Express & Star

Oxford City 2 Kidderminster 2 - Report

An Ashley Hemmings penalty and a second half strike by Amari Morgan-Smith gave Harriers a point at fellow strugglers Oxford City but they stay at the bottom of the Vanarama National League Table.


Harriers Manager, Russ Penn, made two changes to the starting eleven that ended a run of four defeats in all competitions in the midweek 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United for the trip to fellow National League strugglers Oxford City.

Krystian Pearce and Caleb Richards being recalled as Matt Preston dropped to the bench with Sammy Robinson out injured.

Harriers started brightly. Ashley Hemmings came off his marker to set the ball on his left foot but his drive flew narrowly wide of Jack Bycroft’s right hand upright.

Hemmings again found space to test the home keeper after just 5 minutes with Oxford defending in numbers.

Much against the run of play Oxford drew first blood with a bizarre opening goal on 16 minutes, Harriers were unconvincing in trying to clear their lines as Krystian Pearce decided to launch the ball long, Andre Burley promptly found himself blocking the clearance and the ball flew past a stranded Christian Dibble to open the scoring.

Harriers regrouped and began to play some attractive passing football but the home side were resolute in defence and restricted the visitors to long range efforts that were comfortably dealt with by keeper Jack Bycroft.

On 37 minutes Oxford doubled their advantage, Canice Carroll’s seventy yard ball out of defence was superbly controlled by Olly Sanderson and his first time finish from the edge of the area left Dibble stranded for a second time in the game.

Harriers were given a life line two minutes before the break, handball in the home area as they tried to clear Jack Lambert’s corner and Ashley Hemmings converted the resultant penalty for his first league goal of the season.

Ryan McLean volleyed over with the last kick of the first half to deny the visitors an even end to the first half.

Harriers were level on 53 minutes Hemmings cutting the ball back and Amari Morgan-Smith firing in off the underside of the bar.

It then turned into the Jack Bycroft show as the home stopper single-handedly kept his side in the hunt as he somehow turned away Reiss McNally’s fierce drive on the hour.

He then kept out efforts from Morgan-Smith and Hemmings in quick succession before saving his best to deny Bailey Hobson.

Both sides had chances to win it deep into added on time firstly Olly Sanderson saw his strike blocked by Dibble and at the other end of the pitch Hemmings rising drive just cleared the bar to leave the sides with a point apiece.

Oxford City: Bycroft, Roberts, Carroll, Kpekawa, Burley, Parker (Fleet 75), Humphrey-Ewers, Smith (Moore 90+4), McEachran (Williams-Bushell 67), Coyle, Sanderson. Subs Not Used: McQueen, Miccio.

Harriers: Dibble, McLean (Tollitt 81), Pearce, Penny, Richards, Lissimore, Hemmings, Hobson, McNally, Morgan-Smith, Lambert (Brown 90+2). Subs Not Used: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Preston, McDonagh.