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Alfreton Town 3 Harriers 1


Date: 13-08-13gif Venue: Impact Arenagif att: 722gif away fans: 175 (est)
Harriers tentative approach proves costly

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a dry, but cool August evening, Kidderminster Harriers paid a visit to the Impact Arena for this important tie in the Skrill Premier league against Alfreton Town.  As always the arena does have an impact on the attendant spectators but not necessarily the right sort of impact.

Harriers, coming off the back of a first day win against Gateshead, started with the same team and with the same subs on the bench but sporting their new purple and amber away strip.

Both teams started the game in a lively fashion.  After six minutes Anthony Malbon struck a half volley following a flick on from Michael Gash but the ball was well held by the home team's goalkeeper - Ross Atkins.

Then after eleven minutes Alfreton struck.  An in-swinging corner was misjudged at the near post by Josh Gowling and the former Harrier Dan Bradley pounced to steer home.  1-0 Alfreton.  Unfortunately, following his clash with Chey Dunkley in the game against Gateshead at the weekend, Gowling wasn't really himself for large parts of the evening, incurring a number of unforced errors.

Harriers were not immediately deterred and after eighteen minutes they sought to level the scores.  A great ball in from the left from Marvin Johnson found Malbon in front of goal adjacent to the penalty spot, but his deflected goal-ward flick was well saved once more by Atkins.

Town did not really attempt to man mark Marvin Johnson at all in the first half but instead allowed him to roam and receive the ball often unchallenged.  He, and Mickey Demetriou to a slightly lesser extent, delivered some great balls into the box from the left.  However, unfortunately for Harriers, Gash and Malbon in contrast to the opening day of the season, seemed a touch tentative and held back, struggling in many cases to latch on to the end of the well placed crosses.

When twenty one minutes had elapsed a powerful shot was lashed goalward by another ex Harrier.  This time it was Tom Shaw who had arrived at Alfreton via Cambridge United, but Danny Lewis saved well.  In turn Kyle Storer sent a pile driver towards the home teams goal after twenty five minutes with the visiting captain's effort rattling the crossbar.

Shortly after Callum Gittings had been booked for a lunging tackle, on thirty eight minutes a great one two between Gash and Johnson followed with Johnson skewing his final shot just wide using his wrong foot - his right - when it looked certain that he would score.

The half ended with Harriers counting themselves unlucky to be going in one nil down.
  HT: 1 - 0
The Harriers started the second half with James Dance coming on in place of Gittings.  In one of the final pieces of action of the first half, Gittings executed another lunging tackle on John McGrath and was quite lucky not to receive another yellow resulting in him being sent off.  No doubt Steve Burr decided the sensible thing was to replace Gittings to remove any chance of that happening at any point during the second period.

Unfortunately for the Worcestershire side, Dance though had little impact and Johnson was much better marked by the hosts in the second period.

A few minutes after the break and chances went begging at both ends.  Firstly Gash narrowly headed over at the far post and then at the other end John Akinde left Gowling behind and crossed for Bradley who could only fire over the bar.

Soon after though it was all too easy for the home side.  Paul Clayton teed up Tom Shaw who slotted in for Alfretons' second.  It was clearly now going to be an uphill task if Harriers were to salvage anything.

Then another Carpetmen chance went begging with another Johnson cross met by Gash on fifty six minutes and again the ball inched wide.

Following a clash with a couple of Alfreton defenders Malbon went down on sixty one minutes with what initially looked like a potentially serious injury.  As a precaution Burr and Gary Whild brought on Dior Angus to replace Malbon but it subsequently transpired that thankfully the injury wasn't as bad as first thought.

Nonetheless, Alfreton proceeded to deliver the killer blow.  Breaking forward it was Bradley again who unleashed a blistering shot from twenty five yards leaving Lewis with no chance on seventy minutes.  Three nil Alfreton.

The Aggborough outfit were clearly becoming frantic and desperate to try and get back into the game.  In the final twenty minutes, plus stoppage time, they managed to enjoy what proved to be a wonderful consolation goal.

Passing the ball from foot to foot from the goalkeeper Lewis right the length of the pitch the ball finally fell to captain Kyle Storer who buried the ball with aplomb on seventy nine minutes.

As the game drew to a close the players were camped in the home sides half with many a desperate clearance ending up in the car park or nearby housing estate.  However, Alfreton never really looked like conceding further.  In truth the sides were pretty even on the night with Harriers probably slightly edging it.

The difference between the teams came down to confidence and clinical finishing in front of goal.  Alfreton were decisive, Harriers tentative.

Let's hope that changes for Kidderminsters visit to Braintree this coming Saturday.

The only positive result for the evening as far as your dedicated reporter is concerned is that he won the 50-50 draw.  £91.50 - get in !!
  FT: 3 - 1

 Goals for Alfreton: Bradley 11, 70, Shaw 51
 Goal for Harriers: Storer 79

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Alfreton Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Atkins     Lewis  
Wood   L Vaughan  
Franklin     Demetriou  
Westwood     Storer gif  
Fenton     Dunkley  
McGrath     Gowling  
Law     Gittings gif
Shaw gif     Fowler  
Clayton     Gash  
Bradley gif     Malbon gif  
Akinde     Johnson  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Kempson     N Vaughan  
Meadows     Byrne  
Wishart     Tolley  
Taylor     Angus gif - 62  
Ramsey-Dickson     Dance gif - 46  

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