Express & Star

Kidderminster Harriers 1 Bradford Park Avenue 1 - Report

Kidderminster Harriers’ long wait for a home win continues after they were held to a frustrating 1-1 National League North draw against Bradford (Park Avenue) at foggy Aggborough.


Jordan Preston gave the visitors a half time lead before substitute Amari Morgan-Smith equalised with a spectacular overhead kick.

The deadlock left manager Russ Penn’s men without a victory at Aggborough since October 25 when they beat Chorley 1-0.

It also dashed his side’s hopes of completing their first league double of the season after beating Bradford 1-0 at their Horsfall Stadium headquarters in August.

Kidderminster made a handful of changes from the team which lost 3-2 at National League Dorking Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Trophy the previous Saturday with defenders Nat Knight-Percival and Alex Penny back in the starting line-up after recovering from long term injuries.

Kai Lissimore and Reiss McNally also returned to the side.

Harriers made a positive start and forced a couple of unproductive corner inside the opening few minutes, the second was the result of a long range shot from Ashley Hemmings which was pushed around the post by goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy.

Lissimore also tried his luck with a shot from distance which was deflected over the bar for a corner which was safely plucked out of the air by Sykes-Kenworthy.

Another neat build-up, involving Ethan Freemantle, shortly afterwards led to Tom Owen-Evens pulling the trigger on a long range shot, but his powerful effort flew wide.

Harriers kept up their attacking domination and Knight-Percival went close with a couple of quick-fire efforts, the first from distance and the second from a few only a couple of yards out.

Bradford, however, produced a rare raid in the 31st minute and opened the deadlock against the run of play when Preston scored after the ball fallen to him after a shot from Jacob Blyth had been blocked.

Stunned Harriers set about trying the repair the damage and a teasing cross from Jack Bearne was headed over by Freemantle before Sykes-Kenworthy was called on to keep out a half volley from Owen-Evans shortly before half time.

The hosts began the second half on the front foot and it was not long before captain Shane Byrne fired in a volley which flew over the bar.

Harriers started to ring the changes on the hour mark with Morgan-Smith and new loan signing Joe McGlynn coming on in a bid to boost their side’s fortunes up-front.

The switch paid off in the 74th minute when McGlynn had a shot blocked which led to Morgan-Smith netting with splendidly executed overhead kick.

Penn’ men battled to try to grab a winner, but the hard working Avenue rear-guard stood firm.

Kidderminster: Palmer; Penny (Margetson, 86), Pearce, McNally (Morgan-Smith, 61), Knight-Percival; Byrne, Lissimore, Hemmings, Owen-Evans, Freemantle (McGlynn, 61), Bearne, Subs not used: Foulkes, Martin.

Bradford: Sykes-Kenworthy; Odunston, Havern, Fielding, Adewoju; Longbottom, Maroodza, Lancaster, Richman, Preston (Dockerty, 71); Blyth (Johnson, 92). Subs not used: Hall, Hopper, Church.

Referee: Jonathan Maskrey.

Attendance: 2,193 (34 away fans).