Burton Albion 1 Harriers 0
Venue: Pirelli Stadium
away fans: 200 (approx)
That was a bitter brew
Again Kidderminster Harriers failed to take their LDV form into a bread and butter league game and ended up on the losing end without a fight. To add salt into the wounds felt by the loyal fans we saw four more yellow cards and a red one handed out by the, frankly, very poor referee that will mean two crucial players missing from next weeks game against Dagenham. In Daryl Burgess' case it could be three games.
This was a game with no redeeming features at all. Any passing possible on a beach like pitch, one of the worst pitches I have seen in a long time and a brand new one at that, was either going out of play or never reaching it's intended target. When it did get to someone then nothing constructive was done with it.
The first half was nothing to write home about with out a single shot on target for us and very little from the Albion strike force either. Shaun Harrad came in for a fair bit of stick for his diving routine but taking into account the state of the pitch he probably thought he was near the sea and that was what he was supposed to do.
HT: 0 - 0
The second period of play started off slightly better for us with the away team on the attack straight away. Christie got a chance with a header that just went the wrong side of the post when he should really have buried it and Simon Heslop again saw a shot hit a low flying plane that had just taken off from the East Midlands airport.
Once Burton had got over that scare they then made a break that saw them score the winning goal.
Shaw sent a cross in and there was the on loan Crewe youngster, Lee Bell, to head home past the scrabbling Danny Lewis.
The game then degenerated into a booking frenzy with the ref having an orgasm of yellow card brandishing all leading up to the dismissal of Darryl Burgess for a second yellow offence. The second foul did deserve a card but I think most of those in the crowd will wonder why he was booked early on in the game for an un-intentional challenge in the first half.
Even though we had gone a man down we were ever really over run and we did get a chance to level when Heslop hit the upright ten minutes from the end, Christie had a couple of headers that didn't quite come off and Atieno failed to deceive yet again when he could have scored if he had the inclination to do so but resisted the temptation.
After the sending off I was expecting to see Wayne Graves bought on for Atieno and Marc Pugh pushed up in his place. Graves for the practise when he covers either Jackson or Burgess against Dagenham and Pugh to give us a bit of running and firepower alongside Christie.
We got Fleming instead who ended up arguing with his own team mates after he almost let in a Burton player by dithering on the ball.
After the game Stuart Watkiss refused to talk to the press. I wonder if he talks to his players?