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Harriers 2 Braintree Town 1


Date: 30-03-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2266gif away fans: 37
Marvelous Marvin changes the game

gif Report by Arno Bryant
Kidderminster Harriers, the Barcelona of the Blue Square Premier according to the Daily Mail, ground out a win after coming from behind against Braintree Town today.  The win saw them bounce back from Tuesdays disappointing home draw with Woking but the performance was no better.

Despite a much improved looking pitch at Aggborough the home side failed to hit the ground running with Braintree taking advantage of erratic passing to dominate the early proceedings.  Too many high balls were being played and with our midfield being something on the short side we were never going to get very far.

Despite this Braintree offered very little in terms of attacking potency - leading to probably the most boring half of football since the start of this crazy run.

The game drifted by with our only attempt on the Braintree goal coming via a weak daisy cutter from Anthony Malbon that went well wide of the mark.  Just as everyone had become content with writing the first half off as a '0-0 mis-start' Braintree got a surprise goal.  Sub Dan Sparkes, on for Sam Habergham early on, found a Braintree head with his corner.  To be precise the head of Kenny Davis who nodded past a poorly positioned Danny Lewis.

Spurred into action the Harriers came close to that elusive first shot on target just before the end of the first period.  Malbon broke into the Braintree penalty area with space but his shot curled agonisingly past the post.
  HT: 0 - 1
Harriers finally showed some, albeit small, signs of life as the second half begun.  A Kyle Storer shot made sure the Braintree keeper,Nathan McDonald, was on his toes with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area.  Soon after Danny Pilkington and Josh Gowling both kept up the Harriers pressure as they saw efforts trail wide.

The game was crying out for a Harriers substitution if we had any hope of getting back into the game.  On fifty eight minutes that came with the game changer in the shape of an out of form Marvin Johnson coming on as a sub for Danny Jackman.

Marvelous Marvins impact was immediate and two minutes later the home side were level.

James Vincent won the ball strongly in midfield before setting Johnson loose down the wing.  Marvin then charged into the area before slotting the ball across the keeper for Malbon to finish off.

The goal woke up both players and support and just three minutes later the Carpetmen were ahead.

Malbon opened up space on the wing to fire in a cross that sliced off the Braintree fullback, Dean Wells attempted clearance to find the back of his own net.  Soon after Johnson could have made it three himself as he stormed though the Braintree back four but could only fire wide.

Following that the match returned to its previous lifeless state as the home side watched the game out to go within a point of securing their place in the playoffs.

A tough game to write about, with about as much content as the game itself, but which keeps the glimpse of becoming champions alive.  Mansfield must stop winning eventually... right?
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Malbon 60, Wells 63 (og)
 Goal for Braintree: Davis 44

Arno's MotM is:

gif James Vincent

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers returned to winning ways with a Marvin Johnson inspired comeback at Aggborough this afternoon.  A turgid, uninspiring first half performance saw the home side a goal down at the break, and the poor performance looked to continue until the introduction of the former Romulus man.

The Harriers side had one change from the 2-2 draw on Tuesday night against Woking, with Danny Pilkington starting in place of Johnson.  Braintree's side included newly re-signed Ben Wright leading the attack for the Iron, and it was he who had the first chance as he cut inside from the left wing, fizzing a shot at goal which hit the side netting.

The Harriers attacking endeavours were limited to long hopeless diagonal balls forward, with a continual rush to get forward the ball meaning possession was often wasted.  They were crying out for an experienced head to put their foot on the ball but this was found to be lacking.

This was in stark comparison to Braintree who had put together a slick, short-passing game and making the most out of the Harriers pitch, in supreme condition despite the weather of late.

Braintree eventually broke the deadlock when a corner was swung over from the right by Dan Sparkes and met by Kenny Davis who netted to send the away side a goal to the good at half time.  With Mansfield and Tamworth drawing the Harriers needed a reaction to stop 'the Stags' from catching up.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half did see Harriers come out with a bit more impetus in their play, but the long diagonal balls were still yet to find their mark.  Lee Vaughan, usually a creative live wire was having a poor game, the ball seemingly bouncing off him in the wrong direction every time he got on it.  A volley blazed twenty yards over and twenty yards from the goal was case and point of this.

We then saw the introduction of Marvin Johnson for Danny Pilkington and immediately he changed the game.  He was willing to run at defenders, take the ball past them, and try something a bit different.  Two minutes later he had set up a goal for Harriers hitman Anthony Malbon.

The ball was played forward and received by James Vincent with his back to goal and he then played Johnson in on the left wing.  The winger advanced on goal, hit a shot towards the bottom corner that Malbon smashed home to level the game.

Another two minutes saw Malbon turn provider.  He got the ball on the right wing and fired a ball across goal but a defensive mis-communication between defender Dean Wells and keeper Nathan McDonald ended up with the ball in the net.  Wells got his toe on the ball, while off balance and poked the ball past McDonald into the goal to give Kidderminster Harriers the lead.

Following that the ball was constantly given to Johnson, who was willing to try and beat his man time and time again, winning a corner after a shot from the same position from where he set-up the first goal.

Braintree did have a series of corners that were defended, and a free-kick by Ben Wright was well saved by Danny Lewis but we somehow managed to hold on for the three points.

Mansfield won at Tamworth with a Luke Jones second half goal which means the win for the Harriers was all the more important today.  We face Luton Town on Easter Monday, at Kenilworth Road, a venue where Kidderminster are yet to win.  If they do it may be a stepping stone on the yellow-brick road to the Football League.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Malbon 60, Wells 63 (og)
 Goal for Braintree: Davis 44

Harrys MotM is:

gif Marvin Johnson

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Braintree Town  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     McDonald  
L Vaughan     Wells gif og  
Demetriou     Habergham gif  
Storer     Watts  
Dunkley     Paine
Gowling     Smith
Jackman gif     Daley gif  
Vincent     Davis gif  
Gash     Wright  
Malbon gif     Woodyard  
Pilkington gif     Sheppard gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Naisbitt  
Johnson gif     Symons gif  
Rowe     Sparkes gif  
Briggs     Wickham  
Gittings gif     Cox gif  

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