|A win. It's not convincing but it's a start
The Harriers kicked off the new campaign today with a 1-0 win over Scunthorpe Utd and they made bloody hard work of it.
Scunthorpe started well, they were faster to the ball in all areas, but the Reds back four held firm all through the game and in the end Scunthorpe never really threatened Stuart Brock in the Harriers goal.
At times the game became physical and the ref was making a poor job of keeping control.
Utd's No 9 Carruthers was making the most of the ref's leniency and Mark Blake was falling for it every time and by the 30th minute found himself in the book.
At the end of an half of almost continuous pressure the Reds were glad to troop off for a rest and a pep talk.
With no first half changes the Harriers took the bit between the teeth and started to play with a fluency that had been missing earlier but it was Scunthorpe who came close to opening the scoring , going close twice in the first few minutes.
Hadley then missed the best chance to set the Reds off when he tamely headed a Tony Bird cross into the keepers arms.
Minutes later we had taken the lead though, when after some terrible refereeing, we were awarded a couple of free kicks in front of the goal.
Firstly the ref blew for an infringement some 20yds out and while he was still sharing a joke with the Scunthorpe players the ball was pushed through for Hadley to run onto.
He was immediately bought down by Thom right on the edge of the box.
After the ref had spent 5 minutes arranging the wall, Ducros flighted the ball towards the left hand post.
A Scunthorpe player stuck out his hand and deflected the ball into the net.
One wonders if the ball hadn't gone in would we have been awarded a penalty?
After that we seemed to find our feet and started to control the game more without adding to the goal.
15 minutes from the end Jan bought on Foster and Bennett for the Duke and Shilton.
Ian Foster added the missing pace that we had been waiting for and it was from a superbly pulled back cross that we should have gained our second goal but Hadley's scrambled effort on the line was ruled offside.
The ref had added on 4 minutes of extra time, probably from his own time wasting, and it was during this time that Brockie gained my man of the match award when he kept out the Utd onslaught to give us another good start to a season.
Harriers-Online Man of the Match is...
He had a superb game, dealing competently with all that was asked of him.
But no doubt he will still be criticised.
Brock, Smith, Stamps, Hinton, Medou-Otye, Shilton, Blake, Bird, Hadley, Ducros.
Subs; Bennett(75), Foster(75), Murphy, Doyle, Ayres.
Evans, Bradshaw, Thom, Stanton, Jackson, Dawson, Beagrie, Sheldon, Carruthers, Grant.
Subs; Quailey(76), Siddall, Wilcox, Ridley, Cotterill.
Yellow. Harriers 1. Blake.
Yellow. Scunthorpe 2. Jackson, Carruthers.
Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Scunthorpe 0.
Referee;G. K. Hegley (Bishops Stortford)
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