The Harriers finally made the ultimate comeback at fellow promotion hopefuls Newport County tonight when a late, late Cheyenne Dunkley goal saw them reach the very top of the table almost six months to the day that they were rock bottom of the league. On that day, September 22nd, we had struggled to garner a draw at Alfreton Town but just three days later our first win arrived thanks to Ryan Rowes hat trick at Cambridge and since then we haven't looked back.
Now, with just seven games left to play for us, we seem to be on the cusp of promotion once more and it's totally un-believable.
The game tonight at Newport was originally to have been played at the start of February but was called off on the morning due to a waterlogged pitch. Tonights game was also in some doubt due to the even worse conditions but the referee deemed the game playable much to the despair of spectators having to watch players sliding around and balls sticking in the mud. The referee didn't want to take into account the conditions when it came to handing out the yellows from his deck of cards and as early as the third minute Keith Briggs name was entered into his notebook for a sliding tackle that he found hard to halt himself from.
It was County who adapted to the conditions better and one has to assume that they're used to playing on a rice pudding of a pitch week in, week out. Lee Vaughan was forced into a panic induced error that saw the ball stick in the mud and then nicked from off his feet by Scott Donnelly but Danny Lewis was equal to the shot and blocked it well.
The Harriers were really struggling to take a hold and County were capitalising on our mistakes. Danger man Christian Jolley should have done better with the chance given to him by Aaron O'Connor when he laid the ball off nicely for him.
O'Connor had a chance of his own soon after when he tried to beat Lewis but his shot went well wide thankfully. Newport were being profligate in front of goal and surely they would be made to pay.
They paid just a few minutes later.
Anthony Malbon managed to beat their defenders to the ball and, avoiding more of them, he played Michael Gash in for the on fire striker to net the ball from close in. Against the run of play the Harriers had taken the lead but it wasn't to last.
Jolley went straight up the other end and tried to beat Lewis but the Harriers keeper put him off enough to force him to shoot wide. That wasn't the case with their next move though and his goal was breeched when Andy Sandell took aim through a ruck of players and the ball nestled home following a deflection that left Danny helpless.
The game settled down slightly after the County goal with only the referee trying to ruin things by booking players needlessly. Halftime came with the game all square but the pitch still resembling a pig farm.