Match report Vs Blyth SpartansVenue: AggboroughDate: 04-01-20Att: 1532 (away fans: 35)

04-01-20 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 0 Blyth Spartans 1

Six years ago we were on the way to beating Peterborough Utd

Report: Harriershane

Six years ago the Harriers held higher league opposition, Peterbrough Utd, to a goalless draw in the FA Cup and then, a few days later, cruised to one of our most memorable victories away from home in the replay. Today, they were put to the sword by second bottom side Blyth Spartans and looked a world away from that Joe Lolley inspired win.

For the Harriers the returning Keith Lowe formed part of a makeshift backline, with Ed Williams at right back, Sam Austin left back and Lowe accompanied by Cliff Moyo and Harry Higginson in the middle. Blyth, backed by their thirty five travelling supporters, had the first opportunity of the game when Will Mannion saved smartly from Michael Sweet and dangerman Callum Roberts, before Hawkins also saw an effort bend wide.

The first half chance for the home side came courtesy of a Cliff Moyo ball into the area, but it evaded all of the red shirts, before Sam Austin curled an effort over the bar. Harriers began to push forward and dominate the game, with Oliver Shenton the latest to go close after he controlled a high ball expertly. The finish was sadly lacking though.

The improved Alex Prosser switched the play well with fifteen minutes on the clock to the makeshift right back Ed Williams but his shot flew high and wide. Just shy of the half hour mark Ethan Freemantle embarked on a mazy run, beating three or four Blyth defenders and benefiting from a slice of luck to get into a shooting position. Zach Hemming was able to save his effort though and Ashley Hemmings was unable to convert the rebound.

The recently contracted youngster also had a header to end the half which he only guided narrowly over the bar. As a spectacle the game was exceptionally poor and at half time you got the feeling the game was simply meandering to a goalless draw, barring a moment of genius or disaster.

HT: 0 – 0

The opening to the second half did not yield any great changes to the pattern of the game so our manager, Jimmy Shan, opted to introduce Correy Davidson in place of Ed Williams. A couple of minutes later, the Spartans struck and what a strike it was too; truly worthy of winning better games than this one.

Blyth won a throw in thirty yards out which they took quickly. Lewis Hawkins let the ball run across his body before unleashing a volley that dipped over Will Mannion into the top right hand corner. Harriers looked to respond and it was Prosser who was seeking to provide that response, first delivering for Higginson to head over before sparking a scramble with another delivery.

Higginson was there again to nod down and Cliff  Moyo attempted to divert the ball goalwards but, as it fell to Milan Butterfield, the defensive pressure told as the Bermudan international was only able to turn an effort narrowly wide.

Freemantle was replaced with twenty minutes to go by Ashley Chambers, returning from injury, but at this stage of the game a change of shape was what was required. Despite battling gamely Freemantle never got much joy out of the Blyth centre back pairing, both of whom were well in excess of six feet tall, and one felt Chambers would have the same issue as Harriers chased the game.

Hemmings and Chambers tried to combine but it never happened for Harriers. As the game drew towards the close chances for Harriers started to become harder to come by, until the last kick of the game. It was Hemmings who created the chance, winning a free kick twenty yards out. He dusted himself down to take the free kick which was parried into the path of Richard Peniket, on for the last ten minutes in place of Ollie Shenton, but the former Fulham frontman’s effort from the rebound was straight at the goalkeeper who collected gleefully.

This result sees Blyth close to within six points of Harriers with a game in hand, whilst the teams separating them close to within touching distance with games in hand; Curzon Ashton (20th, 1 game in hand, 3 points), Kettering Town (19th, 2 games in hand, 1 point) and Gloucester City (18th, 2 games in hand, level).

These are worrying, worrying times for all of a Harriers persuasion and we can only hope that Jimmy Shan is given the freedom and the resources to try and lift this once great club out of the hole we find ourselves in. Six years ago we hosted Peterborough United. Next year, if we are not careful, we could be hosting Peterborough Sports.

FT: 0 – 1

Goal for Blyth Spartans: Hawkins 55

The Harriers Online MotM is: Alex Prosser

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
E Williams   52  
Freemantle   67  
Shenton   80  
Chambers   67  
Peniket   80  
Davidson   52  
Blyth Spartans Goals Subs Time Cards
Mullen   76  
Sweet   65  
Wrightson   65 / 90  
McKeown   90  
Waddington   76  
Mr Simeon Lucas