Harriers 3 Altrincham 0
away fans: 114
Riley off as Harriers win
Report by Harry Taylor
A deserved victory came today for the Harriers against a lacklustre and poor Altrincham as Kidderminster completely dominated the game causing Stuart Coburn in the Altrincham goal no end of problems. Harriers kept the same lineup that they had for the Grays victory with John Finnigan and Kyle Hadley starting for the first time at Aggborough.
Colin Little started from the bench for Altrincham with Chris Senior leading the attempts to cause Harriers defence problems alongside Chris Denham. Fortunately for us Senior had little of the ball and caused fairly few problems for the Harriers backline before he was stretchered off with an injury.
Altrincham started the better of the two sides with Harriers seeing little of the ball and Altrincham forcing two offsides against Johnson and Kearney respectively. Then with Harriers first real chance of the game they got a goal.
On the ninth minute Hadley took the ball away from Coburn, after the ball was lofted forward, he then put the ball towards goal from eight yards out from the right hand side of the goal for Brian Smikle to turn it just inside the near post to give Kidderminster an early lead.
The Harriers were soon down to ten men though, perhaps unfairly, as Johnson ran clear of Riley and stumbled, causing Riley to clip him and bringing down the attacker. As Riley was deemed to be the last man, although the ball was in the arms of Dean Coleman by then, he was given a red card much to the derision and disbelief of much of the Harriers support.
However, within seven minutes of the sending off Harriers were two goals up thanks to a fantastic chip by Matthew Barnes-Homer lobbing Coburn from about 15-20 yards from the goal. This followed a great pass from Dean Bennett. Unfortunately though, during putting the ball over Coburn, Barnes-Homer seemed to injure his left leg and was duly taken off ten minutes after his goal after failing to run off the knock.
Within five minutes of the substitution Sean Densmore was sent from the field after lunging into Brian Smikle twice in quick succession with the second being deemed to be two footed and both sides went down to ten men.
After the second sending off the game seemed to turn into a slight stalemate as neither side had any chances of any significance. At half time the score was Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 Altrincham.
HT: 2 - 0
The second half burst into life quickly because within a few seconds of the restart Brian Smikle had earned his second goal of the game. Kyle Hadley ran down the right flank and put a wonderful ball in for Smikle to put his right calf in front of it and help it into the bottom right hand corner of Coburn's goal.
Harriers started to dominate the game with the side riding high on confidence. Hadley having several good runs down the right side taking on the defenders and usually resulting into a cross into the area. In the 51st minute disaster struck for Altrincham as Chris Senior went down with what looked to be a painful injury and the stretcher was called for him to leave the pitch to generous applause from the Harriers supporters. Nicky Clee replaced him.
There was also a shout from the fans for the goalkeeper to be sent off for Altrincham as he appeared to handle the ball outside the area however the linesman who was having a poor game failed to notice this or wave his flag.
The game then seemed to slow down in pace with Harriers still dominating but not making any concerted efforts to increase the lead. Smikle had a good chance to get his hat trick after being put through by McPhee but he could only shoot straight at Coburn and McPhee, almost desperate to get his name on the scoresheet, hit the bar with a good effort to his and the fans disappointment.
As the final whistle blew Harriers had controlled the game and had not given Altrincham any clear opportunities to score against Dean Coleman in the Harriers goal.
Both sides were reduced to ten men and had a key player go off with injury. Depending on the seriousness of both injuries could this be a big moment in the early stages of the season? Both Smikle and Hadley were instrumental in the win with Hadley, who was my man of the match, putting several good balls into the area and proving that he may be capable of being a good Blue Square Premier winger and fulfill the potential I think he has got.
Brian Smikle again got goals and maybe this could this give fuel to the idea that Smikle could get 15 goals this season.
So it's on to Tamworth on Monday for one of our few local derbies this season. We'll definitely be without Martin Riley as he serves his one game ban and we might also be without Matt Barnes-Homer if his injury is serious. Hopefully we'll have Robbie Matthews back to partner Brian Smikle up front if MBH doesn't make it.