York City 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1 - Report
Kidderminster Harriers opened their National League victory account with a 1-0 win at York City thanks to a late goal against his former club by Amari Morgan-Smith.
The striker wrapped up the points by scoring in the 83rd minute.
Russ Penn’s side’s victory came on the back of their opening day goalless draw the previous week against Woking at Aggborough.
Watched by a 4,000-plus crowd, the win was a feather in the cap for Aggborough boss Penn, who used to play for a Minstermen.
Harriers, acclimatising well to life back in non-league’s top flight following promotion from National League North last season, made one change from the team which faced Woking.
Midfielder Shane Byrne was ruled out with a long term knee injury and replaced by Kai Lissimore.
Byrne’s captaincy duties were taken over by Krystian Pearce.
The hosts set up a promising raid after five minutes when Dan Pybus found Quevin Castro, who fired in a snap shot from the edge of the area which was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Christian Dibble.
Kidderminster tried hard to engineer a clear-cut way through York’s rear-guard, but both sides were finding it difficult to get in any shots on target during the first quarter of an hour.
Harriers had the sniff of an opening on 21 minutes when Ashley Hemmings won possession and laid the ball off to Zak Brown, whose initial shot was blocked before his second effort went harmlessly wide.
Nine minutes later the visitors had a decent opportunity to break the deadlock when a cross from Caleb Richards found Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was unable to make the most of a heading chance by directing the ball just wide.
York responded shortly afterwards when Levi Andoh tried his luck from distance, but his shot flew just over the bar.
In the closing stages of the first period Morgan-Smith had a sweetly struck drive well saved by goalkeeper David Stockdale before Brown saw his goalbound shot deflected wide by Andoh for an unproductive corner.
Harriers had appeals for a penalty turned down on 57 minutes after Hemmings came into contact with Stockdale, but the scare did not unsettle the Minstermen who minutes later had a Pybus shot go over the bar.
The hard working visitors made the all-important breakthrough when a Joe Leesley corner led to Morgan-Smith knocking the ball onto the bar and over the line.
The goal led to a tense period for Harriers which included seven minutes of added time.
York: Stockdale, Crookes, Cordner, McLaughlin, Akinyemi, Castro (Dyson, 68), Kouhyar, Pybus, Andoh, Siziba (Harriott, 73), Woodyard (Hurst, 84). Subs not used: Campbell, Latty-Fairweather.
Kidderminster: Dibble; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Knight-Percival, Pearce, Preston (Penny, 90+2), Richards; Leesley, Lissimore, Brown (Phillips, 59); Morgan-Smith, Hemmings (McNally. 73). Subs not used: Lambert, McDonagh.
Referee: Farai Hallam.
Attendance: 4,371 (181 away fans).