Kidderminster Harriers 0 Walsall 5 - Report

Walsall produced a performance with clinical finishing to comfortably beat their National League North hosts Kidderminster Harriers in front of 1163 spectators.

Kidderminster Harriers' Omari Sterling (right) and Walsall's Joss Labadie battle for the ball
Kidderminster Harriers' Omari Sterling (right) and Walsall's Joss Labadie battle for the ball

This keenly contested pre-season friendly drew an appreciative crowd as Aggborough played host to its second game with fans in attendance following the midweek defeat against Cheltenham.

The early exchanges saw the League 2 side create half chances for Trialist A thought to be former Harriers striker Manny Sonupe, who was denied by Alex Penny’s challenge before snatching at an effort that flew wide of Luke Simpson’s goal.

On the half hour mark Omari Sterling’s pace caused problems for Joe Foulkes who had little option to impede the striker’s surging run and from the resultant free kick Sterling curled his effort narrowly over from a narrow angle on the left edge of the penalty area.

Walsall opened the scoring on 38 minutes, Emmanuel Osadebe starting and finishing a move as he played a ball from the left into Conor Wilkinson on the edge of the Harriers area, Osadebe continued his run and lifted the ball beyond Luke Simpson as he connected with Wilkinson’s deft chip.

Both sides continued to knock the ball around but it was a wonder strike from Osadebe that gave Walsall breathing space with the last kick of the first half, the tall striker controlled the ball on the left edge of the penalty held off a challenge and curled a sumptuous right footed effort beyond Simpson’s dive to his left as the ball clipped the inside of the upright on its way into the net.

Walsall extended that lead with their first attack of the second period on 46 minutes, Trialist A threaded a through ball to the lively Wilkinson who raced into the area, composed himself and stroked the ball across Simpson into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Wilkinson almost added to that tally, linking with Trialist A and unleashing a low drive that Simpson turned aside at his near post.

Harriers responded, Sam Perry fouled Sam Austin 25 yards from goal and Omari Sterling sent his effort narrowly wide of Carl Rusworth’s right hand post.

Walsall deservedly went 4-0 up on 56 minutes, playing some smart passing football at pace, the home defence had no answer when Osadebe released Kieran Phillips who applied a low left footed finish from ten yards across Simpson into the bottom left corner of the net.

The goal signalled a requirement for fresh faces on both sides, Harriers introducing four players on 58 minutes and the visitors responding with six changes just four minutes later and a further four outfield movements on 69 minutes.

Trialist 21 delivered a pin-point right wing corner that Ash Taylor headed powerfully goalward only for Simpson to parry the ball away for a corner on 72 minutes.

Harriers went close to getting on the scoresheet moments later Nyal Bell heading over from ten yards before Walsall netted a fifth Liam Kinsella raced away down the left, his centre saw Brendan Kiernan convert a sliding finish with 11 minutes remaining.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Player J (Lowe 58), Austin (Bell 70), Carrington (Montrose 74), Hemmings (White 58), Sterling (Tolley 84), Player I (Martin 58), Player K, Freemantle (Morgan –Smith 58). Subs Not Used: Dutton, Bastable, Lissimore.

Walsall : Rushworth, Foulkes (22,69), Mills (Ward 61), Labadie (Kinsella 61), Menayese (Taylor 61), Monthe (Leak 61), Phillips (White 69), Perry, Wilkinson (Trialist B 61), Osadebe (21, 61), Trialist A (Kiernan, 69). Subs Not Used:

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