Ironside 9, 53, 58, 90; Croasdale 51; Austin 67; Brown 84, Truslove 89
- Ironside gets four in rout
- Brown, Truslove, Austin and Croasdale all score
- First goals and pre-season win for Harriers
- 218 attendance
HARRIERS were comfortable pre-season winners at Stourport Swifts as Joe Ironside’s four goals helped the team cruise to a 8-0 victory.
The front man looked in fine form and it was he who set the scoring going for the day with a ninth minute strike.
Ryan Croasdale doubled the lead just after the break before Ironside started firing again with a further three – Sam Austin also chipping in with a fine finish of his own to make it five before Andre Brown and Liam Truslove completed the rout.
Harriers controlled the game from the off and were almost ahead after a couple of minutes when Tyrone Williams crossed for Ironside who saw an effort well blocked.
The striker wouldn’t be denied for long, however, and with just nine minutes gone he nodded his team in front – a lead that Andre Brown almost doubled when he tried to lift a shot over the goalkeeper moments later.
In fact, Brown should have bagged a couple in the first half – around the half hour he made a pair of intelligent runs into the area being played through by Truslove and McQuilkin, denied on each occasion as the goalkeeper dealt with low shots.
How the shot stopper, Callum Grant, quite managed to keep out Brown’s close-range effort eight minutes before the break is anyone’s guess but after Ironside crossed low and Brown finished, he appeared from nowhere to keep the score at one.
Harriers added more goals quickly after the restart – Croasdale set up by Ironside before slotting a low finish from distance into the bottom corner; Ironside then nabbing his second as he picked the bones of chances from Brown and Sonupe to fire in from close range.
Ironside’s hat-trick arrived before the hour mark – quick thinking from Webb and Sonupe saw the former Nuneaton man on the spot to again find the net.
On 67 minutes Austin got in on the act – set free as he raced into the area, he saw his initial shot well blocked but kept his composure enough to gather himself and fire a second stab into the top corner.
The goals didn’t seem to stop coming – Liam Truslove’s powerful low drive saw him find the net in giving the goalkeeper no chance, Ironside then finishing the day as he started it with the eighth goal of the afternoon, another fizzed shot driving across the face of goal and into the bottom corner.
Pre-season continues on Tuesday night as Harrier smake the trip to Redditch United in Worcestershire Senior Cup action.
Harriers continue pre-season on Saturday (15th) as they make the short journey to Stourport Swifts.
It will be the team’s first pre-season friendly fixture away from Aggborough – even though the trip to Walshes Meadow is just a few miles.
The game comes quickly after the midweek double-header against Championship sides Aston Villa and Derby County – not that it makes too much difference to the camp, according to boss John Eustace.
“We approach every game the same,” commented the gaffer.
“It’s just about getting fit and not getting any injuries.
“Hopefully we can have a good workout on Saturday and come through with no injuries.”
Eustace also confirmed that Harriers are hopeful of welcoming back their only current short-term injury absentee in the shape of Dan Nti soon.
The former York City player won’t feature against Stourport but is expected back on the training pitch in a few days.
“[Dan]’s injury isn’t too serious and he’ll be back in training at the beginning of next week,” he added.
“That will be a great boost because he came back for the first week of pre-season and looked very sharp.”
Admission at Stourport on Saturday afternoon is £5 for adults and £3 concessions.
Kick-off is at 3:00pm.
Tickets not currently available.
Reaction: Sam on Stourport goal and win
Reaction: Matt Gardiner on Stourport
Highlights: Stourport goals