Venue: SMH Group Stadium Date: 01-04-24 Chesterfield FC 1 Harriers 3 Att: 8337 (away fans: 384)

01-04-24. Chesterfield FC 1 Kidderminster Harriers 3. Match report

Harriers make April Fools of Champions Chesterfield

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers gained something of a reprieve from relegation today when they put paid to Chesterfield FC’s unbeaten home record. An early goal from Ashley Hemmings set us on our way with the travelling fans in wonderland at the possibility of actually getting a win away from home at the league champions.

When Matt Preston put through his own net midway through the half it looked like maybe the win wasn’t on the cards but in the second half that all changed again when further goals from Zak Brown and then, amazingly, Matty redeeming himself with a goal into the correct end this time to convince us that maybe we might actually do it and avoid that relegation.

Against a much changed Champions it was the Harriers that started the strongest and the dividend was paid when a long throw in from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain was collected by Hemmings who pounced on the ball and then, turning, fired the ball home on the angle to leave the home fans stunned into silence.

We took control of the game for the following twenty minutes and going close to earning a second goal when Amari Morgan-Smith saw his shot blocked by a panicking Chesterfield defence. Their first chance of a goal came soon after when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of our area. Jeff King took the kick but Christian Dibble turned in a stunning flip over to keep the ball from entering the net.

A couple of minutes later and it was despondency for the Harriers fans when disaster struck.

Seconds earlier Matt Preston had lost his man out wide and a long cross was put over. As the ball was collected by Liam Mandeville Matt got back to defend as the ball was played into the area. He tried to clear but only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own net.

The own goal seemed to knock the wind out of the Harriers sails but they hung on for the remainder of the forty five with only an Armando Dobra shot that was turned around the post by Dibble.  

HT: 1 – 1

The second half got underway with a false alarm when a Hemmings shot appeared to go into the corner of the net and the Harriers fans began to celebrate but, to derision from the Chesterfield fans, it had gone the wrong side of the post and hit the netting at the back giving the appearance of actually going in.

Not to worry because a few minutes later we’d regained the lead once more.

A quick move saw Zak Brown teed up to shoot at goal but the Spireites keeper, the former Solihull Moors man Ryan Boot, blocked it away but only to return it back to Zak who, this time, made no mistake in putting it past the hapless keeper.

With memories of his earlier own goal it must have come as something of a celebration for Preston when he then gave the Harriers another, third, goal that was to give them the eventual three points. Another Ox throw in wasn’t cleared by the defenders and the ball fell to Preston who nimbly turned and fired the ball into the net for his first ever Harriers goal.

The home side had no answer and some strong Harriers defending kept them at bay for the remainder of the game. Preston could have added a second goal to his CV but this time Boot kept his shot out and the game eventually came tom a close with the Harriers as the deserved winners.

With the Reds now up to twenty first place and nearer to other clubs near to the bottom it was to be hoped that the gap had been closed a little more and salvation would be in sight but, sadly, apart from Wealdstone losing at home to Solihull other games didn’t quite go our way and we still have tough task to get that vital one place above.

We now have two winnable games against FC Halifax Town and Eastleigh to come but we know how we somehow fail in the big home games. We need to get into the right frame of mind and go all out to win. 

FT: 1 – 3

Goal for Chesterfield: Preston (og) 31

Goals for Harriers: Hemmings 6, Brown 48, Preston 58 

The Harriers Online MotM is: Sam Robinson

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Chesterfield FCGoalsSubsTimeCards
Freckleton 74 
Hobson 59 
Jones 60 
Banks 60 
Berry 59 
Curtis 74 
PrestonOwn Goal 86 
Robinson 79
Bellis 90 
Kpekawa 86 
Griffiths 79 
Mr Dean Watson