The Harriers winning run that saw them win four games in a row, score eleven goals and just concede one came to an end today when they came up against a resilient Altrincham side battling to move away from the bottom four. The valuable point they gained didn't help them much after Farsley Celtic won at Torquay and Northwich continued their climb to safety by beating almost relegated Stafford Rangers at home.
They have been helped slightly by Halifax being deducted ten points recently and we can help them further by beating Halifax at the Shay this Tuesday.
Again Mark Yates kept to the same team that started against Ebbsfleet last Tuesday even though he has said that some would be rested and that neither Michael Wylde or Jake Moult, signed two weeks ago, have yet to play. In the case of Moult he failed to even make the bench again, as well as not playing in the reserve game at Halesowen, and you start to wonder why he was bought in. Is he still with us?
With a strong wind blowing across Aggborough we had a somewhat scrappy start to the game with the Harriers looking a little jaded. Both sides had a few attempts to get things moving but then Altrincham took the lead when the Harriers defence suddenly fell asleep.
Paul Turnbull advanced down the left and crossed the ball into the area for Rob Lawton to neatly head it down to the lurking Colin Little. The Alty striker picked his spot and sent the ball just inside the post for his twentieth goal of the season.
Altrincham went in search of a second goal straight away and could have scored again when Mark Creighton gave the ball away to Greg Tansey who then sent in a shot from twenty yards out that went just wide. Our first chance of the game came soon after when Russ Penn found Matt Barnes-Homer unmarked but his shot went wide too.
We now started to get into the game more and Penn sent a chance over the bar after being presented with a free shot after Darren Tinsons' weak header fell at his feet.
For some unknown reason both sides then started to by-pass their midfield players and reverted to high balls over the top. With such a swirling wind it wasn't the best tactic to turn to. What made it even worse was Dean Coleman's poor kicking that was resulting in more balls into touch than you would see at Six Ways.
We were starting to look tired too and one glaring example was when Iyseden Christie fought to win the ball, beat two Alty players then played a lovely cross into the corner for MBH. Instead of carrying on into the area to meet the return ball Christie stayed where he was and MBH was left with no-one to pass the ball to. Instead he gave up and just kicked the ball out of play.
Luckily for us Russ Penn was still interested and, in the best move of the game so far, he got hold of the ball and took it into the area after beating a couple of defenders. Ryan Lynch tried to keep up with his twisting and turning but only succeeded in sending him flying to earn us a penalty. Christie grabbed hold of the ball and confidently sent it straight down the middle for the equalising goal.
With just under a minute left of the half Alex Jeannin sent a shot over the bar from long range but it was never going to trouble Coburn.