On a mild evening in Luton, Kidderminster Harriers succumbed to their second defeat in four days. Fans had been hoping for a backlash following Saturday's terrible showing at home to Stevenage but it wasn't to be as Harriers fell to eleventh place in the table after a 3-1 defeat away to the Hatters.
Manager Steve Burr had made or been forced to make a number of changes from the side that was thrashed so soundly by Stevenage on Saturday. Out went Gavin Caines, Dean Bennett, Adam Boyes, Marcus Bignot and Darryl Knights to be replaced with two players being given debuts in Jack Byrne and James Lawrie with Tom Sharpe, Robbie Matthews and Marc Goodfellow returning to the starting line-up
Luton took the lead after twenty three minutes through defender Jake Howells and Kevin Gallen doubled their lead seven minutes Harriers grabbed one back almost immediately through Lawrie but a second half winner from Gallen sealed the three points for Town.
The opening exchanges saw Harriers concede several corners and soak up lots of early pressure after Martin Riley coped poorly at the back. Harriers did have a chance to take the lead though when sloppy defending let in Robbie Matthews who could only send a shot straight at keeper Mark Tyler.
Luton continued to pressure Kidderminster and Tom Craddock came close to opening the scoring from a Charles Gnapka cross but his header was straight at keeper, Ross Atkins. The Hatters' efforts were soon repaid when Harriers failed to deal with a dangerous corner which eventually fell to Jake Howells on the edge of the area with the defender proceeding to loop a volley into the net off the post.
With the away side now clearly on the back foot Town continued to make life uncomfortable for Harriers. After a flurry of half chances, falling notably to Gnapka and Simon Heslop, a confusing (but correct) decision was made to award a free kick to Luton twenty yards out when everyone expected one for the Harriers for offside. A poorly positioned wall which blocked Atkins view did nothing to protect him from the kick which slid through the wall on the ground and somehow the Harriers goalkeeper could only paw the ball into the corner of the net.
Now 2-0 down Kidderminster had to wake up and Marc Goodfellow began taking on defenders and causing some real trouble in the Luton back line. It was Brian Smikle though who supplied the ball for Harriers opening goal when he pushed the ball in field to James Lawrie who struck across the goal right into the bottom corner of Tyler's net to bag his first Harriers goal.
After some more scrappy play the Harriers were awarded a free kick thirty yards out and Robbie Matthews lined it up. Despite putting immense power behind the ball he could only strike it straight at Tyler who dealt with it easily.
We rarely threatened the goal again before half time but Luton compiled a multitude of missed opportunities with some shaky defending saving the Harriers on numerable occasions.