BY Stephen Burton
Blyth Spartans will be hoping to make it two wins from two as they embark on their first away trip of the season to Kidderminster Harriers.
Michael Nelson’s side kicked off their National League North campaign off in style last Saturday with an impressive 2-0 win over Alfreton Town.
JJ O’Donnell scored a second half brace in front of a bumper crowd of 1,260 at Croft Park but now face a different test in Kidderminster.
IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION
Supporters traveling to Kidderminster MUST purchase their match tickets in advance. There will be NO cash turnstile available on the day of the game.
Tickets can be bought via Kidderminster’s official website. Fans not able to buy online can contact Harriers for assistance on 01562 823 931.
Purchases can be made on the day, up to 15 minutes after kick-off, from the Box Office at Aggborough (not turnstiles) but prices excluding U16s rise by £2 for this
Despite registering only two wins in their pre-season, Harriers performed when it mattered last Saturday as they won 2-1 away to title favourites York City.
York levelled after a first-half strike from Ashley Hemmings but Sam Austin was on hand to snatch all three points for Kidderminster in the closing stages.
Manager Russ Penn, who made over 200 appearances for the club as a player, re-joined as permanent manager in the summer of 2020.
He enjoyed a promising start to his managerial career, as his side sat in an impressive fifth place before the season was declared null and void in February.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Speaking after the match, the gaffer told BASFCTV how delighted he was with the performance. He said: “I think the way we won is probably the most pleasing thing.
“We matched them to a man and when we got the ball down we played some lovely stuff. The lads were brilliant, every single one of them contributed.”
Nelson was also hopeful that the result would generate some positive momentum going forward. He added: “The lads have had a good pre-season, but until you get into the cut and thrust of the league games, sometimes you can have a false belief.
“But that performance today should give them some real confidence, not only that they can match sides, but that they can do a hell of a lot better than them.”
Goalscorer O’Donnell said: “Getting off to a good start is important as you don’t want to play catch up later in the season.
“It gives us good confidence going into a big game next week against Kidderminster. It’s going to be another tough test, so you always want to go into that on the back of a good result.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Harriers boss Penn was happy with his side’s start but was expecting a tough test against Spartans.
He said: “We’re not going to get carried away, it’s only three points today. But, all of pre-season is built up for the first game so we’ll go back very happy.
“We’ve got to give the fans that belief this season, that’ll we’ll be competitive in every single game.
“It’ll be a tough game against Blyth, they’re not the Blyth of old, they’re competitive again and we’ll have to be really on it next week.”
LAST TIME WE MET
The sides last met on Halloween 2020, with the Harriers earning a comfortable 2-0 win at Aggborough Stadium.
However, 10 months earlier, Spartans enjoyed a happier trip back to the North East after Lewis Hawkins scored a spectacular half volley in a 1-0 win.
Join Craig Dobson and Phil Castiaux on Blyth Live from 2:45pm at the Aggborough Stadium.
Live updates will also be available via Twitter, with half-time and full-time updates on Facebook.