Venue: Aggborough Date: 02-12-23 Harriers 2 Ebbsfleet Utd 0 Att: 2071 (away fans: 105)

02-12-23. Kidderminster Harriers 2 Ebbsfleet Utd 0. Match report

Harriers best performance so far. A complete performance

Report: Phil Lench

We saw the Harriers turn in what was probably their best complete performance of the season against Ebbsfleet Utd today. The convincing 2-0 win thanks to an Ashley Hemmings double in the first half added time was enough to cap a fine first half display from the once forgotten man. Matt Preston rock solid at the back, Sam Robinsons sweeps up and down the wing was inspiring and Jack Lamberts control of midfield was classy but the man of the match vote has to go to young Kai Lissimore who ran and ran, harried and harried, pushed us forwards continually.

Our previous two games have seen us draw against both Hartlepool Utd and Oxford City and the feeling amongst the fans prior to this game was of the must win variety to give us a chance of climbing the table but lose it and accept that we would be staring relegation in the face without a whimper. Russ Penn decided to go for the must win option.

We gave Ebbsfleet the first few minutes of the game to see how they were going to play. Dangerman Dominic Poleon sent and early chance wide and that was it. We then took hold of the game through Lamberts endeavour that helped set up Hemmings fire a weak shot wide.

Both sides were gunning for the opening goal and a big chance for us came when Bailey Hobson was bundled over in the area by the Utd keeper, Mark Cousins, but instead of a penalty the extremely poor referee, possibly the worst seen for many years, opted for a free kick to them along with a booking for Cousins (can someone explain that and also the yellow for Amari Morgan-Smith for questioning the decision).

More chances went begging, along with more pointless yellow cards, until the board was put up for added time and Robinson  poked a through ball for Hemmings to run onto and, reminiscent of one of his goals at Brackley Town in last seasons play off final victory, Ash advanced on goal without any nearby defender to fire the ball across Cousins and into the far side of the net.

Minutes later a free kick on the other side of the goal saw the move quickly taken by Lambert to Hemmo who just took aim from a tight angle and put the ball across Cousins once again but this time into the other side of the net.

HT: 2 – 0

During the break the Ebbsfleet manager, Dennis Kutrieb, must have instilled into his team the danger that Robinson was creating and they seemed to act on that by giving him less of the ball. That actually worked in our favour though with Ryan McLean now getting his chance to shine.

The third goal we were all hoping for never did arrive but we never really looked like conceding anyway except the one chance that Poleon had towards the end that hit the post after we gave him too much room in front of goal. Possibly the only time that Preston and co switched off.

Hemmo had a chance for his hat trick but headed over while Lambert went close with a slightly weak, low shot, but the the second strange decision from referee Atkin was the booking of McLean after he broke free of the Ebbsfleet defence and headed goalwards, came up against a last man and went to ground after slipping over at the crucial moment, tried to reclaim the ball and got booked???

With time running down and the game looking safe we made the necessary changes to keep control of the game until the final whistle.

That was managed with easy and our first league win since the start of October (at home to Wealdstone) was in the bag and we now find ourselves off the foot of the table, if only by default, but it all helps the confidence in the camp.

No league game next week but a FA Trophy home game against local rivals Stourbridge FC instead. Hopefully we’ll see another confidence raising result. 

FT: 2 – 0

Goals for Harriers: Hemmings 46, 49

The Harriers Online MotM is: Kai Lissimore

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

McLean 87
Morgan-Smith 81
Lambert 81 
Richards 87 
McDonagh 81 
Brown 81 
Ebbsfleet UtdGoalsSubsTimeCards
Olagunju 51 
Edser 92 
Fanimo 62 
Tanner 92 
McQueen 62 
Odokonyero 51 
Mr Ryan Atkin