Horsfall 77; Sonupé 80
Oswell 42; Stephenson 70
- Late comeback stuns County
- Oswell and Stephenson goals had them 2-0 up
- Sonupé saw penalty saved in between
- Horsfall and Sonupé strike to level
- Horsfall also sees red for two yellows
HARRIERS will go to Stockport County for a replay on Tuesday after a thrilling 2-2 Buildbase FA Trophy draw with the Hatters at Aggborough.
Goals from Jason Oswell and Darren Stephenson either side of the break looked to have put County into a commanding position, with Harriers seeing a penalty saved in between.
But two goals in three minutes turned the game on its head as Fraser Horsfall nodded in before Emmanel Sonupé, who had earlier seen that penalty kept out, levelled things up.
There was even more late drama as Horsfall saw red straight after for picking up his second yellow card.
Harriers had really dominated much of the opening half, Bradley signalling his intent after hust a few minutes as he took aim from distance, while Ngwatala went close on 17 minutes as he forced a good save from Ormson with a header from Vaughan’s cross.
It wasn’t the last we’d see of Ormson in the half – he held O’Connor’s header before, just before the half-hour pulling out two expert saves as he tipped Bradley’s rising effort over the bar before turning away Austin’s far-post attempt with a strong hand.
County were ahead at the interval thanks to a fine breakaway; Stephenson on the charge as he supplied the danger with a cross that Oswell nodded up and beyond Hall.
Before the hour, Harriers had a great chance to draw level after a foul on McQuilkin in the area, but Ormson remained in good form to palm away the resultant penalty from Sonupé. Salt was then rubbed into the wound as Stephenson, on 70, rolled a smart finish past Hall from a corner.
The response from Harriers was good, though; they immediately struck the woodwork through Brown’s long-range effort, before Horsfall’s header from McQuilkin’s free-kick reduced the deficit. Within three minutes the comeback was complete, and parity restored – momentum surging forward for the reds as sub Truslove played in a smart pass to Sonupé who in turn slid it beyond Ormson.
There were still plenty of talking points – with just four minutes left, Fraser Horsfall was shown his second yellow card of the day and duly dismissed. But, up at the other end, yet another excellent Ormson double kept out not only Truslove’s driven attempt, but also O’Connor’s follow up.
All on to Tuesday, then…
IT’S BUILDBASE FA Trophy action for Harriers on Saturday as they tackle league rivals Stockport County at Aggborough Stadium (ko 3pm).
The team are looking to continue their reasonable form in all competitions and reach the same round they managed to last season, when they made it through to the Third Round and a trip to Barrow.
To equal it they’ll need to edge by a County side who’re perennially in and around the promotion places.
Jim Gannon’s men have got past Southport and Lancaster City to reach this point and make the journey to Aggborough Stadium in good form all told.
They’ve managed two wins and two draws from their last four National League North matches, including a draw with league leaders Salford City.
They’ll get the respect they deserve on Saturday, according to Jimmy O’Connor – who insists that’s the case no matter who you’re up against.
He’s well aware of what knock-out football means in non-league circles as both Harriers and the Hatters look to take a step further in the FA Trophy.
“You have to show all teams respect, but also focus on your own game as well.” Jimmy O'Connor
He told our YouTube channel: “We’ll go into it looking for a win and a good performance, hopefully.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at – the chance to play at Wembley and win a Trophy is something that, for a lot of players, never comes around.
“Any chance you get towards that is something you have to take but, away from that, any wins will build momentum and keep up a feel-good factor.
“The last two performances have been a bit scrappy and we want to get back to more of our kind of style on Saturday.”
On paying due mind to the opposition, the former Walsall man added: “Most of the teams in the division all offer different threats and I don’t think where they stand in the table really means anything to be honest.
“You have to show all teams respect, but also focus on your own game as well.”
Harriers will go into the game looking to keep a close eye on those who’ve missed out through injury and illness recently.
Having been unwell, Joel Taylor missed training and this week’s game at Chorley and is being monitored, while Emmanuel Sonupé has been steadily recovering from a nasty ankle injury sustained over the festive period.
Declan Weeks, meanwhile, has been nursing a knee problem.
Kick-off at on Saturday is at 3:00pm at Aggborough Stadium
WATCH: Jimmy O’Connor’s full pre-match video interview on our YouTube channel by clicking the video tab above.
BUY: Match tickets for tomorrow’s game online by using the ticket element above. Don’t worry, you can still purchase at the ground on the day once online sales end.
Jimmy O'Connor pre-match
Post Match Reaction
Extended Match Highlights