MATCH VERDICT: First-half damage to Deeping Rangers’ giantkilling dreams
The biggest game in Deeping Rangers’ history attracted a record attendance – but any chances of a major upset were effectively ended just before half-time.
The Clarets were punished for defensive mistakes which led to three goals.
There was no way back as Kidderminster Harriers took full control and showed their professional approach.
Dan Schiavi and Scott Mooney reduced the deficit in the second period but the golden opportunity to set up a grandstand finish was wasted by Scott Coupland.
He should have made it 4-3 almost immediately after Mooney’s diving header.
Instead of holding on for a place in the next round, the Vanarama National League North full-timers didn’t need to panic at the end.
From start to finish, they were dominant by keeping possession.
Understandably, it proved difficult for Deeping to show the quality on the ball which makes them so entertaining to watch.
They worked hard, though, to restrict Kidderminster in the early exchanges.
Manny Sonupe, Fraser Horsfall, Andre Brown and Sam Austin missed the target while Danny Bircham denied Tyrone Williams and Sonupe without being truly tested.
Deeping’s first period of crisp play into the final third led to the opening goal.
Henry Dunn’s pass wasn’t accurate enough for Mooney and keeper Brandon Hall sent the ball to the other end. Charlie Ward misjudged the header and Brown fired into the top corner from 25 yards.
Bircham tipped over from Austin but Horsfall put the ball into space and Deeping conceded again as Sonupe’s clever chip doubled the lead.
Ward’s silly challenge on Sonupe gave away a penalty and Kidderminster went 3-0 up two minutes before the break – leaving the Clarets’ hopes in tatters.
Schiavi struck direct from a corner to give something for home supporters in the bumper crowd to cheer.
Bircham was forced into more saves but he couldn’t keep out a low drive from substitute Andre Wright.
Mooney made it 4-2 then set up Coupland who blasted high over the bar.
Kidderminster could even finish the game looking quite comfortable with 10 men as Will Longbottom was forced off due to injury after coming on as their third substitute.
Brown’s cross-shot came off the top of the crossbar but the damage had been done for Deeping much earlier.
4-4-2: Bircham 7; Flack 6 (sub Simpson 81 mins), Ward 5, Clay 7, Smith 6; Kilbride 5 (sub Hunnings 49 mins, 6), Coulson 6 (sub Dunn 26 mins, 6), Burton-Jones 6, Schiavi 7; Mooney 6, Coupland 6. Subs not used: Marsden, Hockin, Waumsley, Avis.
4-1-4-1: Hall; Williams, Pearson, Horsfall, Taylor; Weeks; Sonupe, Austin (sub Finch 65 mins), Ngwatala (sub Longbottom 74 mins), Brown; Ironside (sub Wright 55 mins). Subs not used: Webb, Digie, Bannister.
Brown (33 mins, 0-1); Sonupe (40 mins, 0-2); Sonupe pen (43 mins, 0-3); Schiavi (53 mins, 1-3); Wright (69 mins, 1-4); Mooney (77 mins, 2-4).
Flack, Burton-Jones (fouls).
Dan Schiavi – gave something to cheer with Deeping’s first goal and tried to be creative all afternoon.
Oadby Town (A) – ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division, Saturday.