In a huge clash, for more off the field reasons than on it, the Harriers picked up a 1-0 win against Bath City. The games importance (like most things currently) relates back to the off-the-pitch financial problems currently being experienced this season with the players not being paid for this month so far and a winding up order on the 23rd of this month threatening the existence of the club. Today's game was a chance to get some money in the bank through a hopefully increased attendance.
Its importance was matched with the attendance of local media, ITV Central, BBC Midlands Today and Hereford & Worcester Radio were all in attendance. Also there was the former Harriers chairman Barry Norgrove who was the subject of many maliciously humorous chants from the Harriers faithful while he sat in the East stand. What spoke volumes is that he was alleged to have got into the ground on another freebie while Trevor Owens (Head of Sport at BBC Hereford and Worcester) paid on the turnstiles to get in.
The game itself was one of grit, fight and determination - something that the club's fans and staff off the pitch have shown recently in the fight to stay alive as a club in the Conference. The three points are welcome ones but realistically the fight off the pitch is the more important one than the pipe dream of getting into the playoffs, with administration remaining a distinct possibility.
The Bath side consisted heavily of former Torquay, Salisbury and Forest Green players. Kaid Mohamed was the livewire for the away side as his runs and dribbling often caused the Harriers back-line problems. Lee Phillips, the former Torquay man, spearheaded the Bath City attack with little success. The Harriers lined up with a loose 4-5-1/4-4-2 with Tom Shaw keeping his place in the side following his goal at Hayes last Saturday.
The first notable chance in the game went the way of Bath with Mohamed, who was free in the area, allowed to turn but his shot was rising, glancing the top of the crossbar before going over. Considering the position in which Mohammed was in, he should've done better with the chance. The miss was greeted with nervous cheers of derision from the fans behind the home goal.
Harriers then went up the other end and had a gilt-edged chance of their own as Mike Williams' cross from the left was met by Jack Byrne, on his return to the side, but his header was tipped away dramatically by Ryan Robinson, an effort which he could have probably caught but was a good save nonetheless.
That miss wasn't to be rued though as Tom Shaw opened the scoring moments later in the 34th minute when Chris McPhee put the ball straight into the area in front of the on-rushing Shaw. He proceeded to lift the ball over the flailing Robinson to send the Harriers fans into raptures bettering the already loud and defiant atmosphere inside the ground.
It could've been two before the break as Byrne surged down the right wing, putting a cross in and perhaps mis-kicking it, the ball swerved towards the far post and unfortunately the post kept the ball out of the goal, otherwise it would've been a superb yet fortunate goal.