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.