The Harriers got their overdue first win of the season today against a plucky Altrincham side that found themselves down to ten men after a controversial decision by yet another mediocre referee. With the Harriers already leading by a single Mark Creighton goal we had mounted another attack on Alty. With shots peppering the goal the ball seemingly struck Chris Lane on the chest and the ref gave a penalty after believing that it had struck him on the hand. Justin Richards easily converted it and from then on we took over the game completely.
There were wholesale changes to the starting line-up following last weeks disappointing defeat at Mansfield. The obvious omission was Simon Russell who yesterday joined York City but Keith Lowe, who finally joined us at the same time that Russell left, made his official debut after playing in the pre-season friendless.
There were also starts for David McDermott and Martin Brittain after impressive showings at Mansfield and Matt Barnes-Homer also started for the first time since the Lewes game. Lee Baker returned to the left back berth following injury and replaced the luckless Michael Bowler.
Following a quiet opening period of around six minutes the Harriers commenced their scoring spree when Brittain was fouled on the edge of the area by Matt Doughty. Britt took the kick to the far post and Mark Creighton rose above the hesitant Altrincham keeper to power the ball into the opposite corner of the net.
We had a chance to increase the slender lead through Justin Richards soon after but his shot was blocked by a defender.
Then came the penalty and subsequent sending off. Creighton fired in a speculative shot but Coburn managed to get a hand to it and pushed it away but only back to Creights to fire in again. This time it hit Lane and the rest was discussed in the opening paragraph of this report.
Alty were forced to re-group and their most dangerous player Colin Little was pulled back into midfield and could then only make the occasional forays towards goal.
The half ended without any further action but the Harriers were looking good value to get their first win of the new season.