Keziah Martin and Harriers suffer FA Cup heartbreak
Keziah Martin and his Kidderminster Harriers team-mates suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 extra-time loss at home to Premier League side West Ham United in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The Vanarama National League North side were on the verge of becoming the first sixth-tier team to claim a top-flight scalp in the competition’s 151-year history before West Ham substitute Declan Rice’s stoppage-time equaliser, cancelled out Alex Penny’s first-half tally to send the cup-tie to extra time.
Lightening then struck twice for hosts Kidderminster, as West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen scored the winner in the final minute of extra time, with penalties looming at a sold-out Aggborough Stadium.
Kidderminster made a dream start when Penny capitalised on a defensive mix-up following a free kick to give the home side the lead in the nineteenth minute.
However, England midfielder Rice brought the teams level with seconds remaining, to send the tie to extra time, where Bermudian midfielder Martin made his entrance in the 105th minute.
The visitors dominated proceedings in extra time having brought on their big-name players, with Bowen tapping in Aaron Cresswell’s pass across the goalmouth in the final minute of extra time, to spare the Hammers’ blushes.
Kidderminster entered the competition in the second qualifying stage and pulled off a 2-1 come-from-behind upset over Sky Bet Championship side Reading in the previous round.
It is the second time Martin’s team have missed out on reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup, having also lost 1-0 against West Ham 28 years ago.
To date, only Luton Town and Lincoln have beaten a Premier League team, while playing outside of England’s top four divisions.
Luton were victorious against Norwich in 2013 and Lincoln against Burnley four years later.