Histon 1 Harriers 1
Venue: The Glassworld Stadium
away fans: 115
Riley mistake results in two points dropped
Report by Morgan Nock
The relatively short trip over to Cambridge saw Harriers drop two points after a silly mistake in defence. Chris McPhee got the goal for Harriers in the latter stages of the first half and the equaliser came from Histon substitute Craig Hammond with just five minutes left.
The home teams constant 'hoof-ball' was dealt with competently by a Harriers defence which had been looking more confident by the game but problems were still caused on occasions. Nathaniel Knight-Percival got in behind the Harriers back-line and fired goal-wards from a tight angle but Dean Coleman was equal to it at his near post.
Knight-Percival was again played in five minutes later by Craig Pope and collected the ball on the penalty spot. As he took aim, and looked set to fire, Duane Courtney sped in to make a superb challenge to dispossess the Histon front-man and clear the ball in the process saving a certain goal.
Moments later it was Josh Simpson causing problems as he almost capitalised on a mix up between Gavin Caines and Martin Riley and shot from a tight angle on the other side of the goal. As the ball looked to be creeping into the corner of the goal Coleman came to the Harriers rescue again by clutching the ball confidently to his chest.
With ten minutes to go until half time Harriers attacking midfielder Darryl Knights picked up the ball on the edge of the box, and after evading two challenges, squeezed a lofted ball towards Chris McPhee. McPhee set himself and rifled a spectacular shot across the goal into the far corner of the net leaving the Histon keeper Danny Naisbitt with no chance.
Kidderminster held on to that lead and went in at half time 1-0 up which on balance may not have been a fair reflection of the game chance wise but by no means were they the lesser of the two teams.
HT: 0 - 1
Kidderminster started the second half much brighter than they did the first but still used the pointless kick-off style which gives possession away immediately to the opposition full back. Either way we regained the ball and created a host of chances.
Several early substitutions came from Histon with John Kennedy coming on for Ben Farrell and Craig Hammond on for Michael Frew.
Mark Yates' confidence in his current line-up was so nearly rewarded when Darryl Knights chipped a ball over Histon's defence for Chris McPhee who smashed a powerful volley straight at keeper Naisbitt. The Harriers then had a goal disallowed for offside when David McDermott's effort was parried to Smikle. He fired the ball in and on the way it deflected off McDermott who was by then in an offside position, much to the annoyance of the travelling fans.
After a solid defensive performance the Harriers were finally undone by a pesky long ball.
Martin Riley headed the ball down, but failed to communicate with Dean Coleman, who allowed sub Craig Hammond to burst in, round the keeper, and roll the ball into an empty net.
Heads dropped and only Coleman kept Kidderminster in it with a great save from Josh Simpson and doing just enough to put off Jamie Barker who blazed over the bar.
Brian Smikle's persistence of a reluctance in shooting has often been noted and Harriers really could've done with his shooting boots to close out the game. He collected the ball wide on the left on several occasions and frequently off loaded rather than attempting a shot on goal.
Matt Barnes-Homer had the chance to justify Smikle's persistence when he received the ball in stoppage time but then followed his team mates lead and didn't shoot himself. The final whistle was blown just as he tried to trick Histon center-half Matt Langston before shooting.
All in all a disappointing result after Harriers lead for so long...