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Harriers 1 Dartford FC 2


Date: 21-01-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1580gif away fans: 14
Harriers dumped by the Darts

gif Report by Richard Cranium
Andy Thorn suffered his first defeat as Kidderminster manager when his team slipped to a poor defeat against an out-of-form Dartford at a rain soaked Aggborough this evening.

After the heroics of last week when we upset the odds and beat Peterborough 3-2, The Harriers players looked as though they were saving themselves for bigger things with the small matter of an FA Cup 4th Round away to Premier League opposition on Saturday.  The team lined up with the same team that faced Peterborough, save for the enforced change of Marvin Johnson in for the departed Joe Lolley.  On the bench were both of our newest signings, Adrian Cieslewicz and Santiago Aloi, after they had both been cleared to play.

In cold, wet and windy conditions, the match was one to forget for Harriers fans with little action throughout the ninety minutes.  Harriers found themselves behind inside three minutes when Max Cornhill headed in the first real chance of the evening from a cross.  The visitors had chance to double their lead soon after when the Harriers goalkeeper Danny Lewis, who it has to be said had a poor first forty five, flapped at a ball into the box that fell at the feet of Dartford's Jim Stevenson, but his shot missed the target.

Injury worries followed after when Josh Gowling was clattered by a Dartford player into the perimeter hoardings and required the physio but he was soon back onto the field, however he was unable to prevent a second Dartford goal minutes later.  Danny Lewis spilled a routine save and his scramble to reclaim the ball was not quick enough to prevent Andy Pugh placing the ball into the net.

After a few shots which were blocked or missed the target, Harriers' first real chance of note came when Jack Byrne raced for a loose ball in the Dartford area but Alan Julian, the Dartford keeper, was able to claim the ball first but got caught by Jack Byrne's trailing leg for his troubles.  Late into the half Dartford could have had a three goal advantage after hitting the post with one shot and forcing Danny Lewis into a good save using his legs with another.

Harriers mustered the effort to try to nick a goal back before halftime when a long Lee Fowler shot dipped, swerved and caused trouble for Julian between the Dartford sticks, but he made a good save.

Harriers thought they had a penalty when a handball, which definitely looked to be inside the box, was given as a free-kick outside the area despite the linesman appearing to flag for a penalty.  The resulting Michael Gash free kick avoided the wall, and the target, as the ball headed wide and half time was called.
  HT: 0 - 2
Harriers came out for the second period with a little more purpose but still fell short of their usual standards.  After a few early chances from crosses Michael Gash was able to scramble a Lee Vaughan cross over the line to score Harriers' only goal.

The Reds then enjoyed much more of the ball than they had in the first half and had some chances but these mostly came from set pieces which were largely wasted.  New signing Adrian Cieslewicz came on in place of Amari Morgan-Smith midway through the half and showed some good signs early into his Harriers career, offering pace to get past his man, putting some good crosses in and winning a couple of corners.

Harriers captain Kyle Storer then seemed to have injured himself ahead of Saturday's biggest game in years, after needlessly throwing himself into a tackle, but after a prolonged session with the physio he hobbled back on and was able to complete the match.

The Harriers' new Argentinian signing, Santiago Aloi, followed Anthony Malbon off the subs bench for his first minutes at Aggborough but neither was able to make an impact on the scoreline.

With time running down Dartford naturally put eleven men behind the ball and began to time waste.  A good chance for an equaliser was squandered when Jack Byrne hooked a shot wide from around nineteen yards out and a second penalty shout was denied when Cieslewicz was brought down in the area.  A late corner sparked panic on the goal line for Dartford but they were able to hold firm and secure a valuable three points in their fight against relegation.

That was a poor day for the Reds and hopefully we'll see a return to the team we know at Sunderland.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Harriers: Gash 49
 Goals for Dartford: Cornhill 3, Pugh 23

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Dartford FC  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Julian
L Vaughan     McAuley  
Jackman     Mitchell-King  
Storer   Sterling  
Demetriou     Woodyard  
Gowling     Cornhill gif  
Byrne     Stevenson  
Fowler gif     Burns  
Gash gif     Pugh gif  
Morgan-Smith gif     Bradbrook  
Johnson gif     Wall gif
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Swallow  
Malbon gif - 68     Monger  
Dunkley     Hill  
Cieselwicz gif - 60     Kamara gif - 82  
Aloi gif - 83        

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