Northwich Victoria 3(2) v (1)2 Kidderminster Harriers

FA Trophy Semi-Final 2nd Leg - Victoria Park - 17 March 2007

Attendance: 2129

Individual Stats
v Kidderminster
Ben Connett 5 0(5) 0 0 0 0 [20/13] Steve Taylor 5 0(1) 0 0 1(hp) 0
Richard Battersby 5 0 0 1 0 0 [2] Jeff Kenna 5 0 0 1 1 0
Andrew Smart 5 0 0 0 0 0 [29/3] Jonny Harkness 6 0 0 1 3 0
Mark Roberts 5 0 0 1 0 0 [28/6] Stuart Whitehead 5 0 0 1 0 0
Gareth Griffiths 5 0 0 0 0 0 [4/5] Mark Creighton 6 1 0 2 0 0
Kieran Charnock 5 0 0 2 1 0 [6/4] Gavin Hurren 5 0 0 0 1 0
Jon McCarthy 5 0 0 1 0 0 [16/15] Simon Russell 7 0 3 3 0 1
Mike Carr 6 2(1) 1 0 2 0 [8/16] Russell Penn 8 1 2 1 0 0
Matt Shaw 6 1 0 1 3 1 [31/22] Iyseden Christie 6 0 0 0 3 1
Paul Brayson 5 1 2 3 0 3 [10/26] James Constable 7 5(5) 0 1 1 0
Carlos Roca 6 1 1 0 0 0 [11] Michael Blackwood 6 0 2 1 0 0
Danny Mayman       [7] Jake Sedgemore 5 0 1 0 0 0
Mike Byrne 5 0 1 0 2(1h) 0 [14/9] Andy White      
Kevin Townson 5 0 0 0 1 0 [18/10] Gary Hay      
Terry Barwick 5 0 0 1 2 0 [24/14] Luke Reynolds 5 0 0 0 0 0
Phil Senior       [1/18] Brian Smikle      
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
Northwich 12 4 5 5 5
Kidderminster 10 2 4 7 8
Northwich Kidderminster
10 Matt Shaw   24 Mark Creighton  
15 Carols Roca   68 Russ Penn  
90+ Mike Carr penalty    
  Roberts Griffiths Charnock  
Battersby     Smart
  McCarthy Carr Roca  
  Shaw   Brayson  
Kenna Whitehead   Creighton Harkness
Russell Penn   Hurren Blackwood
  Christie   Constable  
Northwich Kidderminster
27 Barwick McCarthy Barwick to central midfield, Carr to right central midfield. 79 Sedgemore Hurren Sedgemore to left  central midfield.
70 Byrne Roca Byrne to left central midfield. 85 Reynolds Constable Reynolds to striker.
83 Townson Smart Townson to striker, Barwick to left wing back.  Now 5-2-3.     
Northwich Kidderminster
Barwick 59 Foul
Battersby 73 Foul
  Harkness 51 Foul
Christie 87 Foul
Russell 90+ Time Wasting
Referee: Graham Laws (Tyne & Wear)
Match Report by St@tto

Harriers are through to their fourth FA Trophy final, and their first since 1995, after a thrilling second-leg at Northwich's Victoria Stadium that ended in a 3-2 win for the home side but a 4-3 aggregate win for Harriers.

Manager Mark Yates had promised before the game that Harriers would attack and so it proved.  Backed by a vast traveling support that amounted to approximately half of the crowd, they were soon on the attack and should have been in front early on.  After just three minutes action man Russ Penn picked up the bal in midfield and carried it forward before setting James Constable free on the right, his shot-cum-cross to the far post was parried by Vics goalkeeper Ben Connett and then scrambled away for a corner.

On nine minutes, with Harriers still in the ascendancy, Simon Russell made a run on the right wing and crossed for Constable whose far post header was tipped over by Connett.  From the resulting corner which was not cleared properly Russell chipped the ball back in from the right to Gavin Hurren who headed narrowly wide.

Against the run of play Northwich then took the lead.  Jon McCarthy  slipped the ball through the inside-left channel for Matt Shaw who was allowed an unchallenged run into the penalty area before beating Steve Taylor with a narrow-angled shot that went in off the far post.  Minutes later the tie was turned on its head when the home team drew level on aggregate; a long ball over the top beat the offside trap and forced Taylor to come rushing out of his penalty area to head clear; no Harriers player followed up on the second ball which dropped invitingly for Carlos Roca who sent it straight back over Taylor's head.

Harriers did not let their heads drop at this setback and continued to play their normal game.  They were rewarded after 23 minutes; Jonny Harkness' corner from the right was only half cleared and the ball dropped back to him, his measured cross into the danger area found the head of Mark Creighton who steered it past Connett to restore Harriers' aggregate advantage.  A flash of skill by Russell on the stroke of half-time could have leveled the match, he flicked the ball over the head of his marker and then hit a volley that dropped agonisingly narrowly wide of the far post.

Early in the second half Harriers were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men; Paul Brayson made a break through the middle and was pulled down by Harkness 25 yards out from goal.  Referee Graham Laws decided that Stuart Whitehead was coming across to cover and that Harkness had not denied a goalscoring chance and showed him just a yellow card.  From the free kick Brayson himself fired into the wall.

Midway through the second period Harriers drew level in the match, and restored their two-goal advantage.  Russell played the ball in from the right towards the so far subdued Iyseden Christie whose dummy fooled the defence and allowed the ball to run to Penn who advanced on goal before slotting the ball past Connett from the edge of the area.

Northwich threw everything forward in an attempt to get back into the tie; Mike Byrne went close with a free-kick that beat the wall and dropped just over the bar.  Harriers still looked dangerous, however, and four minutes from time should have added to their advantage; Luke Reynolds won  the ball deep on the left and switched it to the opposite flank to Russell who was in acres of space, he broke into the penalty are abut shot straight at Connett.

The home team won the match deep in stoppage time in controversial circumstances.  The ball was lofted into the penalty are from the left and as a group of players jumped for it it clearly struck the hand of a Northwich player.  The referee, however, decided to award a penalty, and, despite the protestations of the Harriers defence and a consultation with his linesman allowed the decision to stand.  Mike Carr took the kick and sent Taylor the wrong way.  Fortunately for Harriers it was so deep into time added on that it had no effect on the outcome of the tie even if it meant that they had rather undeservedly lost the game.