeting between the two clubs began with visiting goalkeeper Luke Simpson rapidly being called into action to make a smart save to deny Ricky Wellard.

Harriers had to be on their guard defensively in the early stages before they gradually began to push forward with Alex Penny and Ashley Hemmings setting up captain Sam Austin for a shot which was tipped over the bar for an unproductive corner by goalkeeper Dimitrios Kyriatzis.

Shortly afterwards Morgan-Smith fired in a free kick which failed to cause Kyriatzis any concern before Hemmings tried his luck with a shot which went wide of the target.

Kyriatzis was then needed to punch away an effort from Austin as Harriers battled to try to find a clear-cut way through the hosts’ rear-guard.

During the closing minutes of a closely fought first half Hemmings produced an opportunity for Morgan-Smith, but the striker’s shot flew over the bar.

Harriers made a positive start to the second period, although Hemmings was unable to make the most of a chance following a dangerous cross from Caleb Richards.

They finally managed to break the deadlock on 59 minutes when Morgan-Smith notched his third FA Cup goal of the season with a follow-up shot after Kyriatzis had pulled off a good save.

Kidderminster set about trying to extend their slender lead with Austin having a header pushed away by Kyriatzis who then blocked a shot from Hemmings before keeping out a free kick by substitute Omari Sterling.

Morgan-Smith’s crucial goal, however, proved just enough to overcome their hard working opponents.

Kidderminster: Simpson; Penny, Cameron, Bajrami, Richards; Hemmings, Carrington, Martin, Austin (Lowe, 90); Freemantle (Sterling, 64), Morgan-Smith (Bell, 86). Subs not used: Emery, Lissimore, White, Tolley.

Referee: Ben Atkinson.

Attendance: 412

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