The Harriers returned back to the way they should be playing today when a super first half performance saw them go into the break leading 2-0 with a stunning Marvin Johnson goal within five minutes and then a free kick from former Gull Kevin Nicholson that somehow managed to dribble, wobble and bobble into the net without a Torquay defender intent on stopping it. The keeper didn't bother either.
The second period was something of a revert to our normal game of only playing for forty five minutes and then trying to do our best to throw it all away at the end after more poor substitutions from the management team contrived to change the way the team had been set up for seventy five minutes and then change it all around into a meaningless mess.
There was a first start for our new loan player, Matt Robinson, in place of the under the weather Kyle Storer and a return to the side for Jack Byrne; from suspension, Nathan Blissett in place of the missing Michael Gash, Craig Reid in for the out on loan Reece Styche and the rare use of two widemen with both Marvin Johnson and Ahmed Obeng on the pitch at the same time.
On the bench was Reece Hales on his return from loan at Stourbridge and also Jake Green, Callum Gittings, Aman Verma and Jas Singh so we had reverted back to a spare keeper.
We hadn't played Torquay in eight years so it was good to see a healthy following of 296 from them compared to the 100 or so that came in September 2008. They weren't quite so noisy as the African drummers and singers who were here for the half time entertainment though.
The game started off with the usual hoof it over the top routine but once Matt Robinson had got hold of the ball he did something quite un-thinkable. He passed the ball, both cleanly and efficiently, to a team mate who then went on a run towards the opposing goal. Marvin Johnson gave Torquay the first glimpse of the terror that awaited them.
It was from another Robinson pass that Magic Marvin went on a solo run down the side before cutting in to strike the ball viciously into the top corner of the net beyond the hopeless, in more ways than one, keeper Jordan Seabright. Harriers had taken a deserved early lead and now needed to build on that.
We continued to probe whenever we could and against a poor Torquay side that wasn't too hard. Craig Reid was probably the pick of the two strikers with his darting runs to pick up a pass while Nathan Blissett struggle, as ever, to control the ball enough to get a second bite at it. It took a strange free kick for us to gain our second goal.
Blissett was challenged clumsily by the ancient looking Aaron Downes and then going down clumsily himself. In the absence of our chief free kick, corner and bottle washer, Kyle Storer, up stepped the better equipped Kevin Nicholson to take it against his former employers. Through a packed area the ball meandered in a general direction towards Seabright who proceeded to ignore the threat to his livelihood as he watched it roll over the line for Nico to punch the air in delight and dis-belief.
The Harriers could, and should, have increased that lead on numerous occasions during a one sided first period but failed to do so despite both Johnson and Ahmed Obeng having the freedom to do whatever they wished. It was their crosses that were feeding Reid to tee up chances that he should have converted. It should have been at least a third goal five minutes before the break when Obeng interchanged passes with him before he sent a shot only just wide of the goal after avoiding a couple of tackles from Gulls defenders.
Robinson also had a chance to leave his mark on the game after being cruelly booked for a nothing infringement earlier in the game. He collected the ball in the middle of the park and then moved forward to send a strong shot in that went just the wrong side of the post.