Fleetwood Town earned their spot in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday after beating Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 at Aggborough Stadium.
Even though the hosts took the lead 43 minutes into the game thanks to a strike from Bailey Hobson, it was the comeback Lee Johnson would have wanted as defenders Josh Earl and Shaun Rooney produced headers either side of the half to earn the victory.
It wasn’t a quick start to the game at Aggborough as spectators had to wait until the seventh minute to see the first chance, which was a wild effort from Kidderminster’s Amari Morgan-Smith who volleyed his strike yards wide of the far post after his chance from range.
Lee Johnson and his side were left wondering how they weren’t a goal up 21 minutes in through the next effort on goal as Phoenix Patterson did well to beat his man and pick out Josh Vela at the back post, but his header went the wrong side of the far post.
Just before the half-hour mark, Promise Omochere had a chance to break the deadlock from only a couple of yards out, with the effort unable to find the back of the net, before Patterson had a chance of his own soon after, but that was dragged wide of the near post.
After all the pressure throughout the half, it was the home side who managed to score first, and it was on the counter as Ryan McLean controlled the ball just outside the box and fed it across to Hobson who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right to make it one-nil.
That lead didn’t last long though as Town pulled the score line back to 1-1 in added time before the break as Patterson whipped a corner in from the right, aiming for the head of Earl in the box, and he rose highest whilst managing to guide his header past Christian Dibble.
It was a quick start to the second period from Lee Johnson’s side and that early pressure paid off as Rooney ran past his man at the back post and put the Cods into the lead for the first time in the clash after latching onto Earl’s cross from the left.
Jack Marriott had a chance to make it three not long after, but he fired his shot the wrong side of the far post before Omochere saw his left-footed strike deflect off target from 15 yards out.
The pace in the game was still there after this, but the chances seemed to dry up at both ends of the field until the 75th minute. The only chance in this time fell to Marriott who was through on goal, but Dibble did brilliantly to come out and stop the chance early on.
After a barrage of substitutes from both sides, chances started to come again and the majority were for the away side as Patterson saw his free-kick deflect wide off the wall, Marriott had a shot from range acrobatically saved, and Earl struck over from distance.
Harriers XI: Dibble (GK), Penny, Richards, Pearce (Preston 73’), Morgan-Smith (C) (Phillips 89’), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Brown (Lissamore 81’), McLean (Hemmings 73’), Robinson, Maguire (McDonagh 73’), Hobson.
Unused subs: Palmer (GK), Hewett, Hall, Rubio.
Town XI: Lynch (GK), Wiredu, Lawal (Holgate 46’), Vela (C), Mayor, Marriott (Graydon 86’), Heneghan, Omochere (Broom 80’), Rooney, Earl, Patterson (Tshimanga 80’).
Unused subs: McMullan (GK), Robertson, Simons, Teale.