RUSS Penn wants Harriers to embrace one of football’s ‘special occasions’ when Harriers host Reading in the FA Cup Third Round on Saturday.

Penn’s men are in the most coveted stage of the competition for the first time since 2014 and the remarkable run that took them to Sunderland, then of the Premier League, in Round Four.

This weekend it’s the Championship Royals who journey to Worcestershire, currently struggling at the wrong end of English football’s second tier.

Harriers have already confirmed the game is a sell-out, with a 5,000 strong crowd expected to cheer the team on in the club’s biggest match for years.

With so much league football still to be played, boss Penn is always cautious against getting too carried away but admitted in the build-up to this weekend that everyone involved should soak up the occasion.

"It's great and it probably won't hit me until the day to be honest,” said Penn, who has already steered his team to FA Cup upsets against higher graded Grimsby Town and FC Halifax in previous rounds.

"The momentum and the build-up are great; the fans and the town are all talking about it.

"Come ten o'clock on Saturday morning when the cameras are coming in and you're seeing some famous faces watching the game and get a load of high-profile footballers looking at the pitch, that's when it will start to hit me, and the nerves will be jangling!

"But it's what we're in the game for; special occasions, and this is one of them."

Harriers go into the clash without having played a match since their December 18 FA Trophy exit at Boston United.

They remain handily placed in National League North however, still very much in the play-off picture despite being several matches behind some of their rivals due to their FA Cup exploits.

Following swiftly off the back of the Reading clash – which is to be shown on the BBC’s FA Cup highlights programme – it’s straight back to league action with a home match against Farsley Celtic on Tuesday night (11th).

Ahead of such a busy period, Penn was handed a boost when the club confirmed on Thursday that defender Joe Foulkes had extended his loan spell with the club from Walsall.

Teenage full-back Foulkes had been a revelation for Harriers after signing in pre-season but suffered a serious injury early in the rounds of the FA Cup run.

Penn added: “We’ll need him and everyone in the squad so we’re thankful to Walsall for allowing us to extend.

“Joe likes it here and is very much a part of things.”