The Harriers upset the form book today when they surprisingly suffered a heavy defeat at struggling Dartford. Following our 3-0 win at Tamworth on Tuesday the last thing we were expecting to see was the same scoreline a few days later but not in our favour.
On Tuesday we were without one of our defensive rocks when Josh Gowling dropped out injured. Today he returned to the side but his partner Chey Dunkley was the one to phone in sick with a knee injury. Jamie Grimes remained but Gowling took over the Dunkley position.
Also missing from the Tamworth win was Kyle Storer and Jack Byrne took his place while Amari Morgan-Smith also called in sick meaning that Nathan Blissett and Joe Lolley made the bench.
Dartford had been struggling for points this season and had been hovering near the bottom of the league before todays game but that was to change by the ninetieth minute. Within minutes of the off we could have been down to ten men when Lee Vaughan was lucky not to receive a red card, just a yellow, following a retaliation on Lee Noble after the Darts striker made a meal of Lee's challenge.
That incident set the scene for the remainder of the game with the Harriers defence on edge waiting for Vaughan to pick up another yellow. That never came but the referee seemed eager to penalise the Harriers every chance he got during the first half.
Dartford created the first chance of the game when Elliot Bradbrook played in Jason Prior on the edge of the area but his wayward shot went beyond the far post. We had a couple of chances to get on the scoresheet through Michael Gash when his shot was cleared off the line and Anthony Malbon who saw his shot well saved by the former Stevenage keeper, Alan Julian.
With ten minutes to go before the halftime whistle the Harriers went a goal down.
A defensive mix up between Jamie Grimes and Nathan Vaughan allowed Jason Prior to nip in and tap the ball home via a deflection off Lee Vaughan. The goal spurred the Harriers into action and we came close to an equaliser when Gash sent a header over the bar while Jack Byrnes shot was well saved by Julian.
The Harriers went into the break a goal down and struggling to regain the form of recent weeks.