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Harriers 3 Gateshead 1

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Date: 10-08-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2110gif away fans: 76
Harriers open with a winner

gif Report by Harry Taylor
In one game Kidderminster Harriers have picked up as many points as they did in eight fixtures at the start of last season, seeing off a resilient Gateshead 3-1 on the opening day.

Lee Fowler was the only debutant in the starting line-up and gave a virtuoso first half performance to greet the home fans for the first time in a competitive fixture.  Time and time again he sat deep and showed more nous than a lot of the Harriers midfield last season playing clever pass after clever pass.

Within fifteen minutes of the start of the match the Harriers had taken the lead.  A Marvin Johnson corner from the left was met by a Michael Gash glancing header at the near post into the far corner to get Harriers' goalscoring underway.  A well taken goal by the Conference hitman.

Harriers had subsequent chance after chance as they dominated the first half in possession, seldom giving Gateshead a look in until the fortieth minute.  Anthony Malbon had Kidderminster fans celebrating with a shot that hit the side netting and Gash forced a typically superb save from former Harriers goalkeeper Adam Bartlett when his shot threatened to curl into the top right corner.

However the home sides failure to turn possession into goals came back to bite them on the nether regions as Gateshead equalised just before half time.

Richard Brodie, who was getting a fair amount of stick from the Town End, making the most of a defensive mis-communication to get a tap-in to continue his impressive goalscoring recording at this level.
  HT: 1 - 1
The set back along with the late pressure from Gateshead unnerved the home side, not settling comfortably in possession until around ten minutes into the second half, as they started to hit aimless balls forward towards Gash who was well marshalled by the Heeds experienced center back Ben Clark.

As they did began to settle down superb play by skipper Kyle Storer gave them the lead again.  He received the ball on the right side of the area, cut in and rode two challenges before timing his rolled ball across the face of goal to Callum Gittings whose shot hit a bobble before beating Bartlett.  A justified goal for an industrious performance from one of Harriers' current longest serving players.

There was a moment of worry for us when Josh Gowling went down holding his face during a melee in front of Danny Lewis' goal.  A long stop in play occurred as he was treated by both teams physios and he eventually walked off holding a swab to his nose.  Jack Byrne was getting ready to replace him until Josh signalled he was ok and returned to the fray.

Later news suggests that he has a broken nose and may miss the Tuesday evening trip to Alfreton.

Soon after Lee Vaughan was caught by an unfortunately timed challenge from former loanee Adam Boyes, who was lucky to escape with just a yellow card.  Lee Fowler ended up being the first Harrier to enter the book this season with an equally risky challenge on James Brown.

Dior Angus was then introduced for his home debut and Jack Byrne returned to the side for the first time, nearly a year to the day since his last appearance against Dartford where he suffered a season ending Achilles injury.

Moments after their introduction the Harriers had a chance to make the game safe.  Malbon drove a cross in from the right and the ball connected with the arm of Joe Tait as he attempted to block the cross.  Michael Gash stepped up and hit a penalty with venom and pitch, that only Iyseden Christie could comment on, as he thumped the underside of the crossbar and the ball was cleared.

The Harriers penalty hoodoo continues.

There was no need to worry though as the Reds put the game beyond doubt on eighty minutes.  A short corner saw the ball delivered to the far post by Lee Vaughan with Chey Dunkley meeting it with a looping header that got the better of Bartlett to secure the Harriers victory.

Colin Larkin then came on to a warm reception by the majority of Harriers fans, more than ten years since he appeared for the club on loan under the first reign of Jan Molby.  He couldn't help the Heed's cause as they were powerless to stop the Harriers march towards the first win of the season.

Altogether a solid performance and reassuring to see that Kidderminster got a grip back onto the game after Gateshead threatened to wrestle it from their grasp.  The first half, aside from the last five minutes, was possibly the best in recent memory with Harriers in total control without stepping out of first gear.

The victory starts the Harriers season in 3rd place, but with six goals behind on joint-league leaders Forest Green who hammered Hyde 8 - 0.

Alfreton awaits on Tuesday night and hopefully this good performances can continue.
  FT: 3 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Gash 13, Gittings 60, Dunkley 81
 Goal for Gateshead: Brodie 43


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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Gateshead  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Bartlett  
L Vaughan     Tait
Demetriou     O'Brien  
Storer gif     Chandler
Dunkley gif     Baxter  
Gowling     Clark  
Gittings gif gif     Walker  
Fowler   Turnbull  
Gash gif     Boyes
Malbon     Brodie gif gif  
Johnson gif     Brown  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Nixon  
Tolley gif - 86     Larkin gif - 83  
Byrne gif - 75     Cummins  
Dance     Marwood  
Angus gif - 75     Ramshaw  

REFEREE:
Mr B Huxtable
Devon





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