Match report Vs Nuneaton BoroughVenue: AggboroughDate: 02-03-19Att: 1539 (away fans: 58)

02-03-19 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 4 Nuneaton Borough 1

Ash Chambers hits three against his old club

Report: Harriershane

The Harriers welcomed basement side and all round strugglers Nuneaton Borough to Aggborough today. They were seeking back to back victories for the first time since September following the victory in the rescheduled fixture against Ashton United in midweek. Harriers manager Mark Yates named an unchanged side from that victory on Tuesday night, with Milan Butterfield returning from Bermuda duty to take his place on the bench alongside academy graduates Harry Higginson and Reiss Taylor-Randle.

Former Harrier James Baxendale started on the bench for Borough, for whom former Derby County defender Miles Addison is now plying his trade.

Fresh from his stunning strike on Tuesday Billy Daniels decided to try and repeat his feat inside the first minute, however his drive could only go wide of Cameron Belford’s post. This set the tone for the first part of the first half as Aggborough bore witness to what was effectively a game of attack vs defence in the home side’s favour; ridiculously the visitors began timewasting from the off.

With just eight minutes played the woodwork was struck. Liam McAlinden embarked on a trademark industrious run and found his path to goal blocked so opted to tee up Ed Williams who did not need a second invite to have a strike from range. The midfielder, who was called up to the England C squad in midweek, got plenty of venom and dip onto his effort, beating Belford but unfortunately could only strike the crossbar.

Five minutes later he was at the centre of the action again, this time playing in Fraser Horsfall who chipped an effort over. With twenty minutes played Borough fashioned their first opportunity from a long throw; Mike Calveley turning the ball towards goal where Brandon Hall smothered the effort.

The Harriers took the lead in the twenty sixth minute with a quick corner kick routine from the right hand side being played in by Williams. Ashley Chambers was lurking at the back post and dispatched a superb right footed volley past Belford for his first goal since his brace against Brackley Town back in December. Soon after the half hour mark Ironside had the ball in the back of the net as Williams again turned provider; however it was ruled out for offside.

With seven to go until the break Borough equalised completely against the run of play as Harriers soft underbelly at set pieces came to the fore once more. Taylor Allen whipped a ball into the box which seemed to evade everyone in its vicinity before falling to Michael Townsend who bundled it home.

Before the break Harriers spurned two chances worthy of note. Both involved sterling work from Ironside and Chambers; firstly the latter held the ball up and laid it off to McAlinden who skied his first time effort over the bar and then Ironside found Chambers soon after but could only see his effort blocked. The resulting corner saw a scramble where Chambers, Ryan Johnson and Billy Daniels all had a stab at it but nobody could convert.

The statistics made public by Nuneaton showed that Harriers had taken thirteen shots in the first half, but at half time the only statistic that mattered was the score.

HT: 1 – 1

Straight after the break the Harriers received what could be perceived as a stroke of luck as a penalty was given for a handball against Townsend. Nuneaton claimed the defender had his back to play and, in fairness, there were no visible appeals from the home side but the spot kick was given nonetheless. Up stepped Ironside who expertly tucked it away in the bottom right hand corner, past Belford’s despairing dive.

Both of Nuneaton’s old boys had come back to haunt them.

Ten minutes later it should’ve been three. Expert work down the left flank by the excellent Joel Taylor saw him fire in a cross which Ironside hit first time goalwards, only to somehow be denied by a top reaction save from Belford. Shortly after the striker was at it again having been played through and finishing well, albeit from an offside position.

Two disallowed goals and the woodwork hit. Surely there are more goals in this? What there should have been, arguably, was a Nuneaton penalty as one of their attackers got bundled down in the area. Nothing doing from the referee, and a little wake up call for Harriers that Nuneaton were still in touch.

With twenty minutes to go and Harriers should’ve had a second penalty. All action this game, I’m telling you! Ironside, sorting out his feet just inside the area, was bundled over. Nothing doing. The ball spurted out to Williams who sent a shot goalwards which Belford parried into the air and very nearly into his own net. Fortunate.

As we approached the final ten minutes the game was surely put beyond doubt and it was that man again, Ashley Chambers, who grabbed his second of the game. McAlinden again with excellent work down his flank as he beat his man and held a ball up to the far post where the striker was on hand to cushion a header past Belford and well deserved for Harriers it was too.

The rout was completed in injury time as the sublime combined with the ridiculous. Attempting to clear their lines, the ball was hit with some force forward by Nuneaton, hitting one of their own players on the back and ricocheting past the back line and into the path of Chambers who scampered onto the ball. With fully forty yards to advance he bore down on goal then lifted the ball over Belford to claim the match ball and his first Harriers hat-trick.

Proving the old adage of “form is temporary, class is permanent” more than true, nobody of a Harriers persuasion can say that he didn’t deserve his goals today.

With a tough run in ahead, where we play most of the play off contenders, could this hat trick spark a run of form that we know he is capable of? Incidentally, it was the first Harriers hat trick scored in the league* since Joe Lolley’s treble against Salisbury just over five years ago in January 2014. Whatever happened to him?

FT: 4 – 1

*Last hat trick scored was actually Dan Bradley in the FA Cup at home to Atherstone in September this season.

Goals for Harriers: Chambers 26, 77, 88, Ironside 47 (pen)

Goal for Nuneaton: Townsend 37

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ashley Chambers

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Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Penn   89
Chambers 90  
Williams   82  
Butterfield   82  
Richards   89  
Taylor-Randle   90  
Nuneaton Borough Goals Subs Time Cards
C Belford        
Townsend 88
Calveley   71  
Evans   57  
T Belford        
Birch   71  
Baxendale   57  
Nabay   88  
Mr Sam Mulhall