Match report Vs GatesheadVenue: AggboroughDate: 03-12-19Att: 948 (away fans: 8)

03-12-19 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 1 Gateshead 1

Harriers take heart from an improved performance

Report: Harriershane

Gateshead were tonight’s visitors on a cold Tuesday night in a rearranged fixture due to the Heed’s involvement in the FA Cup at the time of the original fixture. Whether it should have taken place on a Tuesday night is another matter, so let’s take our hats off to the eight hardy souls who travelled down to support a side who have lost their last four in a row.

For Harriers, the crowd was sparse and expectation just as low off the back of another poor performance on Saturday against Southport. The crowd of 948 wasn’t much more than the similar crowd of 937 that saw us beat the same team way back in October 2010. That attendance figure being our previous lowest for a league game.

Our caretaker manager Russ Penn made one change, Milan Butterfield missing out through injury with his place taken by Richard Peniket.

The first action of the half saw Ed Williams withdrawn with a hamstring pull after an innocuous looking challenge. His replacement was Alex Prosser who was seemingly brought out of the cold into, well, the cold. With eleven minutes played the Harriers broke the deadlock. The real surprise is that it came from a set piece! Ashley Hemmings delivered a good ball into the near post and with goalkeeper Bradley James struggling, Ryan Johnson headed home.

Harriers sensed the potential weakness in the goalkeeper’s handling and sought to test him with balls into the area; another corner would cause issues but come to nothing after a handball by Rhys Williams.

Gateshead’s first attack of note yielded the equaliser as Jordan Preston broke free between two defenders and turned Greg Olley’s low cross just beyond Will Mannion. The goal did not discourage Harriers though, who would then almost exclusively control the game. Hemmings saw a tame effort from range saved before Ashley Chambers blazed wide following good play from Peniket.

Just after the half hour mark the visitors made a rare foray forward with Mannion called into action, saving smartly from Olley. The last action of the first half saw Peniket create an opportunity in the six yard box with some good feet but his shot was blocked and scrambled away.

HT: 1 – 1

The second half began in a more cagey manner as both sides engaged in a feeling out process which was threatened only by Josh Kayode’s skied header.

The Harriers soon regained their foothold in the game, however, and proceeded to spend the game’s final half hour camped in the Heed half. Peniket did well to create another chance from very little but his strike could only sting the palms of the keeper after the front man was forced wider than he would have liked.

With little over twenty minutes to go the Harriers spurned another great opportunity and it was top scorer Chambers again the guilty party, this time firing straight at James following a cute ball from Hemmings. A confident Chambers normally dispatches that kind of effort all night long.

The seventy fourth minute saw Brandon Diau replace Peniket and yielded a change in the atmosphere at Aggborough as the amiable front man’s presence was cheered and every touch afforded the same reception. He almost won it for Harriers with two minutes to play.

First he played in Hemmings, who was well thwarted by James, before the rebound fell to the former Bayer Leverkusen youth prospect just inside the box. Unfortunately his effort was charged down by two defenders.

Harriers were, in the end, forced to share the spoils and can be disappointed to only have come away with a point whilst taking heart from a much improved performance.

Seventh placed Boston United are Saturdays visitors in what will be another tough game.

FT: 1 – 1

Goal for Harriers: Johnson 11

Goal for Gateshead: Preston 18

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ryan Johnson

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Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
R Williams        
Peniket   74  
E Williams   8  
Prosser   8  
Diau   74  
Gateshead Goals Subs Time Cards
Dear   81  
Preston 85  
O’Donnell   85  
Lees   81  
Mr Dale Baines