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Kettering Town 0 Harriers 2

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Date: 21-11-09gif Venue: A-Line Arenagif att: 1348gif away fans: 143
Harriers get valuable win at rip-off Kettering

gifReport by Morgan Nock
On a blustery afternoon in Northamptonshire the Harriers recorded a long over due win against Kettering Town at Rockingham Road.  A first Harriers goal for Duane Courtney and another Matthew Barnes-Homer ensured all three points went to the boys in what is still an unfamiliar blue.

The first half began as it was to end, slow and inconsistent.  Kidderminster lined up with one change from the side that hammered Oxford with captain Chris McPhee replacing David McDermott following his return from suspension.

Neither side impressed in the opening period but the Harriers did have a handful of speculative long range efforts easily saved or fly wide.  Kettering had a few chances from set pieces, particularly Exodus Geohaghon's long throws which caused mass confusion in the box, but no one managed to capitalise.  Brian Smikle missed the chance to break the deadlock when he saw his shot blocked by Geohaghon having been put through by Chris McPhee.  Matt Barnes-Homer then twice had time and space on the edge of the box but put both shots over in the space of two minutes.

Refereeing inconsistency was there for all to see as Patrick Noubissie's two footed challenge on McPhee went unpunished yet a similar challenge by Duane Courtney warranted Harriers first, and only, booking of the game.

The best opportunity of the half fell to the home side when, after thirty four minutes, the former Harriers loanee Simon Heslop picked up on a lapse of concentration on the edge of the Harriers penalty area and turned Gavin Caines superbly before crashing a shot off the bar.  Dean Coleman had been left helpless and was delighted the ball hadn't rippled the back of his net as he picked himself up and screamed at Caines.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second period started much more brightly with David McDermott replacing Darryl Knights at the break.  McDermott began to wreak havoc with Kettering's defence and John Dempster was made to look like a small child with untied shoe laces on more than one occasion.

Seven minutes into the second half Danny Andrew whipped in a beautiful curling corner which was just inches away from Brian Smikle's head but cleared by Lee Harper to the edge of the box.  What the player-manager wasn't expecting was for the ball to fall to Gavin Caines who unleashed a superb strike towards the top of the net forcing Harper into a magnificent save to give Harriers another corner.

Proceedings took a turn for the worse for the hosts when Simon Heslop, who had been booked in the first half, made a late challenge on Martin Riley from behind.  The challenge earned him a second caution and despite the protests of his team mates he received his marching orders.

Kidderminster fans hoped this would be a turning point in the match and end the goal drought in the game so far.  Three minutes later their wishes were granted.

As they'd done for most of the half the Harriers were passing the ball around in the Kettering half and David McDermott picked out Duane Courtney making a run at the far side of the box.  The full back added a strong finish which the keeper, Harper, just couldn't keep out of the bottom corner.

Harriers continued to exploit huge gaps in the Poppies' defence, who were absent in search of an equaliser, and with eight minutes remaining the away side broke away to find they outnumbered the defenders.  Sprayed wide, the ball fell to McDermott who charged at a retreating Dempster before hitting a cross which bounced out to Matt Barnes-Homer who then curled the ball far from the reaches of Lee Harper, exquisitely into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

The supporters jubilation was much appreciated by the front man who sprinted to celebrate with them provoking further celebrations and left fans chanting his name.

In the final moments Brian Smikle picked up the ball just inside the Kettering half and charged right through to the goalkeeper but he couldn't quite lift the ball over Harper who made a fantastic double save in parrying Dean Bennett's rebound.

So the Harriers will venture through international customs for their European tie away at Wrexham on Tuesday night mindful that another win might elevate them into the play-off mix.
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Courtney 70, Barnes-Homer 82


The Harriers Online MotM is:

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Kettering Town  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Harper     Coleman  
Geohaghon     Courtney
Taylor gif     Andrew  
Noubissie     McPhee  
Roper     Caines  
Dempster     Riley  
Green gif     Smikle  
Heslop   Bennett gif  
Elding     Barnes-Homer gif  
Thomas   Knights gif  
Ashikodi gif     Matthews  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Cooper     Singh  
Fowler gif     McDermott gif  
Spencer gif     Dolman  
Marna gif     Farrell gif  
Boucaud     Hayward gif  

REFEREE:
Mr M Brown
East Yorkshire




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