|Back on track for play-offs.
The Reds entered the play-off zone today when with they disposed of an ordinary looking Darlington to leapfrog both Cheltenham and Scunthorpe who could only manage draws.
Next Saturday we have a tough game at Scunthorpe that, with a win, could make us genuine play-off contenders.
It's good that we have strength in depth because it was needed today.
Jan made four changes from the team that lost in mid week against Luton, they were Ian Joy who replaced the suspended Scott Stamps, Sam Shilton came in for Mark Blake who has an achilles tendon injury, Andy Ducros took the place of Richie Appleby (hamstring) and Ian Foster started in place of Drewe Broughton who found himself back on the bench along side Adie Smith who was making his return from a groin operation.
Darlington started the game as they always do when they play us, with eleven men behind the ball although they were to have the best chance of the opening quarter.
It was the Harriers who had the first chance when Ian Foster fooled a Darlo defender but then put the ball over the bar from a few yards out.
Darlington's chance came next when Lee Ayres was caught flat footed by Mellanby who took the ball off him.
Ayres tried to recover but Mellanby wriggled past him to shoot but his shot was well wide.
The Harriers went back on the attack when Foster crossed for Henriksen whose shot was deflected for a corner.
The first of half a dozen, but they were all wasted by being played straight to Collett in the Darlo goal.
In the 37th minute it was all action in the goalmouth when the ball was twice cleared off the line.
Andy Ducros sent Sam Shilton to the byline and from his cross Fosters shot was blocked by Brightwell on the line.
The ball richotched around the area with Reds strikers all trying to get a shot in but Brightwell was there each time to keep it out.
With time ticking away to halftime Ducros almost opened the scoring when his left foot shot was caught by Collett at the second attempt.
The second half started with the Harriers looking to start with an early goal.
They had obviously been told at halftime to put a bit more urgency into their game, something that had been missing in the first half.
Bo came close in the first few minutes but his header was too weak and Collett easily held it.
The game was crying out for a goal when it came thanks to Andy Ducros.
From a cross from Danny Williams, Ducros skipped past the Darlington defence as they stood looking for an offside flag.
With Fozzie and Bo in support he decided to go for goal himself and sent in a left foot shot past the keeper to rebound off the post and into the net for his first goal since the opening day of the season.
We expected the goal rush to start then but Taylor, the Darlo manager, quickly bought on some subs to tighten his defence. Bit late by then.
Ducros and Foster both missed chances to increase the lead before Jan took off Sam Shilton to bring on Adie Smith.
We came very close to getting a penalty when Bo was sent crashing on the white line of the goal area by Brumwell but the free kick was sent high and wide by Ducros.
The ref decided not to book Brumwell for the blatant foul but he did book Dean Bennett not long after when Darlo were given a free kick.
The kick was taken quickly and illegally with the ball still rolling. It hit Dean on the back and that deserved a booking ??
Adie seemed to be playing an unusual attacking role and he came close in the 68th minute when he found himself gifted the ball by Collett but he didn't connect right and the chance was gone.
Jan took off Foster after that and bought on Drewe Broughton but Drewe never made much impression on the game really.
The game was starting to fizzle out with hopeful shots from us being the only source of any excitement until the dismissal of Darlington's Betts for a second bookable offence.
Broughton ran onto a ball into the corner but with no real threat on goal Betts clattered into him and was sent off for his stupidity.
In the last minute the ref, and most of the crowd, missed a penalty when the ball was passed back to Collett.
He tapped the ball with his foot and then picked it up. He got away with it.
All in all a solid performance from a much changed team. It was very much like our early season games when we seemed to lack a flair player to bring that vital spark to a game.
With both Appleby and Larkin out for a couple of weeks we shall have to get used to it.
Harriers-Online Man of the Match is :
Showed the occasional flash of what he is capable of although he lacks match fitness.
Lasted the full 90 minutes for the first time this season too.
Brock, Hinton, Clarkson, Ayres, Joy, Shilton, Bennett, Williams, Ducros, Foster, Henriksen.
Subs; Murphy, Davies, Broughton, Faulds, Smith.
Collett, Brumwell, Heckingbottom, Brightwell, Betts, McGurk, Ford, Mellanby, Hodgson, Clark, Maddison.
Subs; Finch, Campbell, Wainwright, Atkinson, Sheeran.
Yellow. Harriers 1. Bennett
Yellow. Darlington 2. Betts, Brightwell.
Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Darlington 1. Betts.
Referee;L Cable (Woking).
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