Red Rewind: Revenge for York at Harriers
York City gained revenge for their opening day defeat to Kidderminster Harriers with a vastly improved performance in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round at Aggborough Stadium. Danny Racchi and Jonathan Smith both claimed their first goals for the club in an impressive 2-0 victory before their opponents had substitute Ollie Thorne sent-off.
Manager Gary Mills had earlier given an immediate debut to new signing Chris Smith, who was named as skipper. David McDermott was awarded a first-ever start following his return to the club earlier this week, while there was a recall for Leon Constantine in attack. Chris Carruthers made a welcome addition to the bench after recovering from injury, but there was no place in the eighteen for Duane Courtney, Neil Barrett or Peter Till.
The Minstermen actually lined up with Constantine and Racchi supporting lone striker Michael Rankine, with McDermott being assigned a role sitting directly in front of the back four. Danny Parslow was moved across into the right-back role - and it was in fact Parslow who was the first to go close on seventeen minutes when heading against the near post after a free-kick from Racchi.
Moments later Constantine had a dangerous cross cleared behind at the expense of a corner, while Jonathan Smith then left two opponents trailing but his attempted through ball was only just too far ahead of Alex Lawless.
However, York still went ahead midway through the opening half with a sublime finish as Racchi's delightful chip from the edge of the area dropped under the crossbar and into the far corner.
Three minutes later new skipper Chris Smith made an important recovering block to keep out Matty Blair before Jonathan Smith and Rankine both saw efforts charged down at the opposite end, where Chris Smith soon had a header claimed by Harriers keeper Daniel Lewis. Rankine also later threatened from a Constantine cross before a fine run from home midfielder Blair was eventually blocked at the expense of a corner as heavy rain swept across the stadium.
Kidderminster's Blair was again providing the danger early in the second-half when shooting inches wide of Michael Ingham's near post. But York extended their lead just sixty seconds later after Rankine took advantage of substitute Thorne's slip and broke from the halfway line before his ball across was eventually forced in by the sliding Jonathan Smith under challenge from Michael Briscoe.
That lead should really have been reduced around the hour-mark when Lee Vaughan failed to turn in a cross from five-yards before Lawless swept past Thorne in reply and set-up Rachhi's shot to be diverted behind by keeper Lewis. Then on 76 minutes the game was effectively over as a contest when Thorne completed an unhappy afternoon by being sent-off for a late challenge on Parslow.
York striker Constantine later headed over a Racchi cross before Kidderminster's misery was completed in the final minute when Blair had a goal disallowed for offside after a long-range Vaughan effort had deflected against the inside of the right-hand post.
Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis, Vaughan, Briscoe, Albrighton (Hankin 61), Mike Williams, Blair, Briggs (Thorne 39), Shaw, Gittings, McPhee, Morris (Wright 61)
subs (unused): Stevens, Sharpe, Thompson-Brown
York City: Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, C. Smith, Meredith, McDermott, Lawless, J. Smith, Racchi (Carruthers 81), Constantine, Rankine (Gash 85)
subs (unused): Knight, Young, Sangare, Fyfield, Beesley
Goals: Racchi (24), J. Smith (54)
Ref: R. Merchant
Att: 1,123 (144 York)