The Harriers did the double over Stafford Rangers tonight when they beat the visitors 2-0 with goals from Simon Russell and Russell Penn. We beat them at Marston Road on Boxing Day in a 2-1 scoreline with both our goals coming from James Constable.
Constable, who returns to Walsall following the game at Altrincham on Saturday, will be wondering how he missed two clearcut chances to score again and especially in front of his manager, Richard Money, watching in the stand.
Without Iyseden Christie up front, following an injury he got against York City, it was Andy White who was chosen to lead the line alongside Constable and at times he would have been wishing he was elsewhere. To say it wasn't one of his best games would have been an under statement.
He was the only change in a side that have now won nine games out of ten but there was a surprise on the bench in Scott Eaton. Either his season long loan at Stourport Swifts has ended early or he was re-called just for this game. With Michael McGrath and Daniel McGhee to call on his inclusion was a bit out of the ordinary.
From the start of the game the Harriers threw everything they could think of at the visitors. We were almost gifted an own goal within minutes of the start when a Harriers old boy, Wayne Daniels, almost put the ball past his own keeper after being put under pressure by Russ Penns deep cross. As it was it took just a further five minutes before Simon Russell opened the scoring.
Andy White, for once winning the ball, sent the ball upfield for the bottle blond to run onto. Russell jinked a bit this way and that and as soon as he saw a space he let fly with a left footed shot that took a deflection off a Rangers defender to beat Danny Alcock in the visitors goal.
Stafford tried hard to get back into the game but, with the exception of the hard working Robin Gibson, they didn't seem to have much firepower up front. Guy Madjo and Olape Olaoye might be two big guys but they didn't seem to use their obvious power all that much.
Simon Russell should have done better just before half time, with a similar move to the one that led to his goal, but his left footed shot went well over this time.
The half drew to a close with the crowd huddled around trying to warm their cold hands on something hot from Murdochs cauldrons.