Monday, December 27, 2021

22 Years Ago Today - Bulls Draw With Kidderminster

Twenty Two years ago today Hereford United drew with Kidderminster Harriers at Edgar Street.

A look back to December 27th 1999.

HEREFORD United 1 - 1 Kidderminster Harriers

The first league match between these two sides in the Christmas period was exactly as expected - a hard fought encounter with little between them. Over a thousand Harriers supporters travelled to Edgar Street, and many of them did a spot of bargain-hunting in town before kickoff.

Hereford United lined up with a full strength side after their narrow defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup tie ten days ago. United had slipped to 12th place after their defeat at Scarborough last weekend, and Kidderminster had risen to fourth. A win would have put them top (because of the early kick-off time).

Paul Fewings opened the scoring on six minutes. Tim Clarke dropped the ball at the near post, but Hereford United's star striker was on hand to knock the ball into the back of the net. The former Scunthorpe United goalkeeper didn't have a very good match, with Fewings charging down some of his clearances, one just going wide of the post.

United continued to pressurise the Kidderminster defence throughout the first period. Adie Smith played well snubbing out any decent United attacks, but Kidderminster couldn't get the momentum going. Ian Wright was booked on 26 minutes for a foul, but five minutes previously Tony James was brought off injured after a seemingly unfortunate challenge. He was replaced by James Wall in the centre of defence.

The second half started and Kidderminster came back into the match. Paul Fewings was looking increasingly frustrated by the Kidderminster defence and was booked for a foul after just six minutes. He was also spoken to by the referee in the first half to calm down. Two minutes later came another yellow card, this time to Dean Bennett for another foul. Kidderminster, however, were starting to look like the better side. The referee, Mr Tanner from Bristol, awarded a series free kicks and corners as United fought back but Kidderminster broke and were unlucky not to have a shot when Gavin Williams zoomed back to make the challenge. Paul Parry, usually so influential, didn't get into the match as he would have liked, despite being in acres of space at times. He was brought off midway through the half and replaced by veteran Ian Rodgerson.

Kidderminster started to improve in attacking positions with Stewart Hadley and former United attacker Ian Foster linking well. It was Hadley who eventually opened his sides account with a well taken effort twenty minutes from time. Jones palmed away a shot, but it rebounded off the post for Hadley to bury from three yards. United knew that Kidderminster could now go for the winner. The disappointing Foster was removed for Mark Druce, a £10,000 signing from United last year. He was greeted with a hostile atmosphere from the Edgar Street faithful, but didn't get a decent effort to score the winner. Paul Fewings was then awarded a penalty for a bad challenge, much to the anger of the Kidderminster team. After consulting with his assistant, the penalty was give, but Clarke saved with his legs.

Paul Fewings was removed with six minutes to go, as the crowd greeted the substitute with the cry "Le-roy, Le-roy!". Leroy May came on, but couldn't make the required impact. His first touch was right in front of goal, but his overhead kick flew just over Tim Clarke's cross-bar. A fair result, and all eyes will be on Aggborough next Monday for the second leg of this league fixture.

Attendance = 4,437

Man of the match - Adie Smith (Kidderminster)

Hereford - Jones, Sturgess, Lane, James, Wright, Snape, Williams, Taylor, Fewings, Elmes, Parry

Sub(s) who came on - May, Wall

GRAHAM Turner post match comment: "On the balance of play we had more chances, but we needed a second goal to make the game safe. We didn't play anywhere near as well defensively as we did in our cup game at Leicester and at times we were sloppy on the ball."