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Stockport County 2 Harriers 1

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Date: 28-01-12gif Venue: Edgeley Parkgif att: 3728gif away fans: 195
Harriers fall to defeat at struggling Stockport

gifReport by Centreforeword
On a fair winter's afternoon, Kidderminster Harriers visited Edgeley Park and Stockport County FC for this Blue Square Premier clash.  It was the first trip for many Harriers fans to this former Championship ground which doubles up as home to Rugby Union Premiership side Sale Sharks.  Much to everyone's relie, the match had survived an early morning pitch inspection arranged due to fear of waterlogging in the centre circle.

The Harriers line up was the same as the preceding fixture against York City except Callum Gittings replaced Dave Hankin with a starting berth.  The Worcestershire team began the brighter of the two sides with Lee Hendrie nearly handing Harriers the lead straight from the get go.  He didn't connect properly with his low drilled shot and the home teams 18-year-old keeper Ian Ormson dived to his right and got a hand to the ball to pull off a good save.

The game continued in a similar vein.  The visitors looked capable of trouncing their dejected opponents at will and Wright was just offside when he raced onto Kyle Storers through ball.  Jamille Matt then sprinted towards goal but was stopped in his tracks by some last ditch defending.

The hosts had not threatened at all but took advantage of some static Harriers central defending in the 21st minute.  Sean McConville controlled a long goal-kick and ran clear leaving the defence trailing.  He proceeded to finish with a low, well positioned shot past Tony Breeden.

The goal gave the home side a sudden burst of self belief as they now, in turn, began to pressurise the boys in red.

Worse was to follow for Harriers on the half hour when their longest serving player, Tom Sharpe, went down awkwardly in a challenge and sustained what looked like a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for much of the 2010/11 season.  With no defenders on the bench for this game, and Michael Briscoe watching in the stands, Sharpe was replaced by Dave Hankin in the unfamiliar position of right back.  Meanwhile Tom was unfortunately carried off on a stretcher to be assessed in Stepping Hill Hospital.

Late in the first half the away side forced several corners but nothing came from them and Nick Wright also saw a wild shot fly over the bar.

Having dominated for the first twenty minutes, and the match pretty even thereafter, Kidderminster went into the dressing room at half time feeling a trifle unlucky.
  HT: 1 - 0
The Harriers manager Steve Burr decided to inject some potency into his team at the start of the second half as Anthony Malbon replaced Dan Bradley but unfortunately Harriers found themselves 2-0 down after 55 minutes.

Danny L Rowe picked up the ball from Euan Holden before turning and setting himself for a low, powerful drive from 20 yards which Breeden could only palm into the corner.  The Hatters' joy was short-lived however, as straight from the kick-off Kidderminster pulled a goal back.
Lee Hendrie set up Wright and his shot was deflected on its path into the net by Danny O'Donnell past a stranded Ormson.

Even though the goal should have given us hope we still struggled to repeat our recent results.  County substitute Martin Gritton could have made it 3-1 but he headed wide from a Andy Halls cross and then McConville blasted over Harriers' bar after a raid down the right flank.

As the game opened up both County and Harriers had chances to add to their tallies.  First Lee Hendrie fired over from about ten yards out with the goal gaping after great work down the inside left flank by Jamille Matt.  All that he had to do was keep his head over the ball to easily convert the opportunity but he failed to do so.

Then Jon Nolan found himself with just the Harriers keeper to beat but Breeden pulled off a great one on one save.

Unlike in previous weeks there was to be no late flourish this time from the Aggborough outfit.  In fact much of the action in the closing stages was played out in the visitors' half of the field.
When the final whistle arrived an almighty cheer went up from the home faithful as they enjoyed their first win for a number of weeks.

Overall, apart from the first twenty minutes, the Harriers performance was mediocre.  They seemed to lack width and incisiveness but had an early goal gone in then one feels that it would have been a very different story and we could have been looking at a wide margin in Harriers favour.
However that was not to be.  Jamille Matt again looked isolated to begin with up front and the Stockport defence easily kept any attacks down their wings at bay.  County also looked dangerous themselves when on the attack.

There were some positive points for Kidderminster.  Anthony Malbon looks lively and creates problems for opposition defences in spite of his stocky Wayne Rooney type frame.  Also Kyle Storer finally seems to be getting to grips with the pace of play at BSP level and marshalled the midfield well at times.

Prior to the last round of the FA Trophy Harriers lost 2-1 away to Gateshead.  They then went on to beat Droylsden 5-1 so let's hope that feat can be repeated next Saturday against Luton.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Stockport: McConville 21, D L Rowe 55,
 Goal for Harriers: Wright 56


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Stockport County  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Ormson     Breeden  
Halls     Sharpe gif  
Holden     Demetriou  
Piergianni     Jones
O'Donnell     Mike Williams  
D L Rowe     Storer  
McConville gif     Gittings  
Connor     Hendrie  
Mainwaring gif     Matt  
Turnbull     Bradley gif  
Elliott gif     Wright gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Gleeson     Lyness  
Nolan gif     Hankin gif  
Cole gif     McQuilkin gif  
Gritton gif     Guinan  
D M Rowe     Malbon gif  

REFEREE:
Mr J Simpson
Lancashire




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