|Own goal sinks Shrews.
In a tough, and at times scrappy, game the Reds came out on top against their rivals from over the County line.
It took a single own goal to give us the points but it could so easily have been more if it wasn't for their keeper leading a charmed life.
Three times the ball was cleared off the line by desperate defending and twice the Shrews came close to gifting us another own goal.
Jan started with the surprise inclusion of Bo Henriksen making his return after injury. The even bigger surprise was to play Bo in midfield where he turned in an accomplished performance.
He sprayed the ball about with ease, finding his man almost every time.
At times he came under a lot of pressure from Shrewsbury and was occasionally dragged out of position leaving the midfield exposed but it's not his natural position and he coped admirably.
The opener came on twelve minutes after a period of sustained Reds pressure during which Adie Smith had clipped the post from twenty yards out.
Bo played the ball out wide to Ian Foster and his centre from the bye-line skimmed into the area and flashed off Heathcotes leg past the rooted Dunbavin in goal.
After that Shrewsbury tried to get back into the game but they didn't really cause Brock too many problems.
They were stronger in midfield but their attack was very weak without Luke Rodgers who is out serving a five game ban.
Drewe Broughton got the ball in the net midway through the half but it was ruled out for off side. A very marginal decision I felt.
Ten minutes before the break Shrewsbury almost handed us another own goal when Matt Redmile sent a powerful header just inches over his own bar.
Another chance went just over the bar seconds later but this time it came from a Kiddy player when Larkins drive was tipped over by the Shrews keeper.
And in the last few seconds of the half Stuart Brock was called into action for the first time for ages when Ryan Lowe had, for once, managed to get behind the Reds defence but Brockie was there to keep the ball out with his legs.
The second half started with Shrewsbury exerting the pressure when Murray should have done better than volleying wide from ten yards out.
That was about the last clearcut chance they had for the rest of the game.
After that it was all Harriers but they went back to the old problem of not being able to turn all the chances into goals.
Larkin was back to his old ways of missing golden opportunities to score either from taking the ball too far or not being able to get enough force behind the shot.
Drewe Broughton was having one of his better games, although he was still guilty of petty fouling, and it would have been a fitting goal for him if his audacious lob over the keeper had gone in.
He robbed the defender of the ball 30 yards out and was almost on the verge of making a run on goal when he spotted Dunbavin off his line but the bugger just got a hand to it.
Then fifteen minutes from the end came the pass of the match.
Abdou Sall was having a so so of a game but he collected the ball on the edge of his area and took it past two Shrewsbury men. He saw Larkin in space and fed him the perfect ball for him to run all of 35 yards onto.
Larkin cut into the area with just the keeper to beat but wasted the moment by hitting it against his legs from where it ran out for a corner.
Five minutes from the end Shrewsbury cleared another one off the line from Larkin when his, for once, powerful shot was cleared by Thompson with the keeper no where.
In the end we managed to hold on for the points but it would have been nice to have scored a goal for ourselves and not rely on others to do it for us.
Just one word about the Shrewsbury support.
Wouldn't it be something if we could take that many to an away game, or even get that many behind our goal at home.
The away end was packed and so was the section of the seats given over to visiting fans. In comparison our end was about half full and so was the home end of the seats.
At a guess they bought about 1,500. We managed to bring about 2,200 and we were at home.
Apathy, it's a terrible thing.
Harriers-Online Man of the Match is :
Played out of his natural position but coped well.
I prefer to see a player with more strength in there but his ball control and agility helped him.
I can't see how Larkin was awarded Man of the Match by the sponsors when Bo stood head and shoulders above him.
vote for your
man of the match now
Brock, Clarkson, Hinton, Stamps, Smith, Sall, Bennett, Henriksen, Broughton, Larkin, Foster.
Danby, Joy, Shilton, Bird, Ayres.
Dunbavin, Heathcote, Moss, Redmile, Aiston, Atkins, Murray, Jagielka, Lormor, Lowe, Thompson.
Cartwright , Wilding , Rioch , Murphy, Drysdale.
Yellow. Harriers 2. Stamps, Sall.
Yellow. Shrewsbury 0.
Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Shrewsbury 0.
Referee; Mr A.R Leake. (Darwen)
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