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Harriers 6 Kettering Town 1

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Date: 14-04-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1967gif away fans: 53
Harriers give Kettering a Klattering

gif Report by Harry Taylor
The must win games are coming thick and fast now for Kidderminster Harriers as they entertained already relegated Conference stalwarts Kettering Town at Aggborough.  'The Poppies' had already stopped the Harriers getting into the play-offs three seasons ago under Mark Yates but the current Kettering outfit was worlds away from the formidable side with the likes of Guy Branston at the heart of their defence, yet despite their financial troubles this term they still had some recognisable Conference names in their ranks.

Ex Rushden & Diamonds man Marcus Kelly skippered the side and former Stevenage hitman David Bridges also starred.  For the Harriers as expected Nick Wright started but strangely in place of Marvin Johnson who had a good game on Easter Monday, presumably he is being rested for the massive clash at Luton on Saturday.  Aside from that it was an unchanged line-up for the Harriers in a massive game in their bid to get into the play-offs for the first time in their history.

Despite the apparent gulf between the sides on paper Kettering arguably had the better of the first half.  It was Charlie Wyke who was the first to worry the goal of Tony Breeden, following a mis-control of Tom Marshall.  Wyke nipped in and shot across goal but unfortunately for him it went wide of the far post too in a moment that had hearts in the mouths of Harriers fans.

The Reds responded with what looked to be a legitimate claim to a goal.  Our young hit-man, Anthony Malbon, headed in a cross from Steve Guinan, out wide right, into the top-left of Laurie Walkers goal but the assistant linesman on the Main Stand side adjudged him to have pushed the Kettering centre half.  No offence to Malbon, but if a Kettering centre back is letting someone of Malbon's stature bully them then they need to look at themselves.

Direct from that ruled out goal Ben Ford notched an unlikely opener for Kettering Town.  The free kick sent Kettering surging forward and Wyke's shot was pushed away by Breeden but Ben Ford was on hand to grab an unlikely lead for Kettering, and proceeded to follow in the footsteps of Sam Foley last week and celebrate in front of the Town End.

No real idea why he did so, considering we've never heard of him before and unlikely to hear of him again if his attitude is such that he tries to wind up opposition fans who have no previous gripe against him.

However their lead didn't last too long as five minutes later the Harriers were level with another Nick Wright goal.  Malbon was tripped in the area by Jerel Ifil and last weeks hero proceeded to step up and hit the shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Dave Hankin subsequently had a rasping drive saved by Walker following a Kyle Storer pass but, aside from that, Harriers struggled to threaten the visitors goal.

Half time arrived and Kettering had belied their league position and looked a serious threat and possible banana skin to the Harriers.  Another late goal-run looked to be the only answer if we wanted to get all three points following the poor first-half performance.
  HT: 1 - 1
The second half arrived and within ten minutes of the restart Kidderminster had the lead.  A great long, driven through ball by Hankin found the rapid Wright on the left side of goal who then sprinted past Max York as though he wasn't there.  He surged into the area and put the ball into the bottom right corner to give Harriers the lead and officially open the floodgates.

The goalscorer was then subbed with a minor injury and what followed meant he could've scored two hat-tricks in as many games, something that I'm sure would've made national press once again.  Micky Demetriou came on in his place, this was following the earlier introduction of Ryan Rowe for a poor Steve Guinan who struggled to get a foothold on the game.

Within a minute of Demetriou's introduction the Harriers had netted another goal.  Rowe ran into the area in the same way that Wright had done twenty minutes earlier but this time passing the ball across goal bypassing two Kettering defenders and, once he had found his feet, Anthony Malbon put the ball into the net to make the game safe.

The game then seemed to descend into something like a friendly or a training exercise as Kettering seemed to give up and the goals seemed to fly in.

A mere two minutes later a free kick was won on the edge of the area, Ifil getting booked in the process and was unlucky not to get sent off for repetitive fouling including having Rowe by the throat at a corner.  Kyle Storer, who has often been criticised for his dead-ball delivery this season, stepped up and put a great ball in from a free kick and Rowe rose to head the ball past Walker.  A good header for someone of Rowe's stature and he seems as though he could be the natural successor to Guinan next season if we are still in the Conference.

Then, as the final ten minutes came and went, Storer once again put a free-kick into the area and this time it was Luke Jones who rose and met it with the ball going diagonally across goal into the top right of the goal.  A fantastic header in an otherwise unsteady game for the Harriers centre back.

As the final whistle approached it was a foregone conclusion who would be getting the points but yet the Harriers still came forward and carved Kettering open at will.  A minute from time Rowe and Demetriou combined to set up Mike Williams who had appeared out of nowhere at the far right post to nod the ball into the corner for his first goal of the season.

This was a fantastic result for the Harriers, and a crucial one, as clubs around us dropped points today which makes the Luton game next Saturday all the more important and could be the clincher.

My personal preference for Man of the Match (although there are many contenders today) was Nick Wright.  He has clearly taken confidence from his hat-trick last weekend and continued today with two fantastic goal, great spreading of the play across the pitch at times from flank to flank, and took the ball on well.  He's our top-scorer now and has notched his fifth goal in two games.  Fantastic, and hopefully people are starting to sit up and take notice that he is a viable choice to play up front.
  FT: 6 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: N Wright (pen) 25, 54, Malbon 72, Rowe 74, Jones 82, Mike Williams 89
 Goal for Kettering: Ford 19


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Nick Wright



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Harriers  subs   cards      Kettering Town  subs   cards 
Breeden     Walker  
L Vaughan     Westwood  
Mike Williams     Raith  
Jones     Bridges  
Marshall     York  
Storer     J Ifil
Hankin     Ford  
Vincent     Mills gif  
Guinan gif     Wyke gif  
Malbon gif     Gray  
N Wright gif     Kelly  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Navarro  
Rowe gif     Noubissie  
Bradley gif     Joyce gif  
Gittings     Petranyuk gif  
Demetriou gif        

REFEREE:
Mr K Johnson
Weston super Mare




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