Accrington Stanley 2 Harriers 0
Venue: Interlink Express Stadium
away fans: 95 approx
O'Connor starts his tenure with defeat
Martin O'Connors first game in charge of the Harriers, Stuart Watkiss was dismissed on Wednesday, ended in defeat for his new charges after starting the game in a positive frame. With Iyseden Christie missing through injury and Daryl Burgess on the bench following his suspension last week it was another run out for the impressive Pat Flynn and a chance for Marc Pugh to shine back in the area he originates from.
Taiwo Atieno started in place of Christie and Lee Thompson occupied the space vacated.
It was the Harriers that were to start the more positive with a string of attacks on the Stanley goal that came to nothing. Fannying around the goalmouth is still one of our biggest failings and this game was no exception.
Tai got the first shot on target but it could only hit the side netting and Simon Heslop had a couple of shots that the Accy keeper Elliot got down well to. Accrington could find no answer to our all out attack for the first ten minutes but then took the lead with a freak goal that should have been classed as an own goal but, luckily for Daniel Lewis, was credited to Gary Roberts whose free kick slipped through the keepers gloves and into the net.
After that knock back we were never the same fighting force and went into the break the one goal down
HT: 1 - 0
The second half was a non-descript affair following the substitution of Marc Pugh with Michael Blackwood after the Burnley youngster suffered a groin injury. The build up play by the Harriers midfield was sound but again the strikeforce of Atieno and Thompson just wasn't up to it and it was only a matter of time before we would go further behind and the points go out of our grasp.
The second Accrington goal came twelve minutes from the end of normal time and it came about through bad defending. We had an attack on goal but the move broke down and the ball was played out quickly by Anthony Barry who easily skipped past an out of position Wayne Hatswell. He crossed the ball to the unmarked Paul Mullin who side footed the ball past Lewis.
This was our fifth defeat in a row on our travels and we're still in a fragile position on the edge of the relegation spaces. There's a break from League action now until Boxing Day when we entertain Altrincham at Aggborough. In between we have Scarborough in the FA Trophy and the big one against Bradford City in the LDV Trophy to look forward to.
Let's build up a winning run with those three and go into the New Year with re-newed optimism.