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Alfreton Town 0 Harriers 2


Date: 21-01-12gif Venue: Impact Arenagif att: 990gif away fans: 199
It's never too late to win the game

gif Report by Centreforeword
With a persistent and strong westerly breeze blowing from one end to the other of the Impact Stadium, Kidderminster Harriers visited Alfreton Town FC for this Blue Square Premier clash.  It was the first trip for many Harriers fans to this football ground located in this former Derbyshire mining town.  With many of their close contenders vying for a play-off spot having relatively easy opposition the Harriers knew they had to come away with three points from this game with lowly Alfreton.

The Harriers line up was the same as the preceding Saturday fixture against Droylsden except Luke Jones replaced Michael Briscoe and James McQuilkin came in to start instead of Dave Hankin.

The Worcestershire team began the brighter of the two protagonists.  With the wind behind the boys in bronze backs in the first half most of the opening period's play was in the Alfreton half.

Some good early shots from Kyle Storer and Lee Hendrie tested the home sides goalkeeper Dan Lowson but he was equal to the task.  On sixteen minutes Luke Jones trumped Storers and Hendries efforts with a twenty yard low shot which Lowson again just managed to push round the post.

After a pretty turgid passage of play better still was to follow from Harriers.  On thirty three minutes Nick Wright produced a sharp effort that the goalkeeper once more managed to get a hand to and keep out.

Kicking into an ever strong wind, and struggling to get out of their own half as a result, Alfreton became increasingly rattled.  Then on the stroke of half time Louis Moult put a very strong tackle in on Kyle Storer - sliding in with studs showing.  All players should know that you just can't do that these days and he was duly given his marching orders by the referee.  On reflection he could have little complaint.

As a result of the difficult blowy conditions, in fairness, the quality of the football in the first period was lacking.  The home teams' goalkeeper repeatedly kicked the ball high into the wind just to watch it blow back towards him or out of play for a Harriers throw in.

Similarly, Kidderminsters through balls were often over hit such that when the wind got hold of them they simply rolled through to the hosts' goal keeper or out of play for a goal kick.

Harriers knew they would benefit from the extra man advantage in the second half but they also had to acknowledge that it would be their turn to kick into a very strong gusty wind.
  HT: 0 - 0
Early in the second half a James McQuilkin corner was met by the head of Mike Williams.  His excellent effort was touched over the bar by the Alfreton number one and this was probably the closest Kidderminster had come at this stage to taking the lead.

With the wind at their backs the home side did create more opportunities in front of the Harriers goal but in truth they had few clear cut goal scoring chances.  As the game progressed good runs from Nick Wright and Jamille Matt produced half chances for the boys from Aggborough but either the home sides shot stopper or the side netting kept the visitors at bay.

As a result Steve Burr increased Harriers' attacking options.  Anthony Malbon, Callum Gittings and Steve Guinan came on in place of Tom Sharpe, Lee Hendrie and James McQuilkin.

Despite holding their own for much of the second half, and down to ten men, understandably Alfreton sat back in trying to secure a valuable point to assist them in their relegation battle.  However this tactic was probably their undoing as they sat back deeper and deeper in defending - ever closer to their own goal.

Just as the 199 Harriers fans thought they would be going home having witnessed a tedious nil nil draw, Dan Bradley dashed down the Alfreton right flank and crossed to find new boy Malbon who finished the move with aplomb.  He controlled the ball and shot from about fifteen yards out to beat the Alfreton goalkeeper.  A great finish to the move and to the normal period of play.  Malbon wasted no time in celebrating with the throng of visiting Harriers supporters who were crammed into a corner of the spacious terracing like battery hens.

Harriers have left it late to strike on a number of occasions this season and this time it was no exception.  Unlike the actions that might have ensued from other clubs there was no running down of the clock from the Kidderminster players, who now had the bit between their teeth.

Callum Gittings attacked again down Alfretons right side before passing inside to Steve Guinan.  He duly threaded the ball through to Jamille Matt who was sprinting forward in the area unmarked and the ace goal scorer made no mistake.  He had the straightforward task of burying the ball in the net which he duly completed with ease.

This was not the Harriers best display but nevertheless a successful seasons games come in all shapes and sizes.  The increased squad size is now paying dividends, providing greater options both in the starting line up and off the bench for Steve Burr and Gary Whild.

Given the conditions there were no real superstars for Harriers but again Mickey Demetriou probably stood out with his good judgment both in front of his own goal, when moving forward and also with his unstinting work rate.

There were a few unsavoury moments when Lee Hendrie was substituted amid some barracking from the home fans to which he retaliated somewhat.  It was very much six of one and half a dozen of the other but Hendrie ought to know better given his experience that he should not get involved.

The 'Impact Arena' is not the most welcoming of grounds for visiting players, fans and officials.
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Malbon 90, Matt 90+5

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gif Mickey Demetriou

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Alfreton Town  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Lowson     Breeden  
Law   Sharpe gif
Franklin   Demetriou  
Streete     Jones  
Young     Mike Williams  
Quinn     Storer
Mullan   McQuilkin gif  
J Moult gif     Bradley  
L Moult   Matt  
Jarman     Hendrie gif
Arnold gif     Wright  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
M Wilson     Lyness  
A Wilson gif     Guinan gif  
Franks     Malbon gif  
Clayton gif     Briscoe  
Clay     Gittings gif  

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