Jimmy Constable scored his first hat trick of the season today against City and helped to totally destroy a side that have ambitions to do well this season. His last hat trick came at Vauxhall in the Trophy last season and destroyed them too.
The game today was looked forward to by fans of both sides with the first 're-match' of the teams since the episode involving Mark Yates and Lee Elam led to the four week touchline ban for the Harriers manager at the start of this season. Thankfully there was no real animosity prior to the game but when Elam came on during the second period then the Harriers fans did make their feelings known although the result was cut and dried by then.
Incredibly this win also signalled our first home win since defeating Northwich in the first leg of the Trophy way back in March. A statistic that takes some believing but true.
Today also marked the return of former fans favourite Dean Bennett to Aggborough and he was to start the game from the bench, replacing Brian Smikle. There were no other changes to the side following the win at Rushden last Monday.
For Exeter the rumoured signing of Emmanuel Panther didn't materialise last night and they started the game with their big signing from during close season, Steve Basham, on the bench. Also sat down was Bertrand Cozic, formally a Harrier but not a very good one.
The game started with the home side looking slightly nervous but holding out through a superb marshalling role from Stuart Whitehead. City looked good value going forward but without really testing Scott Bevan. Full back Steve Tully was being given too much space to overlap and this was never really addressed throughout the entire game.
Andy Ferrell was the first one for us to make an attempt on the City goal when his shot from distance went well over the bar but we hadn't got too long for the opening goal.
Just before the half hour mark Justin Richards was played in by a mistake from an Exeter player and smashed a shot against the foot of the post. The ball rebounded back to Constable who made no mistake in sending it nestling in the back of the City net for the first of his trio.
Richards could have scored himself soon after if it wasn't for a defender clearing a certain goal off the line.
The Harriers were now in full flow and looking good value for a second goal soon. City had gone off the boil slightly and were struggling to break through a resolute Harriers defence.
It was still nail biting stuff though with such a slender lead but we settled a few of the fans nerves just before half time with our second goal, this time from Russell Penn.
It was the Richards/Constable partnership which again came up with the goods. Sir Jeff Kenna crossed the ball from a defensive position to the feet of Richards who then passed it out wide to Constable to send it back into the City goalmouth. The City defence failed to pick up on the threat of Penn who had the easiest of jobs to head the ball past Marriott in the visitors defence.
We went into the break with a deserved 2-0 lead but could we hold onto it?