It's starting to look as if the run of good form that took us into second place in the League is all but done. In the last four games against Barrow, Northwich, Ebbsfleet and now Kettering we have struggled to regain any semblance of the form that gave us the previous four game un-beaten run and only a lucky substitution against Ebbsfleet enabled us to win that one.
Today we saw possibly our worst performance of the season and it was across the whole team. Even Adam Bartlett, normally so secure, fumbled the corner that led to their winning goal after we had held out for the draw for so long.
With the fans in good voice chanting a very long 'Yates Barmy Army' it was believed that the team would raise their game but not once did they take any notice and not once did they get out of third, let alone second, gear. Kettering were deserved winners and they didn't look that good either. Definitely not promotion quality.
For this game we started with Stefan Moore for the first time, in place of the injured Justin Richards, but as with Darryl Knights leading the line against Ebbsfleet it was never going to work and we looked feeble and in-effective up front. Moore, as with Knights, is a creative player who would rather be supplying the ammunition to someone stronger and then picking up any scraps along the way for his own goal tally.
We can only hope that Richards isn't too far from coming back or it will mean getting a big man in on loan to help stop us falling further down the table.
In midfield and at the back we struggled too with no real supply along the ground just balls over the top to be dealt with easily by the towering Exodus Geohaghan and his partner Guy Branston. Martin Brittain, again, was seeing very little of the ball and when he did manage to get hold of it he was immediately surrounded by Kettering defenders alert to the danger of the Geordie wideman.
The annoying thing is we started the game looking positive with Russ Penn in the thick of it early on spraying the passes around and also looking for chances for himself. He set Moore up with a good chance but Moore sent it over the bar and a few minutes later he made room for himself but shot wide.
The Poppies responded with the impressive Andre Boucaud curling in a shot that Bartlett did well to push back out but only into the path of former Harrier Chris Beardsley. Barts managed to get back across the goal to block Beardo's effort.
Most of the danger for the Harriers was coming from the long throw-ins of Geohaghan. Fast as a bullet and into the heart of the area everytime they took some dealing with but thankfully we had Mark Creighton to deal with most of those.
Creighton had a chance to score soon after when he rose high to a Martin Brittain cross but Creights isn't known for directing his headers and this one went back in the direction it came from - the corner flag. That was our last chance for a while and the home side took over full control of the game after that.