Harriers Cruise Through Chester Test: Harriers 2-0 Chester
Harriers cruised comfortably into the First Round Proper of the FA Cup against a very disappointing Chester side.
James Pearson returned to the side following injury, taking the place of Tyrone Williams as the only change to the side that had drawn at Bradford Park Avenue last time out. There was a boost on the bench, though, as Dan Bradley returned after missing several games through injury; academy player Cameron Howkins from the Under-23 squad, and younger brother of former Harrier Kyle Howkins, featured in the matchday squad for the first time.
Harriers started brightly and could have taken the lead in the first couple of minutes, first when Andre Wright's pass found Joel Taylor on the left and his dangerous cross was headed away by former Harrier Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and then moments later when skipper Ryan Croasdale whistled a shot just over the bar from long range.
The opening goal came after 18 minutes; Jimmy O'Connor carried the ball forward before passing to Elton Ngwatala in the inside-left channel, his shot from distance hit the far post but leading scorer Manny Sonupe was on hand to slide in the rebound to record his ninth goal of the season.
Harriers took charge of the game and dominated possession for the rest of the half, passing around and through the visiting defence and making them chase shadows for long periods, much to the disappointment of the large contingent of travelling supporters.
After the break Chester made a rare foray forward and Rowe-Turner's cross from the left found substitute Jordan Chappell at the far post but he headed well wide. Shortly afterwards Williams, on as a sub for Pearson, surged forward through the inside-right channel before passing to Ngwatala who moved the ball on to Wright whose shot across the face of goal went narrowly wide, taking a deflection on the way to win a corner.
With 20 minutes to go Chester had another chance to level the scores; Lucas Dawson's long through found John McCombe whose far post header was half cleared and then Paul Turnbull blaste3d over the bar and Brandon Hall remained untroubled, the visitors didn't manage a single shot on target throughout the game.
Harriers made the game safe eleven minutes from the end; Sonupe got free on the right, his cross to the near post found Joe Ironside who beat Alex Lynch with a diving header that went in off the upright.