Sixfields Stadium
att:  4089  away fans:  287
Extra info
Jan Molby's first game back in charge and the confidence comes surging back.
Parrish 22
 harriers-online match report
Tuesday 21st October 2003 
Molby's Army is on the march again

New? manager, Jan Molby, stepped back into his old shoes again and Kidderminster Harriers returned back to their old style of play with this hard worked win at Northampton.

There was a new found confidence in the side that hadn't been seen all season.  A confidence to battle for every ball and, once we'd got that ball, a confidence to do something with it.

It was this that took us to only our second away win since the second game of the season at Darlington.

Molby elected to start with the side that had finished the last game of Ian Britton's tenure and also to recall a goal keeper to the bench.  A risk that had been taken for too long under Brit.  There was also no place for Adam Willis and his armband had been handed to new recruit, Wayne Hatswell.

It was our first ever visit to this smart looking stadium and we took the game to the Cobblers right from the start with John Williams testing the keeper with a firmly struck shot on the turn in the sixth minute.  Thompson wasn't put to too much trouble keeping it out but it was a good sign.

Stuart Brock was called into action a few minutes later when he saved well from Martin Smith.  The ball was lost in a crowd of players but it fell to the same player again but he could only put his shot over the crossbar.

We were stroking the ball around nicely with some intelligent passing and when called on we defended well too.  Craig Hinton was back to his old self and with nothing getting past Adie Smith and Wayne Hatswell we were looking really strong at the back.

In the 22nd minute the travelling Red Army erupted when Northampton old boy, Sean Parrish, put the Harriers into a deserved lead.

The Harriers main tormentor, JJ Melligan, found Parrish in acres of space and in a swift move Pash struck the ball sweetly past the Northampton keeper into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

Sean found his name in the over officious referees book for his goal celebration when he was booked for removing his shirt.  I thought this was allowed now, or is that only for Premiership clubs!

The Harriers started to apply the pressure after the goal and a good chance to increase the lead was wasted by John Williams, when he found himself in a one on one with the keeper but hesitated for too long and the keeper managed to get his body in the way and push the ball away to safety.

JJ came close to scoring when his shot from the penalty spot should have gone in but instead went wide of the keepers post.  He twice came close to scoring again in similar moves straight away after.

In the last minute of the half Northampton came close to grabbing a lifeline when, from a high Low cross Trollope fired well over the bar to shouts of derision from the Harriers fans.

This had been a good first half for us with some brilliant teamwork.  The superb defending forcing Northampton into continually making schoolboy mistakes.

HT. 0 - 1

At the restart of the game Northampton made a substitution by bringing on their new loan signing from Blackpool, Richard Walker.  Walker had been a target for Jan Molby in his first stint at Aggborough and with us looking for a new striker could be worth looking at again.

The half started with the referee Graham Salisbury bringing his book out on too many occasions.  First Dean Bennett was booked for a run of the mill challenge on Harsley and then minutes later Harsley saw his own name go into the book for a tackle from behind on JJ.

This had all the signs of the half time talking to that the Cobblers must have had for their shambolic first half display.  "Take that Melligan out quickly".

Harsley should have been sent off for his two footed lunge when he had no chance of catching JJ but JJ was wrong to retaliate and earn himself a caution too.

The ex Hereford winger, Chris Hargreaves, also saw yellow after yet another late challenge on Sean Parrish.  One of Jan's old squad, Lawrie Dudfield, from Hull City came on for Northampton in exchange for Hargreaves soon after.

Once the flurry of cards had stopped it was back to the football and it was the Harriers who went close to scoring in quick succession.  First the impressive Graham Ward forced Thompson into a good save when his shot from a tight angle almost crept in and then Dean Bennett forced the keeper into another good save just seconds later.

On sixty seven minutes Northampton came the closest they had been to scoring all night when Walker put in a powerful shot at goal that beat Stuart Brock but, luckily for us, hit the foot of the far post and was cleared up field to safety.

Jan then made our only change of the night when he took off Sean Parrish and replaced him with Sam Shilton.

With time running out for the Cobblers they started to apply more pressure on us and had at least five corners in a five minute period.  Normally we would have conceded at least one of these but with our new found confidence we defended them well and cleared the ball to safety every time.  Such was our confidence that for one clearance Kenny made himself time to dis-possess his man and then calmly stroke the ball away to launch an attack on the Northampton goal.

On eighty three minutes Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Dudfield was bought down by Hatswell.  After what seemed an eternity the ref finally blew the whistle to take it but Martin Smiths weak effort failed to get through the strong Harriers wall.  Danny would have buried that.

That was the last chance for Northampton to gain something from the game and gave us the kind of result that we needed.

After that the Harriers fans burst into a ten minute long rendition of Barmy Army.  Just like the old times.

We played as a team throughout and the difference in our play compared to the Southend game was amazing.  On this kind of form we should have no problem in climbing out of the relegation zone and may be into the top half of the table.

As for Northampton.  They looked like the team heading for the Conference, not us.  At times the mistakes they made were laughable and they have now replaced Southend as the worst side I have seen this season.

FT. 0 - 1

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
All of them

This was a team effort and everyone of them played their socks off.  Even our Second Class Postman.

Best for them:  Richard Walker.  If Blackpool don't want him we'll be interested.

vote for your
man of the match now

Northapton  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Thompson     Brock  
Wilmott     A Smith  
Sampson     Coleman  
Doig     D Williams  
Richards     Hinton  
Hargreaves   Hatswell
Low     Bennett
Trollope     Melligan
Harsley   J Williams  
M Smith     Parrish
Carruthers     Ward  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Chambers     Danby  
Asamoah     Gadsby  
Burgess     Shilton  
Dudfield     Ayres  
Walker     Lewis  

Mr G Salisbury

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