Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Kidderminster Harriers - Aggborough


Kidderminster Harriers FC
Aggborough Stadium
Hoo Road
Kidderminster
DY10 1NB

01562 823931
Official Website
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Ground Number: 93
Saturday 28th August 2004
Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca-Cola League 2






KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS - BRIEF HISTORY

The club was founded in 1886 and their origins come from a local rugby and athletics club. After playing in various leagues to start off with, they became founder members of the Birmingham & District League in 1889. They'd remain here until 1940, being crowned champions in 1937 and 1938, the latter on two counts as the competition was split into two sections.  The outbreak of World War 2 interrupted proceedings, but in 1948 the club joined the Southern League. Remaining here until 1960, fortunes were mixed, with a high of 3rd in 1952, but relegation to the second tier in  1958, following two second-bottom finishes. A return to the Birmingham & District League followed in 1960, with the competition being renamed the West Midlands (Regional) League two years later. Kidderminster Harriers were champions on four more occasions before returning to the Southern League in 1972. This time they would start in the second tier, generally finishing in the top half. They'd win promotion to the recently formed Alliance Premier League (later renamed the Conference). A third-place finish in their second season was a great start and by 1994 they were champions, though they were denied promotion due to ground grading rules. Kidderminster Harriers were champions for the second time at the turn of the century and this time they had the ground in place to go up. Five seasons were spent in the Football League, the highest finish being 10th in 2002. After a second-bottom finish in 2005, the club returned to the Conference. Despite a runners-up spot in 2013, they lost in the playoff semi-finals to Wrexham. In 2016, Kidderminster Harriers were relegated to the National North following a second-bottom finish. A second place finish last season ended with the club losing to Chorley in the playoffs. This season sees Kidderminster sitting just inside the playoffs in 6th place.


The FA Cup has seen many a good run and in 1994 they achieved the joint best-ever run by a non-league club since they pyramid was formed. Starting in the 4th Qualifying Round, Kidderminster beat Chesham United, Kettering Town, Woking, Birmingham City & Preston North End before a narrow 1-0 5th Round defeat to West Ham in front of 8,000 home fans. During their time in the football league, Kidderminster never won a League Cup tie, but they did reach the area semi-final of the Football League Trophy in 2006. The FA Trophy final has been reached on 4 occasions, the trophy being lifted on their debut in  1987, albeit through a replay at West Brom as they defeated Burton Albion 2-1. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the club was invited to compete in the Welsh Cup. They twice reached the final, losing to Wrexham in 1986 and Swansea City in 1989. Other cup wins include the Bob Lord Trophy (Conference League Cup) in 1997, the Southern League Cup in 1980, the Worcestershire Senior Cup 25 times, the Birmingham Senior Cup on 7 occasions and the Staffordshire Senior Cup on 4 occasions.


The club's attendance record came in 1948 when 9,155 saw them beat Hereford United in an FA Cup 1st Round tie. The record victory came in 1889 as Kidderminster thrashed Hereford Club 25-0. Record appearance holder is Brendan Wassall with 686 appearances, whilst his brother Peter scored a total of 448 goals between 1963 and 1974. Future Wycombe player Kim Casey scored a massive 73 goals in 68 games during the 1985-86 season. The record transfer expenditure came in 2000 when Andy Ducros whilst they received £300,000 for Jamile Matt from Fleetwood Town in 2013. The town of Kidderminster has a population of 55,530 with the major economy comes from carpet making, so much so that there is a museum in the town dedicated to the subject.  The town's most well known former resident is radio presenter James O'Brien who also supports the club.



VISIT 1: KIDDERMINSTER H 0-2 WYCOMBE W

My only visit to Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough Stadium was on a sunny day in August 2004. And it was a good day out from what I remember. I drove and took my Wycombe supporting friends Paul & Sue with me to help out with petrol costs. I liked to visit grounds to get photographs en route, but my scope was a bit limited back in those days, with me only interested in grounds up to step 4. In any case, Bromsgrove Rovers, Stourport Swifts and Worcester City visited prior to the game. These were the days before Sat Navs were commonplace, so I had to make do with a set of instructions printed off of the AA Route Planner to get around.


We got to Kidderminster around lunchtime and popped into town beforehand. These were the days before I enjoyed visiting pubs but I still enjoyed my time in town and was impressed by the local Poundland! After that, we made our way back to the ground for the game. Wycombe, under manager Tony Adams, had lost their last two games without scoring a goal, but even so, 364 fans made the journey. They were rewarded with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Nathan Tyson after 20 minutes and a last minute goal from Shahed Ahmed, his only goal in professional football. He made only 4 appearances for Wycombe, going on to have a career in non-league football with Wingate and Finchley and Sporting Bengal United amongst others. On the way home, were listened to the report on the radio and enjoyed the novelty of listening to BBC Hereford & Worcester's coverage non-league football which was a lot better than the pathetic offerings from our local BBC station at the time, which is still the case to some degree.


