It’s a quick turnaround for the Coasters as they get ready to take on Kidderminster Harriers under the lights at Mill Farm. 

The Coasters will be hoping they can claim all three points in their second home game of the season against Chesterfield, who we cast an eye on.

The Lowdown

The Coasters come into this game on the back of a home defeat to Chesterfield, whilst the Harriers claimed their first three points of the season with an away win at York City.

The Harriers are currently on four points from an available six after drawing with Woking at home on the opening day, as well as Saturday’s win away at York. With 0 goals conceded in the first two games, Russell Penn’s side look hard to break down.

However, the Coasters will be looking to get their first win of the season after claiming one point from their opening two games.

The Manager – Russell Penn

Russell Penn is one of the younger managers in the division, and at the age of 37, his ideas can be seen as a fresher way of playing football. 

In his playing days, Penn was somewhat of a Midlands man, running out for Birmingham City, Alvechurch, Burton Albion and Kidderminster. Penn, often a fan favourite at clubs or known as Mr Reliable, made over 100 hundred appearances for Kidderminster, Cheltenham Town and York City.

Penn ended his playing days back at Kidderminster in 2019 after a successful career bouncing around lower league clubs and the top end of non-league. Penn then moved to the backroom staff at the Harriers and became the assistant under James Shan.

However, after Shan moved on, Penn was given the hot seat at Aggborough and was tasked with getting Kidderminster back to the top tier of non-league. His first period in management was curtailed early as the season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his first full season as boss, he enjoyed a cup run that will go down in Kidderminster’s history after reaching the FA Cup Fourth round before being cruelly knocked out in extra time by Premier League side West Ham United. 

The Harriers went on to finish the season in the playoffs but got knocked out in the first round by Boston United, who also beat the Coasters in the playoffs that season. In his second full season with the club, Penn managed to gain promotion via the playoffs.

Penn’s men did it the hard way, winning away at Alfreton Town and Kings Lynn Town before winning away at Brackley Town in the playoff final to gain promotion back to the National League. Penn will certainly be looking for more success in the near future.

Key Players

Ash Hemmings – Hemmings is a player who all Coasters fans will never forget after his short spell at the club under Dave Challoner. A tricky winger and lethal striker of the ball who can play anywhere across the front line, Hemmings is a constant threat.

Amari Morgan-Smith – The official number nine for the Harriers, Morgan-smith is a tidy striker who can be seen as a poacher within the box and will often seem silent within matches but always seems to pop up on the scoresheet. Scoring against the Coasters last season at Mill Farm, Morgan-Smith will be looking to add to his tally against the Coasters.

Joe Leesley – Leesley is a versatile midfielder, who can also play out wide for the Harriers. A great passer of the ball, the 29-year-old often drops into midfield to release the likes of Hemmings and Morgan-Smith. 

From The Coasters Camp

Previous Meetings

8th October 2016 – Kidderminster Harriers 3-3 AFC Fylde – National League North

Goalscorers: Kidderminster – Arthur Gnahoua 13′, Elton Ngwatala 49′, Keith Lowe 86′ –  Fylde – Danny Rowe 43′, James Hardy 62′ & 72′

Attendance: 1970

18th March 2017 – AFC Fylde 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North 

Goalscorers- Fylde – Dan Bradley 82′, Matt Blinkhorn 97′ – Kidderminster – Ryan Croasdale 25′, Keith Lowe 35′

Red Cards: Fylde – Sam Finley,  Kidderminster – Ashley Carter, Tyrell Waite

Attendance: 2359

25th September 2021 – AFC Fylde 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nick Haughton 6′, Stephen Dobbie 84′ – Kidderminster – Joe Foulkes 52′

Attendance: 1120 

12th March 2022 – Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 AFC Fylde – National League North

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nick Haughton 6′

Attendance: 2771

13th September 2022 – Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 AFC Fylde – National League North

Attendance: 2148

15th October 2022 – Kidderminster Harriers 2-2 AFC Fylde – FA Cup

Goalscorers: Kidderminster – Ash Hemmings 54′, Yusifu Ceesay 56′ – Fylde – Nick Haughton 11′, 72′ 

Attendance: 1558

18th October 2022 – AFC Fylde 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers – FA Cup 

Goalscorers: Fylde – Siya Ligendza 64′, Luke Charman 82′

Attendance: 495

20th December 2022 – AFC Fylde 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers (2-4 on penalties) – FA Trophy

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nick Haughton 67′ – Kidderminster – Jack Bearne 19′

Attendance: 328

10th April 2023 – AFC Fylde 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Goalscorers: Kidderminster – Amari Morgan Smith 3′, 34′

Attendance: 1269

Opposition Form

The Harriers come into this fixture in great form, picking up four points from an available six in their first two games back at National League level. 

However, this form is not beginner’s luck, as the Harriers have suffered just two defeats in all competitions since the 25th of February, 2023. 

A successful pre-season from Russell Penn’s side saw them play a variety of sides and test themselves against League Two opposition, where they were unfortunate not to come away with a win. 

With a tried and tested system in place at Kidderminster, they may go under the radar and surprise a few if they manage to keep their early form up. 

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson