Match report Vs Bradford (Park Avenue) AFCVenue: AggboroughDate: 06-04-19Att: 1606 (away fans: 40)

06-04-19 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 3 Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC 0

The Harriers get the play-offs back on track

Report: Harriershane

Fifth placed Bradford (Park Avenue) were today’s visitors to Aggborough as Harriers looked to bounce back from successive away reversals. The Harriers were able to welcome Sam Austin back from injury but the game came too soon for Declan Weeks, who missed out. Harry Flowers, Fraser Horsfall and captain Ryan Johnson formed the basis of the defensive effort for the home side, with Liam McAlinden, Milan Butterfield and Ed Williams charged with running the midfield for the hosts.

A bright April’s day was matched by the home teams’ start with the Harriers making the most of the running early on, McAlinden at the forefront of the visiting defence’s thoughts. It was his driving run that paved the way for the first goalbound effort of the day from Joe Ironside, which was deflected behind for a corner that was duly dealt with by Avenue.

The attacking threat from the visitors would take on a theme of which Harriers fans have been all too used to at times this season – poor final balls and over hit crosses seeing moves fizzle out which could’ve promised much more. The Harriers were controlling the game throughout the first half with Chambers going close but firing over before the goal came, and well deserved it was too.

The latest in a succession of Harriers corners was swung in by McAlinden to the back post where Chambers was lurking; the front man’s volley was superbly saved by Charlie Andrew, who could only palm the ball towards Joe Ironside who nodded home the rebound.

Sensing vulnerability Harriers looked to remain on the front foot and, barring an effort from Romoney Crichlow-Noble, they were able to do so with the triumvarate of McAlinden, Ironside and Chambers a constant thorn in the Bradford backline. With ten to go until half time the visitors really should have drawn level as Alex Hurst was slipped in one-on-one with Brandon Hall, who somehow managed to throw up a hand to deflect Hurst’s effort wide for a corner, which was once again, over hit.

Back on the attack the Harriers went close again with Ironside meeting an early cross in from Ryan Johnson and narrowly missing another teasing ball from McAlinden until the lead was finally doubled with a couple of minutes left of the first half.

The industrious Sam Austin made inroads down the right hand side and whipped in a cross that was met by the head of Ashley Chambers who’s header thumped the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line to end a first half in which Harriers were well on top.

HT: 2 – 0

The second half saw a mini Bradford resurgence insofar as they sought to become an attacking threat, something that they had sorely lacked in the previous half of football. Indeed, Conor Branson thought he had followed through on his team’s attacking threats with a goalbound effort, only to be denied by a Joe Ironside header off the line to keep the Harriers clean sheet intact.

Nicky Clee was also denied by a courageous Austin block as Harriers looked to soak up the pressure and manage the game.

With twenty minutes to play it should’ve been 3-0 and game over as McAlinden teed up Ed Williams who bent an effort goalwards, but could only thump the angle of bar and post. Not to be denied the Harriers would eventually extend their lead as Ironside once again got onto the scoresheet to grab his fifteenth goal of the season. McAlinden was once again heavily involved as the ball returned to him from a corner. In front of the East Stand, he swung in a delightful ball for Ironside to plant past Andrew with his head.

That was the Cheltenham loanee’s eighth assist in ten games; numbers like those make it imperative that we try and make his deal permanent for next season. Any hopes of a comeback were well and truly put to bed with that goal as the game petered out to its conclusion.

The soon to be doomed FC United of Manchester are up next and Harriers really need to rectify their poor away form if their season is to continue.

FT: 3 – 0

Goals for Harriers: Ironside 17, 77, Chambers 41

The Harriers Online MotM is: Joe Ironside

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Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
R Johnson        
Chambers 84  
Williams   85  
Penn   85  
Thomas   84  
Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC Goals Subs Time Cards
Hurst   65  
Knight   81  
Beesley   59  
Spencer   59  
O Johnson   65  
Nowakowski   81  
Mr Michael Barlow