Harriers 0 Crawley Town 1
away fans: 42
Crappy Crawley create nothing, and still win
It was all too good to be true. We had managed to get two wins in a row and were now looking at the possibility of making that three with the visit of the basement side Crawley, a Crawley side that had been docked ten points at the start of the season and hadn't won in their last four outings.
As is usual in this scenario someone had failed to read the script and we end up with zilch.
It all started so well for us, although we were without Russ Penn - Jamie McClen replaced him and Michael Blackwood came in for Mike McGrath - and we bombarded the Crawley goal for a solid forty five minutes without reward. Simon Russell, Andy White, Jake Sedgemore, Jonny Harkness, Jamie McClen and Iyseden Christie all saw their efforts go high, wide or cleanly saved by Ben Hamer in goal for Town.
The on loan Reading youngster was probably the only one on the Crawley side to earn his money, that's if they get paid tonight after yet another collapse in the takeover talks.
McClen was not a good replacement for Penn, lacking his drive, but his ability to get into the referees book was very similar to Penns after he got himself booked for gobbing back at the official when it would have been easier and more sensible to walk away.
By the end of the first half it was a wonder the Harriers weren't at least six goals to the good with the amount of pressure they had put Hamer under. Crawley had not had a single effort on target or come anywhere near to goal.
HT: 0 - 0
After all that first half pressure it was easy to expect us to carry on in the same vein but fate was to play it's part within a few minutes of the re-start.
Crawley had managed to get the ball into our half for what could have been the first time during the game as Lee Blackburn sent in a speculative shot from outside the area but for reasons known only to himself Gavin Hurren suddenly put his hand into the air and stopped the ball from continuing it's journey to the safety of Scott Bevans arms.
There's no doubt about the validity of the penalty as Mr Turner pointed straight to the spot. Hurren was lucky that the referee must have decided that he had been punished enough and didn't book him for what should really have been a sending off offence.
Scott Rendell stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it to Bevans right with power. Then he took it again after the ref said someone had infringed on the area - but not that it was noticeable - and this time the ball bobbled to Bevs left and just managed to go in.
After that we seemed to collapse and didn't seem to know what to do to regain the upperhand. Our forwards were getting no support at all from midfield, Andy White was reduced to a lone role up front as Christie decided it wasn't worth getting out of bed to chase the tall strikers flick on's and Simon Russell was now being marked out of the game.
Time for a change and Brian Smikle came on for McClen. Russell moved further into the middle but still nothing seemed to change except that Christie looked slightly more interested.
Luke Reynolds replaced Andy White and at last we started to regain some semblance of a team but without the goals. Crawley still hadn't done much in front of goal except score from their penalty.
Christie headed a Sedgemore cross just over from in front of goal and Russell had a long range shot saved by Hamer and then came the save of the season when the Crawley defender, Judge, sliced a clearance that went back towards his keeper who in turn made an astounding reflex save to push it over the bar.
If it wasn't for that superb save then we would have got a well deserved point from the game. As it was Crawley got an undeserved three.
Russ Penn will be back for the midweek trip to Denton. Let's hope he can galvanise his troops and get them back on track.