Sonupe 31; Ironside 52 (pen); Truslove 88
- Harriers cruise to home win against ill-disciplined Nuneaton
- Sonupe goal opens the scoring
- Ironside penalty and Truslove goal finish the job
- Vaughan makes Aggborough return
HARRIERS picked up a comfortable and deserved 3-0 win over Nuneaton Town at Aggborough.
Emmanuel Sonupé opened the scoring for the reds against a Town side who had two men sent off in the first half in a hot-headed spell.
The hosts stayed patient and professional, though, with a Joe Ironside penalty and a Liam Truslove strike adding to the score.
The game was slow to get going, Nuneaton’s Beswick and Sonupé for the hosts going close early on, before Ngwatala’s drive from distance forced Lyness into the game’s first save.
Nicholson saw a 15th-minute effort deflected wide as a cagey beginning to the day continued – Sonupé’s opener coming on the half-hour as he pounced on a lapse in the Boro back line, nipping in between his man before slotting the ball past Lyness.
The visitors had clearly come to try and thwart Harriers but, as their frustration boiled over, they had two sent off in quick succession – first, Elliott, for two yellow cards, before Captain Beswick followed him; a straight red his reward for a crude foul on Weeks.
Harriers quickly added to their score after the restart; just six minutes gone when Sonupé’s run was halted by a foul from Chambers – Ironside stepping up and doing the duty against his former club for his 15th of the season.
In truth that was that and, after, it was one-way traffic; McQuilkin almost adding a third only for Ironside to inadvertently block his shot on the line, before Sonupé and Truslove both took aim.
Sonupé’s shot from a tight angle on 67 kept the chances coming for Harriers, his attempt nine minutes later drawing a smart stop from Lyness. Sub Lee Vaughan made his first Aggborough appearance of the season and almost grabbed an assist as his fine delivery to the far post found Ngwatala, only for the Fenchmnan’s header to go wide.
The icing on the cake came from Truslove, who tucked away a good finish to cap a great run, tidying away a great cross from Taylor.
HARRIERS will look to kick off the festive programme of matches this weekend as they host Nuneaton Town at Aggborough on Saturday (3pm).
The reds will be keen to sign off the calendar year in style after a strong showing in front of their own fans over the course of 2017.
In their way stand a Nuneaton side keen to continue their own run of form. After a difficult spells during the season so far, they’re unbeaten in their last three league matches.
The weekend meeting between the two begins a hectic period for both – after this clash, Harriers are thrust into a double-header against AFC Telford United over Christmas, while Town face off against Tamworth.
Looking ahead, our official YouTube channel caught up with James McQuilkin, who was clearly excited about the prospect of turning out in front of strong crowds and great atmospheres.
“Christmas time is always a time that you look forward to,” he said.
“It’s a time where you get good crowds and the fans do come out and support you, as they do every week.
“We look forward to the games and we will be trying to get the best results we can.
“We prepare for every game properly and do our homework on teams, but we look forward to playing at Aggborough with our fans behind us.”
"...you have to dig in and show that you can do the ugly side of the game." James McQuilkin
A further boost to the team is the confidence picked up from the 2-1 won over York City in the FA Trophy last time out – particularly the nature in which it was achieved.
A young Harriers side stood their ground and withstood some serious pressure from the Minstermen to seal their place in the next round.
McQuilkin, now a veteran in comparison, knows just what that can do.
“It’s invaluable,” he went on to say.
“It shows that, sometimes, it isn’t always going to be pretty football and that you have to dig in and show that you can do the ugly side of the game.
“The young lads definitely showed that they can do that.”
Harriers are set to be without just Dan Bradley where the definite absentees are concerned. Bradley underwent minor surgery some weeks ago and isn’t though to be far off a return to full training.
With Lee Vaughan now back in the squad after being an unused sub against York and getting 45 minutes in an U23s game this week, Harriers are in good shape in terms of available personnel.
Harriers will run the rule over Jimmy O’Connor prior to the weekend after he missed the York match with a groin problem.
Nuneaton come into the match knowing that they are the first team this season to be in with a shout of a league double over Harriers.
A late Ashley Chambers goal sealed a 1-0 win for Boro back in August. It isn’t, however, something the squad are particularly concerned with avenging.
McQuilkin added: “It’s in the back of your mind but we’ve moved from it and forgotten about it.
“We just concentrate on the game that’s ahead of us and that’s tomorrow; we look forward to trying to get a result.”
Kick-off at Aggborough on Saturday is at 3:00pm.
WATCH: James McQuilkin’s full pre-match video interview on our YouTube channel by clicking the video tab above.
BUY: Main Stand match tickets in advance by clicking the ad in the top left of the page – don’t worry, you can still pay cash admission at the turnstile on Saturday once online sales end.
James McQuilkin pre-match