Kidderminster Harriers, our official opening game of pre-season (if you count alphabetical order). Presumably, there was slightly less onus on this game compared to the one against AFC Telford because Colin Calderwood and Kevin McDonald watched instead of Steve Bruce, who went to the Telford game.
Without wanting to sound too harsh, Villa should’ve done better than they did early on. Kidderminster had a couple of trialists playing, including the goalkeeper, yet we couldn’t really find any fluency. The game reminded me of the 2015/16 in a way, with Hutton our main attacking outlet.
Nevertheless, the opening goal was always going to go our way. Connor Hourihane managed to find the roof of the net after the third time of asking.
Kidderminster did come into the game, and had their chances. One being excellently blocked by Micah Richards. But with half an hour gone, Villa doubled the lead, with Connor Hourihane at it again. The Irishman curled in a sweet free-kick which James Chester poked home.
Quick side note, I don’t know what’s going on with Kidderminster’s kit this season, red and white halves on the front but just red on the back. Where’s the consistency? Anyway, moving on.
It was nearly three before the break. Alan Hutton played a good pass through to Scott Hogan, allowing the former Brentford striker to roll the ball across the box toward Ross McCormack. The ball was intercepted by a defender on the slide and, unfortunately for Villa, and very fortunately for the Harriers, the ball trickled wide of the right-hand post.
It was clear to see that Kidderminster were still fighting for some kind of result, or at least bragging rights in the second half. Andre Brown nearly halved Villa’s lead with a shot which rolled agonizingly across the face of goal.
Normal service was resumed afterward as McCormack went very close twice. Then, a Kidderminster defender, (possibly the same one but I think it was a trialist so I just don’t know) got a massive stroke of luck again. Bikir Bjarnason made a good run down the left for the umpteenth time, and for once he was found, allowing him to square the ball across the six-yard box. A Kidderminster defender managed to get to the ball first. And when I say get there, I mean get his feet in a tangle and hit his own crossbar.
I swear if that was the same defender who missed his own bottom corner by a matter of inches in the first half, he better go and buy himself a lottery ticket.
Harry McKirdy made it 3-0 with a couple of minutes left. The youngster, who impressed in the Hong Kong soccer sevens tournament in July, was in the right place at the right time to score from all of 2 yards.
Micah Richards – Made some last-ditch challenges and blocks but was bypassed by the smallest bit of trickery. I think the reason he came off was because he did his calf falling over after somebody turned him. Is he someone we let go before the window shuts?