The Harriers saw the first glimpse of the play-offs slowly receding tonight when they were well and truly scuppered by a Stevenage side intent on banishing the defeat at Aggborough out of their mind and also intent on making it into the play-offs by winning the game. Something that we failed to do at Histon on Saturday and instead seemed happy to settle for the point.
With everyone's preferred line-up starting the game - that's any team that includes Martin Brittain - we started looking very shaky and suspect at the back. Boro were going all out for the early goal and it wasn't long coming.
Andy Drury played a great ball past Lee Baker for Ronnie Henry to send a low cross to the edge of the area. Darren Murphy then sent it goalwards and destined for the back of the net but then struck Steve Morison on the back. With the Harriers looking for the offside flag, that was never going to come, Morison quickly spun round and fired the ball beyond Adam Bartlett from eight yards out.
The home side had got the early goal they wanted and now they were out for a second. Morison almost grabbed it when he bought the ball down with his chest and then, from out wide, sent in a dipping, swerving volley that looped over Bartlett and came crashing back off the bar.
Mitchell Cole was the next in line and he also sent in a powerful shot towards the near post that Barts did well to push away for a corner.
We were being run ragged and couldn't seem to get out of our own half. Such was the pressure our defenders were getting from the Stevenage front men and also from the referee who seemed hell bent on giving every decision to the home team. One particular incident in the first half saw Martin Riley bought down, two footed, from behind in the penalty area and the referee just waved play on. Later on in the game Dean Bennett got booked for protesting about the way Stevenage scored their third goal,
Slowly the game settled down and the early urge had gone from Stevenage's play so allowing the Harriers to get into the game more.
On the stroke of halftime we managed to pull a goal back against the run of play and so give us fresh hope.
Justin Richards had already given warning when he collected the ball just past the halfway line and raced towards goal. His low shot wasn't strong enough to beat Chris Day in the hosts goal though.
The goal did come just seconds later when Justin was given enough space in the area to fire the ball beyond Day and send us in for the break all square.