21st Sep, 2020

Church sunk by Harriers but positives in friendly defeat

Liam Moakes 9th Sep, 2020

RUTHLESS Kidderminster Harriers handed Alvechurch a 4-1 defeat on home soil on Tuesday night.

Church started brightly in their final pre-season friendly with a 12th-minute penalty from Kieran Cook, but quickly fell away after Amari Morgan-Smith levelled 11 minutes later.

The Harriers forward then handed the higher-ranked National League North visitors the lead seconds into the second half, before Ashley Hemmings and former Alvechurch man Omari Sterling-James made sure of victory.

Cook’s opener from the spot followed a cagey opening to affairs at Lye Meadow, with the next action involving Jono Brown picking the ball out of the back of net after Morgan-Smith hammered home Hemmings’ drilled cross.

The leveller gave Kidderminster renewed hope and, despite failing to find a second goal before the break, they hit the front a minute into the second half when Morgan-Smith fired home his second after a melee in the box.

By the 53rd minute of play the scoreline looked bleak for Church after conceding their third.

This time it was Hemmings causing havoc – driving inside from the byline before finishing expertly.

Chances continued to tip in Harriers’ favour, so there was little surprise when new recruit Sterling-James turned inside the box and planted the ball in the top-left corner against his former employers.

However, the tempo of Alvechurch’s play – particularly in the first half – will give manager Ian Long plenty of encouragement ahead of Church’s Southern Premier Central opener at Hitchin Town on Saturday, September 19.

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