Sonupe 19; Ironside 79
HARRIERS eased themselves through to the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over National League side Chester.
A goal in each half was enough to notch the success that, in fairness, looked on the cards from the first minute – Emmanuel Sonupe and Joe Ironside getting on the score sheet.
Chester had a couple of chances off target but, in truth, never went close to troubling Harriers who now take their place in Monday night’s draw.
As early as the second minute, Harriers had the bit between their teeth and went close to an opener only for Ryan Croasdale’s distance drive to fly past the top corner.
Ngwatala and Joel Taylor then had chances as the first half edged on, before Harriers took a deserved 19th minute lead through Sonupe, his sweeping finish on the rebound tucking the ball home after Ngwatala had struck the upright.
The half-hour saw McCombe head over for Chester with one of their few chances when placed to do better, Harry White then flashing over before the break.
Seven shy of hour saw Frenchman jinx forward before firing just off target, before sub Chapell, with a free header, directed the ball over the bar for the visitors.
Andre Wright enjoyed a fine hours’ performance and deserved more from his effort in the second half than a deflection over the bar, before Ironside saw a similar result to his attempt at doubling his team’s tally.
The hit-man wouldn’t be denied for long, however – just a matter of minutes later they put the game well and truly to bed, Sonupe stretching and beating the odds to get in his cross, Ironside stretching to get in a diving header that deftly chipped the post and found the back of the net.
Harriers did a good job of sniffing out any late danger, Ngwatala almost going on and getting a third, a strong run and driven shot soaring narrowly wide.
TYRONE WILLIAMS wants to stay on top of his game as competition for places heats up ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round clash with Chester at Aggborough (3pm).
Williams has been a real mainstay of the Harriers team so far this season.
Only goalkeeper Brandon Hall has played every minute of every game thus far – with Williams closest behind him in second, owing to an injury at Bradford Park Avenue that forced his early withdrawal.
He’s recovered from that and is eager to get back into the team this weekend.
It won’t be easy – John Eustace praised the performance of his replacement at Horsfall Stadium, Kennedy Digie.
And that’s exactly the type of competition that Williams says is keeping him on his toes.
The likes of Sam Austin can also slot in comfortably where he plays, while Lee Vaughan is edging close to a return within the next six or eight weeks.
“I just have to keep pushing..." Ty Williams
Looking back at his impressive run in the team so far this season, it’s clear he has felt the benefit.
“I think it’s very important and I am glad the gaffer has had faith in me and given me minutes,” he explained.
“I have obviously had to be patient but now I am getting the minutes which I am grateful for.
“I just have to keep pushing on at the end of the day because there are spaces up for grabs.
“Sammy Austin can play right-back and Vaughany is on his way back – I just have to stay on it.”
National League side come to town in the Emirates FA Cup as Harriers try to make it through to the First Round Proper.
The reds have already overcome challenges from Deeping Rangers and Newcastle Benfield to reach this stage.
In those contests, Harriers succeeded in avoiding upsets, having been cast as clear favourites.
....we’ll go out and do what we normally do, and give it our all.” Ty Williams
But that tag clearly falls to tomorrow’s visitors – Chester managed by the ex-Aggborough duo of Marcus Bignot and Tom Shaw.
Williams hopes, however, that the unpredictability of the FA Cup can play a factor.
He added: “Chester are a good side but anything can happen in the FA Cup.
“We’re just hoping for a bit of a run.
“In the first two rounds we were odds-on favourites but now it is the other way around.
“It is going to be tough but, as I’ve said, it’s the FA Cup and anything can happen.
“There may be a bit a bit less pressure on us but we’ll go out and do what we normally do, and give it our all.”
As mentioned, Williams looks fit and ready to go ahead of tomorrow’s game, leaving Eustace with a decision to make.
Elsewhere, it’s hoped James Pearson (hamstring) and Dan Bradley (calf) will be fit enough to at least play some part in the afternoon’s game after missing recent action.
Kick-off at Aggborough is at 3:00pm on Saturday.
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Tyrone Williams pre-match
Andre Wright post-match
John Eustace post-match
Extended Match Highlights