Kidderminster Harriers suffered the “cruellest ever” football defeat as West Ham scored two stoppage time goals to win the fourth round FA Cup tie 2-1.
The non-league side were on the verge of delivering one of the biggest upsets of the season courtesy of a first-half goal by full-back Alex Penny.
Despite fielding a strong side to start with, West Ham manager David Moyes was forced to bring on his big guns Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice, whose solo run and finish shattered Kidderminster hopes in the 91st minute.
The Irons would place one final dagger in Kiddy hearts in the final minute of extra-time, with Jarrod Bowen delivering the winning goal after 121 minutes.
The home side took the lead early on after Penny capitalised on a mix-up between Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma at the back.
Russell Penn’s side put on a stunning display in the first-half and went into the break deservedly in front as West Ham struggled to get a foothold.
The addition of England international Rice caused problems in the second and the youngster was instrumental in the build-up to his equaliser.
West Ham thought they had finally taken the lead in the second-half of extra-time but Bowen’s celebration was halted by an offside flag.
The Hammers star, who has been in rampant form all season, made no mistake in the final minute of stoppage time as he scrambled in Aaron Cresswell’s low ball to seal a place in the fifth round.
But Kiddy’s valiant display has earned the respect of many across English football, with fans and pundits left feeling heart-broken for the side.
Presenter Mark Chapman called it: “The cruellest football match I have ever witnessed.”
Meanwhile, Alan Shearer said: “That is agony for Kidderminster. The way they equalised and then the winner… Everything they put into this game.
Do you think Kidderminster suffered the cruelest defeat of the season? Let us know in the comments section.
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“They should be immensely proud. How the fans turned up and gave them hope too…
“Such a great day in some ways but also devastating to go out the way they have done.”
Fans on social media issued the same sentiment, with tweeting: “I’m not a big football fan but I watched the match and to say I was gutted for Kidderminster is putting it mildly.”
Another wrote: “Well done Kidderminster, absolute credit to our pyramid system. Good luck for the rest of the season. Will be watching out for your results!”