Harriers Online. The wonderful world of Kidderminster Harriers

Braintree Town 0 Harriers 1


Date: 17-08-13gif Venue: Amlin Stadiumgif att: 874gif away fans: 100 (est)
Harriers grab a late winner in Essex

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a dull, but dry August afternoon, Kidderminster Harriers paid a visit to the Amlin Stadium for their third game of the season in the Skrill Premier league.  Surprisingly for mid August, a few autumn leaves had already begun to blow onto the pitch during the warm up before kick off.  Nonetheless the Cressing Road ground had recovered really well over the summer.

Many will recall that by the end of April in the 2012/13 season, half of Clacton beach had been dumped on the pitch to improve the quagmire.  In order to avoid that happening later in the current season, the Braintree ground staff had already left a good layer of grass on the playing surface for this early season encounter but the ball still bobbled unkindly for the players on occasions throughout the game.

Braintree are in fact planning to move to a new 'out of town' facility in a couple of seasons' time and they are looking to sell the current stadium for housing development for a rumoured £9,000,000.

As a club Braintree had a very similar summer to the Aggborough outfit.  Not many changes to a solid team but those that had come in had helped in strengthening the squad.  Harriers, for their part, started with the same line up that had started the games against Gateshead and Alfreton.  There were though two changes on the bench as Joe Lolley and Jack Byrne were given the cover of the dugout in preference to Jamie Tolley and Dior Angus who were banished to mix with the mere mortals in the crowd.

Many Harriers supporters were still puzzled though by the lack of defensive cover on the bench especially after the signing of Jamie Grimes who is still to get a look in as far as the match day squad is concerned.  Another apparently disgruntled individual is Nathan Blissett who tweeted before the game: "Brilliant, might need a career change!" - presumably referring to the fact that he had failed to make the match day squad once more.

Anyhow, throughout the first half Harriers were dominant.  The first few minutes saw a good floated cross from Marvin Johnson, similar to the plethora he delivered in the midweek loss against Alfreton.  That was soon followed on four minutes by a shot by Lee Vaughan after Michael Gash and Callum Gittings had combined well.  However Vaughan's bullet was easily blocked by the Iron central defender Dean Wells - the man who acts as the Braintree manager's chauffeur as Alan Devonshire can't drive! (bit like Malbs needs then? Ed)

Then probably the best Harriers chance of the half fell to Kyle Storer.  Gash got to the bye line and crossed but the ball just eluded Storer as it flew across the goal.  As Harriers continued to pile on the pressure, Gash directed a firm header goal-ward from a Storer free kick but the ball again rebounded off the bar with Nathan MacDonald, the Iron keeper, beaten all ends up.

Around the half hour mark, Gash bent a free kick round the wall and, whilst the kick itself was always destined to go wide, Anthony Malbon was only inches short of latching onto the end of it.

Soon after, just before the break, Chey Dunkley sent a glancing header towards the far post but unfortunately it fell just wide.

At half time Harriers were disappointed not to have broken the deadlock and like Tuesday night, their dominance had not been reflected in the score line.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half was much more of an evenly contested affair.  A few minutes in and Mickey Demetriou mis-timed a tackle just outside the Harriers box and entered the referee's notebook as a reward for his lack of judgement.  Fortunately for the boys in red the home side made very little of the set piece opportunity.

Then on forty nine minutes Kenny Davis, the Iron captain who scored at Aggborough towards the end of last season to give Braintree the lead in that match, fired a powerful shot at the away sides goal but Danny Lewis was up to the task as he parried away firmly.

During the second period each team had their own spell when they were temporarily on top of the opposition however, whilst it would be unfair to say it was an un-entertaining affair, stout defending by both teams meant there were in fact very few clear cut goal scoring opportunities at either end.

Mid way through the second half Burr therefore threw on Jack Byrne and Joe Lolley as replacements for Callum Gittings and Marvin Johnson in order to try and change things round a bit.  It did little to help though and, on seventy seven minutes, a dangerously placed free kick came to nothing for Harriers.

Just as we all thought that both teams would have to settle for a point Lee Vaughan found himself near the corner flag in the Braintree half on the Harriers right in the eighty ninth minute.  Vaughan laid the ball back to Jack Byrne who was behind him in support and the creative midfielder delivered an exquisite cross right onto the head of Kyle Storer as the Harriers captain buried the ball into the back of the net from about ten yards out in the middle of the goal.

The joy for the Harriers players was self evident as they celebrated with relief.

In the first half despite a number of breaks in play due to injuries, much to everyone's surprise, the referee only added one minute of injury time.  In the second half he added four.

Not surprisingly the Reds sat back and Braintree had a couple of half chances as a result.  During one melee both captains, Storer and Davis, ended up getting cautioned due to scuffling in the penalty area whilst jostling for position before a home side corner.

By the final whistle the Carpetmen had done enough and the hundred or so travelling fans went away contented.  However, on the basis of the play in the second half, there was always the chance that the result could in fact have gone the other way.

In the first half Harriers were dominant because they played a passing game, moving forward with ease.  In the second half they seemed more intent on trying to beat the Iron on the break which unfortunately translated into a long ball, lazy type pattern of play.

Despite that fact, a result is a result and so it's now back to Aggborough to face Chester on Saturday with Harriers in sixth place in the league after three games.  They now have two wins and one loss - 6 points.
  FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Storer 89

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gif Kyle Storer

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Braintree Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
McDonald     Lewis  
Peters gif     L Vaughan  
Habergham     Demetriou
Isaac gif     Storer gif
Paine     Dunkley  
Massey     Gowling  
Wells   Gittings gif  
Davis   Fowler  
Marks     Gash  
Holman gif     Malbon gif  
Daley     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Hamann     N Vaughan  
Sparkes gif - 85     Lolley gif - 72  
Newman-Carney     Jackman gif - 86  
Symons gif - 70   Byrne gif - 72  
Enver-Marum gif - 90     Dance  

Mr C Lymer

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