Harriers 4 Grays Athletic 1
away fans: 7
Rampant Harriers reward Mr Burr
Report by Harry Taylor
The Harriers strolled to a 4-1 victory over a under-performing Grays Athletic side who lacked fight and spirit when compared to a Harriers side under new boss Steve Burr. The new man was quick to make vast changes to his team for his first home game bringing in Jasbir Singh and Nathan Hayward for their first full home debuts. Aaron Farrell also started in the side as Robbie Matthews was stricken down with a flu virus.
Grays were the first to try and make an impression upon the game as the ex-Oxford striker Jamie Guy put himself about and nearly profited from a badly taken kick, after a pass back, with Jasbir Singh slicing the ball as far as Gavin Caines who managed to keep the side out of danger.
Harriers slowly but surely started to get a grip on the game and we were unlucky not to go a goal ahead after Farrell put a superb through ball to Brian Smikle who shot straight at the keeper Richard Martin. Five minutes later Smikle got his first goal since scoring against Wrexham last November. Caines played the ball in and Smikle cut inside and hit a well placed finish, off the post, into the back of the net to put the home side 1-0 up.
Less than five minutes later it was the turn of Damian Spencer to get his first goal for the Harriers, as despite his stocky frame, he turned with great agility to hit the ball into the bottom corner to make the score 2-0.
This gave the Harriers the upperhand as Grays lacked the fight to get the score back. That was until the Referee and his assistant gave them hope when a penalty was awarded in the thirty fifth minute when Martin Riley was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area even though he knew nothing about it. He also made a two footed tackle on Guy so nobody was sure whether the penalty had been given for a handball or the tackle.
Despite many protests Jamie Guy slotted the ball away to bring the score undeservedly back to 2-1. The goal gave the visitors a bit of impetus but it wasn't enough to worry the Harriers and we went into the break with a narrow, but comfortable, lead.
HT: 2 - 1
After half time Kidderminster started where they had finished off when veteran midfielder John Finnegan scored his second goal in two games for the Harriers after finishing off a good passing move culminating in his shot into the bottom right hand corner.
Ten minutes later and another dubious penalty decision from referee Richard Fletcher lead to a penalty being awarded to the Harriers when Brian Smikle was taken down by Gavin Hoyte and, despite a timid protest from Damian Spencer, it was Chris McPhee who stepped up to take the penalty. His well placed his shot into the bottom right hand corner, mere inches beyond Martin's grasp, was enough to tie up the game.
After this the tiredness began to show in the Harriers game, due to the lack of games in recent weeks, yet the nice passing continued as even Aaron Farrell chipped the ball over a defender and controlled it in a feat of skill that some would've deemed impossible.
Grays showed little threat to Singh's goal and, the little that they did show, he kept them away with a goalkeeping performance that may have Dean Coleman worried.
The last big event of the game was an apparent obstruction on substitute Kyle Hadley in the penalty area after he went storming in with the ball at his feet. He didn't get the penalty that he will feel he deserved yet the ones that had been given earlier were no where near as blatant as this one.
The final whistle then blew on Burr's first home game and also his first win in charge. When he arrived at the club he promised goals and so far that is something he has delivered so far – six goals in two games. Our next opponents, Worcester City, have scored seven in the same amount of games after toppling Carshalton 4-0 away in their FA Trophy replay tonight to give us to a long awaited local derby tie at St. Georges Lane this coming Saturday.
The win tonight sees us remaining in ninth place in the League but under Steve Burr we could be capable of climbing much higher. Our next away League game is at Oxford. Now that could be interesting.
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