Harriers 3 Cheltenham Town 1
The Harriers easily beat their old rivals from Gloucestershire on a warm and pleasant evening tonight. Cheltenham, managed by the former management duo at Aggborough, Mark Yates and Neil Howarth, put out a mixture of first teamers, youth and triallists with two former Reds; Keith Lowe and Billy Jones starting while Russ Penn was watching with the Harriers fans behind the goal.
The Harriers got off to a storming start and following a period of settling in Michael Gash should have opened the scoring in the twentieth minute but found himself easily bundled off the ball with the goal at his mercy. Lee Vaughan also had a chance to score with a superb run and shot that made the keeper, Roberts, work hard to keep out.
The opening goal came soon after following persistence from Mickey Demetriou, playing as an overlapping fullback as was Vaughan. Mickey played the ball back from the touchline to Callum Gittings and he didn't miss the target with a well struck ball from fifteen yards out.
Cheltenham equalised almost immediately through rookie winger Zack Kotwica after he headed home Joe Hanks tempting cross.
The Harriers continued to press their higher placed opponents with Gash this time taking advantage of slack defending to lash in a shot that the keeper got down well to.
The half ended all square and so far had been a decent spectacle for the Harriers fans.
HT: Harriers 1 Cheltenham Town 1
Two changes were made after the break with Danny Lewis making way for Nathan Vaughan while Anthony Malbon, who had a cracking first half, made way for Marvin Johnson.
Lee Vaughan was the first to try his luck this half when he burst through the midfield and let go a rocket of a shot that went straight at the keeper. Cheltenham made a few ineffective changes with Callum Morris and Emmitt Delfouneso coming on at the expense of Jermaine McGlashan and Edward Williams.
The Harriers regained the lead just after the change when Marvin Johnson turned Keith Lowe inside out and, reaching the bye line, sent over a superbly weighted ball for Gash to hammer home.
Steve Burr made a raft of changes soon after with Jack Byrne, Jamie Tolley, Dior Angus and Ryan Rowe coming on for Kyle Storer, Callum Gittings, James dance and Michael Gash in that order. It was Rowe that was to seal the game for the hosts.
First Demetriou strode through the middle of the park to send a powerful shot in and then a few minutes later Rowe capitalised on a rebound to return the ball back in with interest.
The final whistle blew soon after.
Lewis, (N Vaughan 46), L Vaughan, Gowling (T Williams 84), Dunkley (Grimes 75), Demetriou, Fowler, Storer (Byrne 67), Gittings (Tolley 67), Malbon (Johnson 46), Gash (Rowe 67), Dance (Angus 67).
Roberts, Hanks (H Williams 81), O'Donnell, Lowe, Jones, McGlashan (Delfounese 58), Taylor, E Williams (Morris 58), Vincent, Kotwica, Harrison.
Subs not used:
Rivers, Bowen, Hamilton, Keightley, Dale.
Referee: M Amphlett.
Att: 838 (124)