Harriers put in a spirited effort against League One side Oldham Athletic on Saturday but couldn't prevent their exit from the FA Cup with Budweiser at the hands of the well-organised Latics.
There can be very few complaints about the way the visitors approached this tie from the off – they dominated possession inside the first few minutes and might well have taken an early lead with the first corner of the day as Cliff Byrne’s effort at goal was saved well by Nathan Vaughan before sparking a mass scramble inside the area.
With eleven on the clock the home side were given a boost with their first chance of the day; Lee Vaughan’s cross found by Nathan Blissett at the far post as he headed down to Ryan Rowe who turned and saw his shot well blocked.
Five minutes later Jose Baxter fired narrowly over the bar as the League One side continued to find the better of their earlier rhythm, James Vincent having a sight of goal a little further on as he drove one over from distance.
Midway through the first period, clever movement from Baxter once again saw him work an opportunity and force Vaughan into a solid stop; Cristian Montano wasting a big chance for them on the counter attack on 29 minutes as he blazed off target.
Both teams had their spells of pressure but undoubtedly and understandably, Oldham’s chance creation was a little higher – there was a good opening for the reds, though, with 37 minutes gone as Keith Briggs took aim and beat goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis but unfortunately his target, too.
As the half neared its conclusion Harriers had two solid shouts for handball in the area waved away and just after the restart they continued to press and push and forced a splendid chance to make the breakthrough as Anthony Malbon saw his fine header from a Mike Williams cross tipped over the bar by Bouzanis, Chey Dunkley heading wide from the resultant corner.
That was a great spell for the hosts but no sooner did it come to an end than Oldham took the lead on 52 minutes, the lively Montano surging into the area and drilling a fine finish past the dive of Vaughan and into the back of the net.
Both teams were forced into a change as the hour mark passed as Oldham lost Byrne and Harriers had to withdraw Blissett, and somewhat typically of their season’s luck, it was the home side to come off worse after the enforced break as Oldham doubled their lead; Baxter’s free kick from a considerable distance floating all the way through and past the beaten Vaughan at the near-post.
Harriers were never going to give up at 2-0 and continued to give their all to find their way back; Rowe firing off the post with the aid of a deflection on 72 minutes after sub Marvin Johnson saw his shot spill into the area.
Johnson himself lashed one into the side-netting with around a quarter-hour left while Malbon struck one just wide; the Latics never wavering in their sheer professionalism and not wanting to allow Harriers back into the tie.