Us and Kidderminster Harriers – once the biggest non-league heavyweight clash going? Of course, that’s if you are willing to overlook Woking. And who wouldn’t be willing to do that? This story is more than about top-of-the-Conference battles, however. It’s had more twists and turns than you might think over the years. So, let’s see if we can sum it all up in a lovely 500-word nostalgia-fest that both of you can read on your commute home from the smoke.
Who are Kidderminster Harriers?
Now known for the cost of their pies (even though they’re the best we’ve ever had at a football ground), Kiddy formed in 1886. The football outfit was born out of a successful athletics and rugby club, which itself had been going since 1877. In the early days, the Harriers had right old ding-dong with town rivals Olympic – before merging with ’em in 1890. That didn’t go well, however; the club wound up in March the following year. So, Kiddy reset themselves and went again.
In the years between 1891 and 1948, all the club knew was the Birmingham & District League. Of course, there was FA Cup action and that. But league life was settled. The brave new, post-World War II world saw them join the Southern League – but that only lasted ’til 1960, when they headed back to the Brum & District. Again, they went again – rejoining the Southern League in 1972. It was just in time for them to catch Stevenage Athletic for a few seasons too.
In 1983, Kiddy joined the Alliance Premier League – the forerunner to the Conference. And this is where things, for us, start to become relevant.
Why do we know Kidderminster Harriers?
To be honest, it wasn’t promotion to the Conference after claiming the 1993-4 Diadora League Premier Division title that first put us up against Kiddy. Oh no. By then, us and them? We were old friends; our first-ever head-to-head being in a 1985-6 FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie. Of course, we were tearing up the Vauxhall Opel League Division Two North at the point. But they went onto have a good season in the Alliance Premier League – and easily overcame us at Broadhall Way.
What is our record against Kidderminster Harriers?
So, we arrived in the Conference with the record of played one, lost one against this lot. And they came into the 1994-5 GM Vauxhall Conference campaign as reigning champs. What chance our record improving? Well, we lost the first battle 3-2 at our place. But we grew in confidence during our first season at that level; something demonstrated by our impressive 3-0 win at Aggborough in February 1995.
Boro’ went on a decent-enough run of results against Kiddy after that; doing the league double during our 1995-6 title-winning campaign. We hit a bit of a bum note the season after that, however, by taking one point from six. But that 2-2 draw at Broadhall Way as three sides chased down the title saw nearly 6,500 turn up; a Conference record at that time. We won six, drew one and lost two of our games between the 1995-6 and 1998-9 seasons.
But 1999-00 saw Kiddy win the Conference title once more; with it, this time, promotion (overdue) to the Football League. It’d be five years before we’d meet again, but that we did. And, in the end, it was our own title success in 2010 that’d break the relationship. It wasn’t before a memorable 2007 FA Trophy Final, however; the first competitive match played at the ‘new’ Wembley Stadium. Or the 2-0 win at Aggborough that confirmed we would be going up to the League ourselves in 2010.
For us, it was a fine note to end things on.
Kidderminster Harriers: Boro’s Record
Our head-to-head: P 26 — W 15 — D 3 — L 8 — F 49 — A 33 — Pts 41 — WR 58%
Our last tango: Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Stevenage, 17 April 2010
What happened to Kidderminster Harriers?
For four straight seasons after we left them behind, Kiddy gave it a good old go; falling short in the playoffs once and just missing out altogether three times. But the star then started to fade. In 2016, the club dropped down into the National League North after a decade at the top level of non-league football. The chance to put that right was missed, however; Kiddy failing in the playoffs two seasons on the trot, before falling short at the end of the 2018-9 campaign.
• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Kidderminster Harriers club profile