Sonupe Is The Man-ny For Harriers: FC United 1-2 Harriers
Two goals from Manny Sonupe helped Harriers come from behind at Broadhurst Park to earn their first win of the season.
Following on from two 1-0 defeats to start the season John Eustace took the bold step of making five changes to the starting line-up: new signing Joel Taylor came in at left back for his debut, Kennedy Digie came in for his second start - his first in two years, Dan Bradley made his first start since returning to the club while Elton Ngwatala and Sonupe completed the changes. Junior Joachim also featured in the matchday squad for the first time on the bench.
A lively start to the game saw Harriers off to a disappointing start; with five minutes on the clock Richie Baker saw his low shot from distance pushed away for a corner by Brandon Hall. From the resultant corner Daniel Wisdom rose at the far post to head back across goal with a hefty deflection giving his side the lead.
Harriers didn't let their heads drop, though, and on the quarter hour Bradley went close to an equaliser, his run across the face of the penalty area ending with a 25-yard shot that was saved by Lloyd Allinson in the home goal. Bradley was involved again three minutes later as Harriers did draw level; after James McQuilkin had won the ball his cross from deep on the left was met by the head of Sonupe to record Harriers' first goal of the season.
Sonupe could have put Harriers in front on the half hour but this time his header hit the bar and shortly afterwards Liam Daly headed wide as Harriers began to take control of the game. Sonupe was a key player for Harriers in the first half, his pace on the right wing causing all sorts of problems for United full back Wisdom. Just before the break Wisdom let a long crossfield pass go over his head thinking it would go out of play but Sonupe left him for dead to keep the ball in play and cross low for Ryan Croasdale wo saws his shot saved by Allinson and Joe Ironside then followed up to fire the rebound wide.
In stoppage time Sonupe and McQuilkin combined on the right with the latter crossing to the far post where Bradley knocked the ball back to Ngwatala who fired wide.
After the break United should have regained the lead; Connor McCarthy's shot from the inside left position was parried by Hall and ran to Jason Gilchrist who saw his follow-up shot pushed over the bar by Hall who was still on the floor after the first save.
On the hour Daly should have headed Harriers ahead; he rose unmarked at the far post to meet McQuilkin's free-kick from the left but headed wide. Shortly afterwards Allinson made a superb save to deny McQuilkin at the far post as he arrived late to meet Tyrone Williams' right wing cross.
It was all Harriers now and it was only a matter of time until the second goal came; that winning strike came ten minutes from time from another set piece. McQuilkin's corner from the right was flapped at by Allinson and fell nicely to the feet of Sonupe who tucked it away neatly.
Substitutes Andre Brown and Liam Truslove both had chances to increase Harriers' lead in the closing stages but both failed to trouble the goalkeeper. It didn't matter, though, as Harriers saw out the rest of the game comfortably to take a deserved three points.