Ironside 66 (pen) Sonupe 90
- First home win of the season
- Ironside opens account
- Late Sonupe strike seals it
- Back-to-back wins for reds
JOE IRONSIDE struck a penalty to help secure a tough but deserved 2-0 win for Harriers over Leamington at Aggborough.
The Harriers No.9 netted for the first time this season in the second half, a goal that proved decisive, an Emmanuel Sonupe pearler in injury time finishing things off.
Against a Leamington side aching for a draw from the off, Harriers were set the task of breaking down an impressive resistance.
Liam Daly and Dan Bradley had chances in the first half to put the team ahead but those were more half sights of goal as Tony Breedon remained largely untroubled.
Before the half-hour mark Tyrone Williams and Elton Ngwatala tried their luck without finding the target, the Frenchman doing similar just after the restart, too.
The hour mark came and went and four minutes after the deadlock was finally broken as Ironside stepped up from 12 yards to beat Breedon with a well-taken kick.
It was never a game of plentiful chances but Harriers certainly controlled almost the entire affair – Daly’s header going close in the final ten minutes to adding a second, Gudger’s 85th minute free kick registering as a rare shot on target with five to go as Hall did the honours in tipping over.
In the end, Harriers would go on to see the game out in style, the second goal coming in injury time as Sonupe raced away on the counter attack and, with Breedon up on the attack, he was able to finish coolly from distance into an empty net.
JOHN EUSTACE knows his Harriers team face a tough challenge as they welcome Leamington to Aggborough Stadium on Tuesday night.
The reds go in search of back to back wins following Saturday’s 2-1 victory at FC United of Manchester.
But it’s a tall order against a Leamington side who are smarting from two home defeats in the last week.
It’s also a Brakes side packed with experience – the vast majority of their players having played and succeeded at not only National North level but the division above, too.
On top of that, much of the visiting squad bagged that experience right here at Aggborough.
The likes of Callum Gittings, Tony Breedon and Ahmed Obeng all enjoyed spells here in Worcestershire at some point over the last few years.
Leamington are also a side and a club still riding a wave of momentum, too, having won promotion to this division at the back end of last season.
“They had a fantastic season last season and congratulations to them for getting back to this level,” boss Eustace said, looking ahead.
“They may be new to the division for this campaign but they’re actually a squad and management team that knows all about it.
“Their squad is full of experienced players who have performed at this level and above and, as a group, they have that advantage of having had a promotion with each other last season.
“It’s a big challenge for us to go up against that in search of three points.”
Whether Eustace and Harriers are able to name an unchanged side for the game tonight remains to be seen.
Elton Ngwatala and Dan Bradley were just two of a few handed their first start of the season at FC United.
Without a full pre-season under their belt it may be that the challenge of two games in a matter of days is a bridge too far.
If selected, Bradley will make a returning home debut at Aggborough tonight while fellow new-boy Joel Taylor could also feature in front of the home fans for the first time.
Kick-off at Aggborough Stadium on Tuesday night is 7:45pm.
Matt Gardiner Reaction
Joe Ironside Reaction
Extended Match Highlights