VISIT 2: KIDDY 3-0 SOUTHPORT (CONF NORTH 27/1/18)

I'd really enjoyed my last visit to Kidderminster way back in 2003 and was keen to go back so I could update my blog. With both my fellow hopping partners either unavailable or having done it recently, I'd be on my own, but that suited me down to the ground. There were a huge amount of pubs in Kidderminster worth visiting and so after careful consideration, I whittled them down to 5. I even sorted out what order to do them in, making sure that I did the two near the ground and the station last, probably after the game. Though I'd been waiting for a couple of years to revisit, this was the first opportunity that I'd had when both the weather forecast and train prices worked in my favour. After checking that the weather would be warm and dry enough to avoid the game being called off, I booked my train tickets around 9 days before the game, paying a bargain £15 return. It would have cost a tenner more in petrol or around £35 if bought on the day, so the fact that I'd be leaving Wycombe at 8.30 in the morning was worth the inconvenience.


One thing that I was not too chuffed about was the ticket prices, which I feel should be a tenner for this level. Kidderminster Harriers were charging £14 for the terrace or £16 for a seat which I feel is too much for this level. To be fair to them though, that's the going rate, albeit at the upper end of the scale. I understand that clubs have costs, just like every other business, but it seems that player wages (amongst other things) are dictating the cost, rather than selling the product for what it's worth. To get an entirely balanced view of things, I spent half an hour going through ticket prices, all clubs in the National North were upfront about what they charge, which isn't always the case. Prices ranged from the golden tenner for the cheapest ticket at Bradford PA, FC United and Salford to the most expensive £15 at Stockport County. £12 was the most popular price, with nine clubs charging that for admission, whilst Boston United and Southport charged £13 and £13.50 respectively. There were seven clubs charging £14. Of course, none of the prices are scandalous and makes little difference to me financially, it's more the principle of the matter. It would leave me with ill-feeling towards the club though and I was looking at spending at their well-renowned tea bar and paying a visit to their club shop too.


The night before was a fairly quiet one at home for me. I watched some of the Yeovil Town v Manchester United FA Cup game amongst other things, going to sleep around 10.30. I woke up at 5ish on the day of the game, trying to get back to sleep without much success, before my alarm went off at 7. I got ready and was out the door by 7.30. After catching the 7.45 bus to the train station, I had half an hour to play with so I went to McDonald's to get a bacon and cheese flatbread before getting a Daily Star and going to wait for my train. It arrived just after 8.30, with me reading my paper on the way up. I got to Birmingham Moor Street at 10, with a 10-minute wait for my train to Kidderminster. I was there around 35 minutes later and decided to call at the ground on the way to get some photos. Not much had changed, but it was nice to get some pictures while everything was calm.


From there I walked into town, my first port of call being The Penny Black. This was my 154th Wetherspoons and was above average. I had a pint of Thistly Cross Whisky Cask and met my mate Mark and his son Harry which was really nice. By 12.10, I had finished my pint and with the worst of the rain gone, decided to look around the shops. Poundland was all I could be bothered with, so a bag of crisps and some Irn Bru later, it was once more back to the pub crawl. The Beer Emporium was a great friendly place, but it was halves for me so I could tick off all that they offered. Red Bank Autumn Orchard was sweet but nice. I tried a couple more before meeting Mark at Weavers (Park Lane) A pint and a half was consumed there before we set off for the ground, getting a can on the way. To be honest, I didn't remember a lot of the game due to having a good drink and a lack of food due to running out of cash once I got in the ground.


Both teams were in good form. Kidderminster, sitting in 6th place were unbeaten in 15 league games, having last lost to Tamworth back on the 12th September. Southport had won 3 out of their 4 games, the last win coming against Stockport County, though they still sat in 15th prior to the game. The two sides have 34 meetings between them, Kidderminster having the superior record with 17 wins to Southport's 9. The reverse fixture saw the visitors triumph 3-0 at Haig Avenue back on September 9th. Kidderminster won 3-0 as you will see from the report above. There wasn’t a whole lot to the contest, with Kidderminster having a great opening period and Southport offering little in the way of a comeback.


I said my goodbyes to fans at the end and made my way home. A stop at a Chinese takeaway for salt and chilli chips had me all set and there was a 20-minute wait for my train home once I got to Moor Street. It was a nice easy journey home, with me getting to Wycombe around 8.30. After a stop at McDonald's for nuggets and chips, I got the 8.45 bus back home, which dropped me off a few minutes from home. Back home I had a can while catching up online, plus another with Match Of The Day which came on at 10:30. It was the usual routine of a late night, followed by a nap the following afternoon, as I got up at 4 am for work, which irritatingly was very busy. It had been a good day, but maybe I should have taken it a bit easier on the booze, luckily I am a peaceful drunk!


THE GROUND

AGGBOROUGH is a great ground to visit, and one of my favourites. Away supporters get a  decent sized covered terrace behind one goal (of which there is a matching one at the other end for home fans also) Down the side are 2 seated stands - The East Stand is the newest and holds around 2000, whilst the Reynolds stand is also modern, having been built in 1994 and holds around 1200. The ground's tea bar has an excellent reputation also, homemade soup, chicken curry and cottage pies with gravy are available, along with all the usual stuff. There are also a couple of bars - the Harriers Arms and the Kidderminster Sports & Social Club splitting up the home and away fans when I visited the first time.

GROUND PHOTOS

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