Harriers booked their place in the IFA British Supporters Cup Final for the second year running with a hard fought victory over British League Champions Motherwell on Saturday.
Both semi finals were held on the same day at the excellent facilities of Lytham YMCA. Despite heavy rain all week the pitch was in good condition and special thanks must go to Steve from the Preston North End supporters team for his hard work in arranging both games.
Despite missing five players from the previous rounds victory over Hull City Kiddy travelled up the M6 in high spirits and arrived just in time to catch the end of the first semi final with Ayr beating Kingstonian convincingly.
Manager Pountney opted for a five man midfield in the hope that Harriers would use the width that had worked so well in the previous round. The game started poorly though for Harriers as they struggled to gain possession of the ball and adjust to the change in formation.
After both sides had a couple of half chances it was Harriers who got the important first goal. Lone striker Steve Thomas chased down a long ball before setting up Richard Ward who lobbed the keeper in style from 25 yards.
Motherwell continued to control possession with Harriers playing on the break. The Scots thought they had got the equaliser only for the referee to rule out the goal for a push on goalkeeper Dave Ackerley. Harriers once again rode their luck when the referee turned down several penalty appeals.
The second half carried on in much the same vein with Motherwell controlling the ball without really creating many clear cut chances and Harriers restricted to playing on the break. Marc Vaughan had an excellent chance to double the lead but prodded wide. Harriers contiuned to work hard and close down the opposition in key areas.
Motherwell were soon back in the game as their winger was given far too much time and his cross eluded replacement goalkeeper Brett Caufield to just go over the line. Harriers re-grouped and were soon back in the lead as an excellent run and cross by Lewis Pountney was met by Dave Greaves who headed into the net (although thats what he tells us!).
Both sides continued to have chances but the Harriers defence held firm to record a fantastic win against one of the strongest supporters’ sides in the country. Everyone played their part and ran themselves into the ground with Dave Greaves getting Man of the Match for a commanding midfield performance. Next up are Ayr United in the final on the 20th July as Harriers will look to go one better than last year.
Man of the match – Dave Greaves
Goalscorers – Richard Ward and Dave Greaves
Dave Ackerley, Brett Caufield, Steve Thomas, Lewis Pountney, Richard Ward, Nathan Fox, Mark Young, Dave Greaves, Andy Morgan, Jamie Willetts, Sean Merryweather, Richard Hall, Chris Lacey and Marc Vaughan.