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Harriers 4 Kettering Town 1

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Date: 11-01-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1036gif away fans: 40
Harriers send Kettering Klattering

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers picked up a vital victory tonight in their battle to keep any faint flame of hope that their play-off dream can be continued following the points deduction imposed by the league last week.  Although, according to the official tables the Harriers are joint on points with Newport County in fifth, the deduction would put them 5 points off and tonight's win will go a long way to continuing any fading hopes.

Returning to tonight's side was Jamille Matt, recovering from his injury, to replace Chris McPhee upfront who slotted in at centre back in place of Michael Briscoe.  Lee Morris also started for the home side for the first time since his injury and for the away side Iyseden Christie returned to Aggborough and started upfront for Kettering.

Chances in the first half weren't at a premium and both sides had many chances to score but it was Lee Morris who poked the ball over the line to give the Harriers the lead in the 11th minute when Jack Byrne's cross was deflected into his path and then with a deft touch, lifted the ball over the diving goalkeeper Nick Bussey into the back of the Kettering net for the lead.

Twenty minutes later and Matty Blair should have doubled the lead when his dainty foot work meant he evaded two challenges in the box before hitting his shot left of the post.  If he had taken his shot earlier perhaps he would've scored.

Kettering did reply with possession but, despite attacking at times, they didn't threaten Danny Lewis' goal too much and in the first half there were no notable chances for the away side to equalise.

The final big chance of the half went the way of the Harriers and, following a ball across the box from Blair, Nick Wright swung a foot at the ball but from eight yards out his shot skewered well wide of the right post.
  HT: 1 - 0
Within four minutes of the second half kicking off Kidderminster had finally doubled their lead.  Nick Wright won the ball on the edge of the left side of the box, beat the full back all ends up with a superb sprint and knock and then put the ball across the area.  Bussey managed to get a hand to it but Matty Blair, whose run into the box paid off, had to turn and divert the ball towards the goal and despite the best efforts of Bussey and a defender on the line the ball was parried into the roof of the net to give Blair his third goal in as many games.

Kettering however weren't about to give up yet and just under ten minutes later they had got a goal back when the ball bobbled around the area without being properly cleared following a Ian Roper knock down into the box.  Brett Solkhon eventually got the ball and hit it past Lewis to get a goal back for The Poppies.

Following this was a Tom Shaw effort which was unlucky not to go in, as following good work on the right, the ball was cut back to him as he ran into the area and his shot, which if it wasn't for Ian Roper's defiant block, would have surely given Harriers their two goal lead back.  Despite it not going in it didn't deter Kidderminster's hunt for goals.

Keith Briggs scored his second of the season in the 65th minute.  Mike Williams played in Lee Morris on the left who then superbly beat two defenders to send a cross towards the far post and Briggs produced a thumping header to give Harriers their two goal lead back.  In truth Briggs did have perhaps the best game I've seen him play for the club tonight and his passing, tackling and overall commitment was something which has been lacking so far this season.  Hopefully tonight's performance is the start of a new era for 'Briggsy'.

By the 83rd minute both Callum Gittings and Dave Hankin had been brought on for Morris and Wright, both players making a significant impact on the game - Wright setting up the second and Morris scoring one and grabbing an assist.

It was the man that came on for him, Gittings, that scored the final goal of the night after Dave Hankin's run down the right and subsequent ball was only half cleared for Gittings, 25 yards outside the area, to hit a shot with the outside of his boot that flew past Bussey and capped off a torrid night for the Kettering keeper and meant the fans left Aggborough with smiles on their faces.

The win itself was not one which screamed a rout.  It didn't have the pomp and dominance that a 4-1 victory suggests but even from the stats it appears that the Harriers more than deserved their win and in truth it could've been more than four.

Man of the Match goes to Keith Briggs, as he was one of many players (Blair and Morris also) who had good games, but Briggs' contribution was something which has been lacking this season from the captain and tonight I felt he had his best game that I have seen in a Harriers shirt.  He's not quite ready to tear teams apart but if tonight's performance is anything to go by he's getting there.
  FT: 4 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Morris 11, Blair 50, Briggs 66, Gittings 90
 Goal for Kettering: Solkhon 59


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Keith Briggs
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Harriers  subs   cards      Kettering Town  subs   cards 
Lewis     Bussey  
Shaw     Flanagan  
Williams     Noubissie  
McPhee     Solkhon  
Sharpe     Roper  
Byrne     McKoy  
Blair gif     Makofo gif  
Briggs     McDonald
Morris gif     Christie gif  
Matt     Marna
Wright gif     Kelly  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Graham  
Griffiths gif     Pryor  
Hankin gif     Furlong gif  
Gittings gif     Collins gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Handley
Lancashire





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