- One goal enough at Benfield
- Hit-mans fifth of the season
- Brayson goal chalked off for hosts
- Into Fourth Qualifying Round
JOE IRONSIDE netted to send Harriers through in the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 win at Newcastle Benfield.
Ironside netted eight after the hour to give his team what was a deserved lead.
Up to then, Harriers had created the far greater share of chances but just couldn’t edge their way past the home goalkeeper.
The reds began the game well Grainger between the sticks was earning his money from the off – his first-half highlights seeing him extend himself to keep out an angled drive from Croasdale and a rising free-kick from Ngwatala.
His opposite number, Brandon Hall, had his share of work to do as he kept out a brace of efforts from evergreen front-man Paul Brayson as the hosts pushed on.
Into the second period, Ironside met a delivery with a fine, stooped header that Grainger pushed away – Croasdale once again thwarted as he shot at close range soon after.
The breakthrough came thanks in a large part to Wright who, with fine feet inside the area, cut a low cross along the face of goal where Ironside was waiting to pounce.
Benfield had a goal chalked off for offside not long after but, in truth, it was the visitors who kept a strong control of the contest for much of the day.
AFTER a difficult recent period, skipper Ryan Croasdale is happy to be back in the Harriers fold ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round trip to Newcastle Benfield.
The reds’ midfield man made his return in last weekend’s 5-4 victory over Blyth Spartans at Aggborough.
It came after a couple of weeks’ absence due to personal reasons.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man – who has been selected for an England C training camp next month – admits it’s been a testing time, but that he’s happy to be back at work.
“It’s been tough,” he told our official YouTube channel.
“Personal things have not been great off the pitch.
“They are kind of settling down now, which is good, everything is fine.
“I’m back to work hard and, hopefully, help us move up the table.”
It’s back to Cup action for Harriers this weekend, having successfully negotiated their last round with the 4-2 win over Deeping Rangers.
The next trip, to Newcastle Benfield, looks every bit as tough on paper.
Our hosts are already in fine Cup fettle, having passed four previous rounds to reach this stage.
Croasdale knows it will take another sleeves-up and dig-in performance from the reds if they are to make it through to the very final qualifying round.
“We’ve got to take the game to them and make sure we get through the round,” he added.
“We’re a young group and will have to stay switched on at all times; we’re not going to [underestimate] them or anything like that.
“The last FA Cup game was a tough game as well so we’ve got to go with our ‘A’ game and get through that round.
“They’ll be raring to go and it will be a tough game.”
In terms of team news, Harriers may well need to run the rule once again over James McQuilkin.
Boss John Eustace admitted that McQuilkin struggled at times during his 45-minute return from injury against Blyth before being withdrawn.
Kick-off at Newcastle Benfield is at 3:00pm on Saturday.
READ: More about our hosts with our Newcastle Benfield: 5 Things article
WATCH: Ryan Croasdale’s full interview by clicking the video tab above.
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Ryan Croasdale Pre-Match
Joe Ironside post-match
John Eustace post-match
Extended Match Highlights