The Harriers hammered five goals past Tamworth in this derby game against the Lambs from the Northern side of Birmingham. To score five goals sounds great but we also, somehow, managed to let them score three in reply with only one of those three worthy of gracing a Premiership game.
The Harriers kicked off in the freezing cold without any changes to the starting eleven that started last Saturdays win over Wrexham. On the bench James Dance surprisingly replaced Marvin Johnson.
We started the game at a strong tempo kicking towards the poor turnout from Tamworth. To bring only 103 fans from just under forty miles away for your second closest game is shocking but then again on a day when first placed Cambridge drew over 3,500 for their game against Woking then second placed Harriers sub 2000 crowd is nothing to boast about either. For this fixture last season we had 2,390 through the door.
The Harriers were the first to go onto the attack and for the first ten minutes of the game we could easily have gone 3-0 up. First Chey Dunkley saw his looping header saved a bit too easily by Cameron Belford and then superstar Joe Lolley had the first rael chance of the game when he easily skipped past three Tamworth defenders and placed a shot to the far post only to see the keeper somehow get down to it and tip it around the post for a corner.
We then had a free kick near to the edge of the area after Andy Todd bought Michael Gash down. Gash took it himself and drove it high and straight but again the Tamworth keeper was equal to the attempt and again he pushed it over the bar.
Another chance followed when Anthony Malbon headed Josh Gowlings mis-directed header goalwards but a defender was on the line to stop it going any further.
Tamworth then managed to compose themselves and responded with a half chance from the former Harriers marksman, Justin Richards, but his shot was weak and going wide so failed to trouble Danny Lewis in the Harriers goal. That was followed up with a chance for Nick Chadwick, on loan from Plymouth, but this time he gave Danny more to do but he still saved the shot well.
Following our initial opening salvo we started to go off the boil slightly and allowed the visitors to come onto us more. Another former Harrier, Richard Peniket, shot wide when well placed and then came a spell of midfield battling that saw any attempt on goal limited to hopeful efforts from both sides until suddenly a moment of panic in the Tamworth area allowed Anthony Malbon in to score.
His pace gave him the advantage when a capitalised on hesitancy between two defenders to skip between them with the ball and then around Belford to slot the ball into an empty net. Within a minute the score had been doubled.
This time it was that man Joe Lolley. Gash played a pass out wide right to him and in his trademark move he left two defenders for dead before moving in on goal and rifling a left footed strike from the edge of the box and into the net.
Three minutes later and it really should have been Harriers 3-0 up when Lee Vaughan set out on a one man mission towards the visitors goal. Like Lolley he skipped easily past the reach of defenders and when finally within sight of goal let go a shot that sadly was straight at Belford when if he had tried to lob him would surely have been his first goal for us that wasn't a penalty.
Amari Morgan-Smith was the next Harrier to try his luck on goal when he robbed a Tamworth man of the ball and proceeded to move in on goal before firing a shot across the face and then go just slightly wide. With the minutes now counting down towards half time both teams had one last chance each.
First Gash saw his header hit the bar following a cross from AMS and then in response Peniket broke free and sent in a shot that Lewis parried out for a corner.