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Harriers 1 Southport 1

Date: 27-08-05 Venue: Aggborough att: 1753 away fans: 77
Not very impressive
I picked up a free copy of yesterdays Non League Paper outside the ground after this excuse for entertainment and when I got home looked for something about the Harriers.    After getting through such nonentities as the Toolstation Western League and the Moore & Co Solicitors NW Counties League I eventually reached a preview of todays game written by Chris Oldnall of all people.

Kidderminster will need to find the killer instinct if they are to make a major impact in the Conference this season.

That's the firm belief of boss Stuart Watkiss who is urging his players on to be more ruthless in front of goal when they entertain a Southport side buoyed by a 3-2 home win over Stevenage last Saturday.

Must have been at the wrong game today then.

In the words of numerous superior fans from such big teams as Bristol Rovers and Oxford Utd in the previous five seasons - "We should be beating crap like this"    If SW wants us to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal then he's going to have to start picking more than one recognised striker for a home game.    Christie cannot do it all by himself and to have Atieno yet again sat on the bench is no way to get us back playing the likes of Bristol Rovers and Oxford Utd again.

Along with Taiwo on the bench was the new signing from Barnsley, Simon Heslop, and up front with Issey was, erm, Laurie Wilson.

For the first twenty minutes it was all Southport with our lot at sixes and sevens trying to get any kind of real rhythm going.    Christie tried his usual ruse of going down in the box to win a penalty but the ref was having none of it and waved it away.    Gareth Sheldon saw his free kick stopped by the 'Port keeper Steve Dickinson and that was about it.

We then had the miss of the game, no, the season so far, when Christie missed a sitter from all of twenty four inches from goal.

Just as the half was drawing to a close we had a twelve pass move that pinged around the away goal and achieved totally zilch only for the ball to break free, long balled over defensive heads and land almost at the feet of a clearly offside Steve Daly.    Lousy lino ignores all calls and all the evidence as Daly slots it past a hapless John Danby for an un-deserved goal on the stroke of half time.
HT: 0 - 1
The second half started with no change to the line-up but we did look to have a bit more purpose to our play and this resulted in a shot that went very close from Simon Russell and then in a penalty that this time was granted.    This time Christies dive, following a challenge from Davis, did fool the ref and Gareth Sheldon lined up to take it.

The kick was well taken but straight down the middle.    Usually the average keeper will dive either way but this one didn't, he kind of dived and put up a hand at the same time and the ball flew off his hand and over the bar for a fruitless corner.

Ten minutes later and SW decided to change things around a bit and Wilson made way for new boy Heslop first with Sheldon coming off for Taiwo Atieno a few minutes later.    It was getting a bit better now and this is probably the line-up that should have started the game.

Taiwo got into some good positions that only needed some decent crosses that he would be able to convert but they were few and far between.    Issey also narrowly failed to convert another chance when his shot was cleared off the line by Farrell Kilbane.

We had yet another corner from that clearance and thankfully the end result was a face saving goal for us.

The corner was put in by Russell and there was Hatswell, in amongst a flurry of red shirts, to head the ball into the rear of the net.    He almost grabbed an identical second with time ticking away and again it was cleared off the line by an alert Southport defender.

As I said at the start, we should be beating teams like Southport but frankly we are just not good enough.

One, or even two, out and out strikers are needed and sharpish if we have any intentions of regaining our place in League 2.    More displays like this and we'll be lucky to survive in this one.
FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Hatswell 84
 Goal for Southport: Daly 45

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Harriers  subs   cards      Southport  subs   cards 
Danby     Dickinson  
Evans     Lane  
Hatswell gif   Kilbane  
O'Connor     Fitzgerald  
Jackson     Krief  
Burgess     Davis gif
Fleming     Pickford  
Wilson     Baker  
Christie     Daly  
Russell     Robinson gif
Sheldon     Leadbetter  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lewis     Speare  
Burton     Fearns  
Heslop     Booth  
Atieno     Lynch  
Thompson     McGinn  

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