FA Cup Third Round: Coventry City 2 Kidderminster Harriers 0
Mark Yates insisted he was proud of his hard-working Kidderminster Harriers as their hopes of an FA Cup giant-killing were shattered by two second-half goals at the Ricoh Arena.
Blue Square Premier promotion-chasers Harriers set out to frustrate Coventry City as they looked to follow New Brighton, King’s Lynn, and Sutton United and become the fourth non-League team to dump out the Sky Blues.
With skipper Mark Creighton a colossus in defence, the plan worked impressively until nine minutes after half-time when Leon McKenzie slotted home the opening goal.
Michael Doyle picked out McKenzie with a left-wing corner and McKenzie, given half a yard of space, guided home a instinctive shot.
As Harriers pressed forward for an equaliser, a slick finish from Leon Best added Coventry’s second eight minutes from time after he was set free by Freddy Eastwood.
The only disappointment for Harriers was that their gut-busting efforts in a determined rearguard effort allowed them little time as an attacking force to really test the Sky Blues defence.
The Championship side, depleted with eight first-teamers missing, have struggled at home with one win in front of their own fans in three months, but they never looked like being victims of an upset.
Yates said: “Coventry are a good side and we knew we would be up against it but I’m proud of my players. We stuck to the game plan to frustrate them for almost an hour until they scored their first goal.
“Then we had to try and open the game up a little more and then they got their second goal. They have some quality players and they were just a little bit too good for us.
“The only thing our players are disappointed with is that we didn’t get the ball down and pass it like we know we can.”
Sky Blues manager Chris Coleman was simply satisfied to book a place in round four.
“I told the players before the game that I didn’t want to make Sunday morning’s headlines for all the wrong reasons and we made sure that didn’t happen,” he said.
“We knew it would be difficult and we weren’t disappointed but the important thing is that we are in the hat for the next round.”
Scorers: McKenzie (54), Best (82).
COVENTRY (4-4-2): Marshall; Wynter, Wright, Turner, Hall; Simpson (Morrison, 82), Gunnarsson, Doyle, McKenzie (Fox, 69); Eastwood, Best. Substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Thornton, Walker, Fraser, Cain.
KIDDERMINSTER (4-5-1): Bartlett; Lowe, Riley, Creighton, Baker; Brittain (Knights, 77), Bennett, Penn, Ferrell (Smikle, 57), Barnes-Homer (Moore, 87); Richards; Substitutes: Coleman, Jones, McDermott, Foley.
Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).
n?Derby County caretaker boss Chris Hutchings was full of praise for Forest Green after the Blue Square Premier side pushed the Rams all the way in yesterday’s FA Cup third-round encounter before succumbing to a 4-3 defeat.
The unfancied hosts surged into a 2-0 lead at the New Lawn thanks to goals by Jonathan Smith and Alex Lawless but Derby recovered their composure to level through Rob Hulse and Martin Albrechtsen before the break.
The non-league side went ahead again after the interval only for the visitors to level again before Steve Davies won the game from the penalty spot three minutes from time after Darren Jones - who was dismissed - tripped Kris Commons in the area.
“We were very lucky to go in at half-time 2-2 but we kept going at it right to the death and we scored the penalty,” said Hutchings.