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.