On Saturday 5th August City kicked off the season proper with an Extra Preliminary round tie in the FA Cup to United Counties Premier Division team Daventry Town (Step 5)
The game was a close affair and rightly so, as City for the first time looked to take on a team a team at the same level of football as themselves. Daventry were promoted last season, and both teams have recent memories of FA Cup runs with City's unforgettable games against Coventry and Scunthorpe in 2014, and Sheffield United a year later – Daventry meanwhile reached the first-round proper in 2013, where they lost 2-0 to Chesterfield Town.
The game started off with City pressing high, and getting the first chance of the game as Reynolds had a shot high from a Lee Hughes lay-off. Moments later Birley found Hughes, who has a shot about a yard wide of the keepers right post. It was then City's turn to defend as Daventry came into the game, gaining 3 corners in the first 10 minutes of the match, but the City defense held strong for each, keeping the scores level for the time being.
The next incident of note was City left back Aaron Griffiths bringing down Daventry's Fitzgerald, earning himself a yellow card. The free kick for the hosts, was floated into the City box, and reaches Fitzgerald once again, who goes down under pressure from Jamie Smith. The Referee however waved away any suggestion of a penalty for the hosts.
Around the half-hour mark, the heavens opened, causing myself and the reporter from the Worcester News to abandon our spot on the Daventry clubhouse balcony for an office window... certainly one of the more bizarre places I've seen a game from!
The deadlock finally broke in the 38th minute as a cross from left back Aaron Griffiths perfectly found Dave Reynolds who was able to head it in from close range.
The early stages of the second half probably should have seen City double their lead as a Jamie Smith free kick found the head of Shab Khan in the box, but Daventry's keeper did well to get a hand to it, tipping it over the bar. Moments later Hughes also had an effort on goal, but again O'Connor in goal managed to keep his side in with a chance.
New signing Tom Fishwick replaced Shab Khan on the 69th minute, having received a slight knock to his knee, and James Baldwin came on for Jamie Smith in the 81st which may cause concern to the managers, but will no doubt be addressed during midweek training.
With Daventry chasing the game, they pressed higher up the pitch during the closing stages, with an effort by Riko Alexander forcing a good save from Matt Gwynne
In the 90th minute Dearle was given a second yellow card for a foul on Baldwin, and this saw the end of Daventry's chances.
Full time and it was the single goal by Dave Reynolds that separated the teams. We'd like to thank Daventry Town for their hospitality on the day, and wish them the best in their league campaign this season. As ever, we'd also like to thank our amazing supporters who made the journey.
City team: Gwynne, Weir ©, Griffiths, M.Smith, Khan (Fishwick 69), Haywood, Birley, Birch, Hughes, Reynolds (Danks 77), J.Smith (Baldwin 81) Unused Subs: Dayus, Brett, Yeomans, Harris-James
Up next for City, we kick off the 17/18 league campaign at home to Heanor Town on Saturday 12th August.
Copyright 2017 Worcester City FC. Permission to use any quotations or pictures from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to Worcester City FC website as the source
Updated 08:29 - 8 Aug 2017 by Jack Hundley