Just in time for the League leaders, Oxford's, visit on Tuesday night the Harriers pulled a white rabbit out of the hat with this hard won victory over a high flying Grays Athletic. Admittedly Grays don't seem to be the force they were last season but they are still well placed for the play offs and will no doubt still be near to them come the end of the season.
That will all depend on whether they can hold on to their star striker Aaron McClean. Aggborough was full to the bulwarks with scouts and managers today with Ian Atkins and Keith Alexander both there to watch either him or our own Russell Penn. Marcus Bignot was there too to see his little brother making his debut for us and he was no doubt just as impressed with Pauls' contribution as we were.
Also making his debut today was Reuben Reid, on loan from Plymouth. He capped an equally fine display with a well taken goal that got the crowd up on their feet.
Reuben took the place of the ill starred Andy White while Bignot Jnr forced Jake Sedgemore onto the bench. Michael Blackwood resumed his berth at the left back position he took over at Halifax on Tuesday and poor Jonny dropped off the map. The rest of the team was standard stuff.
With memories of the 5-0 thrashing given to us by Grays last season the home fans were expecting more of the same and that looked like it would be the case when Grays had a Michael Kightly free kick pushed round the post by Scott Bevan. Gav Hurren replied with a long range effort that flew well wide of Ashley Bayes post.
A bit of midfield sparring followed for a while before, on fifteen minutes, the Harriers took the lead through the 18yr old Reid. The goal came via a pinpoint pass from Bignot after he was, in turn, supplied a gem of a ball by Iyseden Christie that Reid took past Jay Smith before rifling it through the legs of Bayes.
We could have gone further in front just minutes later when Simon Russell fired in a long range shot only to see it palmed away by the Grays keeper.
Our lead only lasted a few minutes longer though and it was that man McClean that fooled the Harriers defence to get behind Mark Creighton before lobbing a shot over Bevans head to send it bouncing into an empty net. There was a hint of off side about it but it stood all the same.
Grays put the pressure on after that but still didn't really manage to worry Bevan too much apart from a header that was glanced wide by the former Canvey striker Lee Boylan.
By the end of the first forty five minutes we had managed to weather the storm and the half ended all square.