After ten, long, games waiting the Harriers diminishing army of fans finally got the win we had all been waiting for when we soundly beat visiting Braintree by three goals to one. It wasn't just the fact that we managed to score three goals it was the fact that they all came in the first half of the game. The Iron pulled a goal back after half time and kept us on the back foot for the remainder of the game but the result was never going to be in doubt.
With the departure of Josh Gowling to Grimsby during the preceding week we were expecting not a lot from the latest crop of youngsters bought in to replace both him and for looking at with a view to next season. Of those bought in James Fry started and replaced Kevin Nicholson but in a strange move he replaced Jared Hodgkiss who moved over to the left side of the park. That tells me Fry cannot play with both feet.
The other one coming in was Nathaniel Kelly for his second debut for us. He made one appearance against Altrincham in January when a mistake by the youngster let them in to score one of the goals that put us out of the FA Trophy. Hopefully he has learnt from that gaff and was going to put in a solid showing in place of Gowling. There was no sign of the other new face, William Boyle.
Braintree arrived here on the back of a bad home defeat to almost relegated Telford and were also looking to complete the double over us after winning the counterpart game back in September. They had made one change to that side with Ryan Peters came for Remy Clerima.
Following an evenly matched opening few minutes it was the Harriers who were the first to test a keeper when Lee Hughes tried to jink his way past Nick Hamman in the Braintree goal but the keeper got down to his feet and robbed him of the ball. The Iron responded with a ballooned shot well over the bar from Bernard Mensah. A couple of minutes later Danny Wright opened the scoring for us with his first goal in a league game.
Callum Gittings played the ball over the top of the Braintree defence for Danny to run on to, sweep past an onrushing defender and, from an angle, slotted the ball beyond the grasp of Hamman.
Five minutes later and we had gone two goals up, a feat that hadn't been seen since the 2-4 home defeat against Forest Green on New Years Day. Lee Hughes raced away with the ball, after collecting a Jared Hodgkiss forward ball, and, with Braintree defenders trying to catch up, he coolly slotted the ball beyond Hamman once more. That goal made it two in a row for the Harriers legend.
There followed a long break when the 'Tree striker Sean Marks went into a fair challenge with Nat Kelly and came off worse. There was a bit of a crack and at first it was thought to be a break but after being stretchered off, and reading later reports, it appeared to be a bad blow to the ankle and thankfully he should be ok.
In the thirty ninth minute we thought there must have been some kind of mistake because we had only gone and scored a third goal. Danny Wright, again, was the scorer after Jack Byrne had worked his way to the byeline and sent over a perfect ball for the striker who had been booed from the pitch at Torquay last Saturday. This time he raised the roof with a firm header planted firmly into the back of the net.
That was the first time we'd score three in a game since, er, Forest Green on Boxing Day.
We were now cruising at 3-0. Wright was onto his hat trick. The fans were back on side. Everyone was happy with the world. We were going on to grab three more goals in the second half weren't we?