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Harriers 0 Kettering Town 1

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Date: 26-04-09gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2896gif away fans: 279
Reds fail at the final hurdle
Match report by Morgan Nock

A distraught, frustrating and ultimately disappointing day for Harriers saw them fail to make the play-offs and finish sixth in the Blue Square Premier.  The 1-0 defeat by Kettering was made worse by Mansfield beating Stevenage, and we knew that a win would have had us finish in fifth place and extend our season by a few more games including a possible second visit to New Wembley.

2896 fans packed Aggborough, with 279 away supporters to watch an exciting game, which Harriers dominated throughout.

From start to finish Kettering had to endure large spells of pressure, but they finally caught Kiddy on the break in stoppage time.

There was an explosive start for the Harriers weak starting eleven, with Martin Brittain and Russell Penn replaced by Darryl Knights and David McDermott (where has he been?) when we saw Matt Barnes-Homer hit the target, forcing an awkward save for the rather portly keeper Lee Harper to make with a bit of a toe punt.

Shortly afterwards, Keith Lowe hit a stunning shot that the surprisingly mobile Harper managed to tip around the post.  Lowe had another header just wide from a Darryl Knights corner soon after.

As the game began to settle the Harriers dominance started to show when Justin Richards had a shot cleared off the line by Exodus Geohaghan.  Then two rash challenges ensued, first the Iyseden Christie like Kettering captain, Guy Branston, went straight through Chris McPhee, warranting a yellow card.  Next forward Ryan Charles was robbed of the ball by McDermott and lashed out at him, but again only a yellow was shown.

Half an hour in, Richards flashed a shot across the face of goal, and Poppies fans breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Shortly after, Matt Barnes-Homer again hit the target with a deflected shot which looped up and was saved easily by Harper.

Kettering had only really had one shot on target in memory, from Gareth Seddon which was saved easily by Bartlett.
HT: 0 - 0
The second half started, with the usual failed ball forwards from the kick off which the dominant Geohagen picked up with ease.

With 52 minutes on the clock, Craig Westcarr hit a tidy shot on the break, which bounced back off the post, and luckily to Mark Creighton who cleared.  Another rash challenge from the temperamental Chris Beardsley, who was never good enough to get into our team while we had him on loan, again on McDermott, saw him earn a yellow.

This came just moments after an incensed Chris McPhee had nearly flattened him! God only knows what was said, but McPhee really was about to hit someone before MBH saved the day calming him down.

The remaining half an hour of the match was a nervous haze for most of us, and it really got to Russ Penn, who I thought had a real stinker today, after he and Martin Brittain came on for McDermott and Knights on the hour mark.  Penn's first touch was atrocious, but the one time he got free, he fired over.

Justin Richards had two chances which summed up the game and left many with head in hands.  The first was a shot from the edge of the six yard box which somehow squeezed over, and the second, a complete miskick.

Luke Potter was booked for a foul on Penn, before more wasted possession lead to a Kettering break, which broke hearts along with the back of Adam Bartlett's net.

Many fans left the ground, and the ones who remained couldn't bear to watch after Ben Wright's shot flew past Bartlett and left tears in eyes, as the Kettering fans erupted, and left a morgue in the home end.

I saw very little of the rest of the match, through a mixture of being heartbroken, tear stricken and absolutely gutted.
FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Kettering: Wright 90


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Harriers  subs   cards      Kettering Town  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Harper  
Lowe     Eaden  
Baker gif     Potter
McPhee     Geohaghan  
Creighton     Branston
Riley   Westcarr gif  
McDermott gif     Boucaud  
Knights gif     Seddon  
Barnes-Homer     Beardlsey
Bennett     Marna gif  
Richards     Charles gif
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Ferrell     Whatsize  
Moore     Graham gif  
Brittain gif     Potter gif  
Penn gif     Wright gif  
Smikle gif     Cooper  

REFEREE:
Mr G Sutton
Lincolnshire





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