The Harriers took another positive step in the build up to the new season today with this narrow 1-0 win against old Conference friends Burton Albion. With former Harriers Russ Penn, Andy Corbett and John McGrath starting for them and, following the experience of their first season in the Football League, it was always going to close game. In fact as games between the two sides always have been in recent years.
We started with what could be seen as our probable starting line-up with the exception of the Harriers Online sponsored Mark Albrighton. He wasn't on the bench either and could have been slightly injured.
The game was one for defences with Burton probably leading the shots on goal stakes although most of theirs seemed at times to be a bit wayward.
The only goal of the game came our way when Dave Hankin's strong cross hit Paul Boertiens' hand and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Tom Shaw stepped up to take the spot kick (left) and so gave the impression that he had been appointed the penalty taker in preference to the obvious choice of a recognised striker. To be honest it was a weakly taken kick and if Adam Legzdins had dived the right way it would never have gone in.
The remainder of the half was good end to end stuff with Burton coming close to scoring when Shaun Harrad hit the crossbar after muscling his way through. We, in comparison, didn't look strong enough up front and the Chris McPhee/Lee Morris partnership failed to spark.
Soon after the start of the second half our new striker, Nick Wright, came on for Keith Briggs. We now had a chance to see how he would work with Morris but we weren't given long enough to find out because Morris was withdrawn from the game soon after his possible new partner had arrived on the scene.
The second half overall was nowhere near as good as the first half and when the final whistle finally went it was a bit of a relief.
Harriers: Danny Leiws, Mike Williams (Aaron Griffiths 86), John Finnigan (Jack Byrne 57), Tom Shaw (Lee Vaughan 72), Dave Hankin (Kyle Hadley 81), Keith Briggs (Nick Wright 57), Lee Morris (Matty Blair 66), Chris McPhee, Tom Sharpe, Michael Briscoe, Callum Gittings.
Unused subs: Paul McCone, Andrew Stevens
Burton: Adam Legzdins, Andy Corbett, Darren Moore, Nathan Stanton, Paul Boertien, Russell Penn (Jacques Maghoma 45), Adam Bolder, John McGrath, Aaron Webster (Jimmy Phillips 66), Greg Pearson (Jack Dyer 45), Shaun Harrad.
Unused subs: Kevin Poole, Tony James, James Ellison, Garyn Preen, Richard Walker, Lewis Young.
Attendance: 554 (71 away fans)
Photo © Harriers Online