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Kidderminster’s fairy-tale FA Cup story continues after they caused one of the biggest upsets in the third round by beating Championship side Reading 2-1 on home soil last month.
The Royals managed to break the deadlock on the stroke of half time through George Puscas; however, the Harriers came out fighting after the break and held their own against a team four divisions above them.
A goalkeeping error from Rafael Cabral handed Sam Austin a 69th-minute equaliser before a goal-line scramble in the 82nd minute resulted in Amari Morgan-Smith netting from close range. Kidderminster then had to see out 12 excruciating minutes of injury time, but they managed to hold on for a historic victory in front of their home supporters.
After starting their FA Cup journey in the second-qualifying round, the Harriers have now beaten six teams to get to this stage – Sporting Khalsa, Ware, Bedfont Sports, Grimsby Town, Halifax Town and Reading – but their biggest test yet will be on Saturday.
Kidderminster are one of nine non-league teams in FA Cup history who have reached the fifth round of the competition since the end of the Second World War. The Harriers competed at this stage back in 1994 when they were eliminated by none other than West Ham, who claimed a slender 1-0 win at the Aggborough Stadium.
This weekend, the two sides will lock horns in the fourth round, and although the Harriers have won five and drawn one of their last six FA Cup ties on home soil, a run which dates back to 2013, head coach Russell Penn will be aware that their dreams of another giant-killing will be slim against Premier League opposition.
Kidderminster will need to assess Ethan Freemantle‘s hamstring problem before kickoff, but otherwise, Penn is expected to name his strongest possible starting lineup on Saturday.
Nathan Cameron scored in the midweek win over Leamington on his return to the first XI, and the centre-back is expected to start again alongside Geraldo Bajrami.
Experienced winger Ashley Hemmings, who is the club’s top scorer this term with 11 strikes to his name, is set to start alongside Sam Austin and Omari Sterling-James in advanced roles in behind central striker Amari Morgan-Smith.
As for West Ham, Angelo Ogbonna remains sidelined with an ACL injury, while first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is doubtful with a hip injury, so Alphonse Areola is set to start between the sticks.
Moyes is expected to make several changes from the side which lost to Man United, with the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, Declan Rice and Kurt Zouma set to be rested or to begin on the substitutes’ bench.
Algerian winger Said Benrahma is in contention to feature after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty, and he will compete with Arthur Masuaku and Andriy Yarmolenko for a place on the flanks.
Club captain Mark Noble, Alex Kral, Issa Diop, Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks are all expected to start, while Michail Antonio could retain his place in the first XI, as he is still West Ham’s only recognised number nine, after a frustrating January transfer window.
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Kidderminster Harriers possible starting lineup:
Simpson; Penny, Cameron, Bajrami, Richards; Martin, Carrington; Hemmings, Austin, Sterling-James; Morgan-Smith
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Fredericks, Diop, Dawson, Johnson; Kral, Noble; Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Benrahma; Antonio