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Dartford 1 Harriers 0

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Date: 25-08-12gif Venue: Princes Parkgif att: 1068gif away fans: 80 est
Harriers still not off the oche

gif Report by Centreforeword
A pleasantly warm, but potentially thundery, afternoon greeted Kidderminster Harriers trip to Dartford for this bottom of the table clash in the Blue Square Premier season.

Steve Burr was still concerned about Steve Guinan's fitness and so he was not included in the starting line up, nor on the bench.  Club captain Exodus Geohagon was also notably absent but it became apparent from an interview after the game with Steve Burr that the defender had received an improved offer from Mansfield.  Cheyenne Dunkley therefore featured from the kick off.

Of course Lee Vaughan was serving the last game of his four match ban for being sent off in the final game of the 11/12 season - the three nil home defeat to Mansfield Town - and so instead he was commentating for BBC Hereford and Worcester.  Again Keith Briggs was at right back - this time in possession of the captain's arm band.

Early doors there was a number of chances on the home side's goal.  A typical driving run from Jack Byrne gave the midfielder a double opportunity with one chance saved well by the Dartford goalkeeper, Marcus Bettinelli (on a free loan from Fulham), and another was well blocked by the defence.  In following up Ryan Rowe laid it off to Marvin Johnson but the winger saw his own shot charged down in a similar fashion by the Dartford back line.

In a game where the play was pretty even, Harriers often won the ball in midfield and on seventeen minutes James Vincent tried his luck from the edge of the area but his well-taken effort was pushed away well by Bettinelli with an excellent save.  The Dartford shot stopper overall had an excellent game and was a significant factor in eventually securing the points for the Kent side.

At the other end the Dartford forwards controlled the ball well and always looked pacey and threatening.

On twenty two minutes Anthony Malbon's header was just wide and Ryan Austin then smashed a volley into a defender on the edge of the area after another neat move had forced a corner.

Dartford opened the scoring on thirty seven minutes.  A well paced corner was powered into the net by substitute Lee Burns, on for the injured Adam Green, who created enough room in the area to get onto the end of the excellent delivery.  A similar goal to the one Harriers conceded away to Gateshead the previous season.

With just over a minute to the break Dartford's Harry Crawford volleyed a lofted pass towards goal.  In doing so he almost made it 2-0 as it proved to be a good test for the hands of Danny Lewis.  At the other end Johnson saw another rising effort seer just wide.
  HT: 1 - 0
The Harriers manager, Steve Burr took decisive action at the start of the second half with Mickey Demetriou and Nathan Blissett coming on for Keith Briggs and the out of sorts Anthony Malbon.  It looks like Malbon has still not fully recovered from his recent chest infection.

The changes succeeded in immediately upping the tempo with Demetriou, Byrne and Vincent chasing everything down and for a short while Harriers dominated, especially in midfield.  About ten minutes into the second period Danny Lewis had to be on his guard when Ryan Hayes delivered a fine ball that he just managed to get a hand to with Danny Harris hovering.

On fifty eight minutes Danny Pilkington came on for Marvin Johnson who hadn't been playing too badly but the need to shuffle things around was clearly required.  Shortly afterwards Harriers, and their travelling supporters, thought they had levelled the scores.

Ryan Rowe slid the ball into the back of the net at the far post from a Blissett ball across goal but it was ruled out for offside.

Dartford were still pressing for a second goal and Lewis did well to keep the scores level when he got a fist to the unmarked Crawford's far post header to push the ball wide for a corner.

A miserable afternoon for the Harriers was rounded off in the eighty fourth minute when Jack Byrne had to be carried off by the medics.  In midfield, on his own, stretching for the ball, he seemed to catch his studs in the damp turf and he ended up rupturing his Achilles heel.

Now a man down, Harriers still pushed for a late equaliser.  Nevertheless, notwithstanding some late pressure, they could not find a way through.

In summary, some might argue that a draw would probably have been a fair result.  Both teams had plenty of chances but Dartford often looked more threatening and Harriers on occasions lacked that good delivery into the box and that cutting edge in front of goal.

Surely the boys from Aggborough can pick up a point or two soon?
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Dartford: Burns 37


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Dartford  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Bettinelli     Lewis  
Rose     Briggs gif  
Green gif     Williams  
Champion     Austin  
Rogers     Dunkley  
Bonner     Vincent  
Hayes gif     Shakes  
Arber     Byrne  
Crawford     Rowe  
Bradbrook     Malbon gif  
Harris     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Wallis     N Vaughan  
Noble gif     Demetriou gif  
Collier     Storer  
Burns gif gif   Blissett gif  
Erskine     Pilkington gif  

REFEREE:
Mr G Horwood
Bedfordshire




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