Express & Star

Kidderminster Harriers through to play-off final

Kidderminster Harriers produced a stunning performance to reach their first ever play-off final as they overran National League North runners-up Kings Lynn Town to record a 4-1 win at The Walks.

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Unsuccessful campaigns against Chorley, Bradford Park Avenue and Boston United in recent years had left Harriers fans disappointed, but a seventh successive victory with the midweek win at Alfreton Town ensured more than 700 fans travelled across country to support Russ Penn and his squad for the trip to Kings Lynn Town for this semi-final play off tie.

Harriers had recently started so fast scoring early goals that it came as no surprise when Zack Brown stretched to reach Amari Morgan-Smith’s cross, only to see his effort go wide after 46 seconds.

Harriers looked dangerous and after Alex Penny had sent a header over, a mistake by Tommy Dixon-Hodge saw the keeper haul down Ashley Hemmings to concede the penalty, but the Harriers striker got up to strike it weakly and the home keeper made a comfortable save.

Harriers deservedly went ahead when the lively Hemmings raced on to a through-ball from Joe Leesley and rolled it under the advancing keeper.

Harriers’ joy was short-lived, Ben Stephens crashing home a far-post header from Josh Barrett’s right-wing cross on 25 minutes.

The home side showed quality from the flanks and Kyle Callan-McFadden should have netted a goal late in the first -half but saw his header flash wide.

The visitors ended the half on top with Morgan-Smith forcing a fingertip save from the home keeper.

Harriers started the second half well, regaining the lead on 53 minutes when Caleb Richards pulled the ball back for Morgan-Smith to steer it home.

The game was effectively put to bed when Harriers extended their lead on 61 minutes. Leesley played a short corner to Brown and his near-post cross from the right was flicked home by Byrne.

Harriers capped a professional performance with a counter-attacking goal 10 minutes later, Hemmings playing in Brown, who took the ball forward to complete the scoring.

Harriers will know face Brackley Town next Sunday for a place in the National League.

Kings Lynn Town: Dixon-Hodge, Crowther, Coulson, Callan-McFadden, Jones (Denton 70), Oxlade- Chamberlain, Widdrington (Hargreaves 61), Clunan, Barrett, Stephens (Ponticelli 65), Omotayo. Subs Not Used: Jones, Hughes.

Harriers: Dibble, Foulkes, Richards, Pearce, Morrison, Penny, Byrne, Leesley (Lissimore 86), Brown, Hemmings (Bearne 90+2), Morgan-Smith (Knight-Percival 88). Subs Not Used: Palmer, Hall.