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Kidderminster Harriers take lead vs Premier League West Ham in jubilant FA Cup scenes


The non-league side took a shock lead over their top-flight opponents at Aggborough, with Alex Penny sending the home fans wild after beating France international goalkeeper Alphonse Areola

Kidderminster took the lead against West Ham to spark jubilant scenes at Aggborough
Kidderminster took the lead against West Ham to spark jubilant scenes at Aggborough

Non-league Kidderminster Harriers delivered one of the moments of the FA Cup, taking a 20th-minute lead against Premier League side West Ham United.

The visitors named a strong side for their trip to Aggborough as they sought to avoid an upset, including a number of full internationals, but defender Alex Penny shocked David Moyes’ side to put the National League North team in front.

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Penny capitalised on confusion in the West Ham box, with goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and centre-back Kurt Zouma failing to deal with a set-piece, and the Harriers right-back was the calmest man in the stadium as he slotted into an unguarded net.

Kidderminster had already pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the competition in the third round when they came from behind to beat second-tier Reading through goals from Sam Austin and Amari Morgan-Smith.

The non-league side have played West Ham in the competition before, narrowly losing to the London outfit in the 1993-94 competition.

Players went wild as Alex Penny struck the opener against Premier League opposition
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Image:

BBC Sport)

Kidderminster began their cup campaign in the second qualifying round, beating Sporting Khalsa of the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands, and had to come through further qualifying games against Ware FC and Bedfont Sports just to make the first round proper.

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Russ Penn’s side saw off National League Premier opposition in the first and second rounds, seeing off Grimsby Town and FC Halifax Town without conceding a goal.

Penny, who opened the scoring after coming up from right-back, joined from fellow non-league side Boston United in 2020 after spells in League One and the Scottish Premiership.

Penny fired past Areola after the West Ham keeper failed to deal with a free-kick
(

Image:

BBC Sport)

West Ham were without regulars Declan Rice and Michail Antonio for the game, with Antonio absent from the squad entirely after his international exploits with Jamaica, but Moyes still named a line-up packed with experience.

Jarrod Bowen was part of the London side’s front-line along with Said Benrahma – fresh from his Africa Cup of Nations involvement with Algeria – and fellow internationals Andriy Yarmolenko and Nikola Vlasic.

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The Hammers had played and beaten Premier League opponents in the third round, seeing off Leeds United, but went into the break 1-0 behind against opponents more than 100 places below them in the football pyramid.

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