Venue: Aggborough Date: 09-03-24 Harriers 0 York City 0 Att: 3521 (away fans: 331)

09-03-24. Kidderminster Harriers 0 York City 0. Match report

Not a game for the supporter of a nervous disposition

Report: Harry211

Kidderminster Harriers were the better side in their latest relegation six-pointer against fellow strugglers York City but it wasn’t enough to hand them the three points in a goalless stalemate.

After a first half where both sides huffed and puffed to try and force an opening, the home side were the much better team but could only test the York City goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy with speculative efforts from long distance.

It left the Harriers on level points with our visitors and three points from safety as they face another big game on Tuesday against our old Conference North foes AFC Fylde. Harriers had two changes from their last gasp defeat against Woking FC on Tuesday night as Nathaniel Knight-Percival was replaced by fellow veteran centre back Krystian Pearce who took up the armband as skipper Shane Byrne’s absence.

Regan Griffiths stepped into the Irishman’s shoes in the centre of midfield for his second start. For York ex-loanee Paddy McLaughlin dropped into defence to play full back and Will Davies lead their line, although spent more time on the floor in the first half than trying to play football.

As uneventful first halves go the York game was a perfect example and almost nothing of note would have troubled a supporter of a nervous disposition. Ashley Hemmings blazed a free kick from the right wide of Sykes-Kenworthy’s goal, and Amari Morgan-Smith had a shot blocked midway through the period. Meanwhile stout organisation and defending from the Harriers back line and midfield cover stopped York from having any serious efforts.

HT: 0 – 0

With a first half so anodyne our fans were eager for a better second forty five minutes. Luckily they got their wish, even without any goals flying, or even trickling in.

Hemmings was the first to get a shot on target as he cut in from the right just after sixty minutes. His swerving short forced Sykes-Kenworthy to parry it but he pounced on it a second time under the watchful eyes of Morgan-Smith.

Todd Miller then made his home debut, coming on for a quiet Jack Lambert. His running and trickery panicked the York back line and almost looked to give the Harriers the initiative. Shortly after coming on his darting dribble beat three players as he drifted across diagonally across the opposition half onto the right side. However none of the runs from other teammates were sufficient and York recovered to stop his progress and cleared the ball.

Not long after he had a another,similar, mazy run but his left footed effort from twenty five yards out was easily held.

Morgan-Smith, against his former side, was operating in his usual artful battering ram role. He managed to win the ball on the edge of the area with fifteen minutes to go and his strike partner Gold Omatayo only had to make a run to be played through on goal. Instead he watched the game pass him by and a chance to score vanished into the Aggborough air.

As the game closed out Harriers did get their big moment. A ball over the top was raced on to by Hemmings who slowed slightly as he cut onto his left and drifted across the area. He looked to play in Morgan-Smith but the space had narrowed as the York defence rallied. Eventually among the melèe Hemmings had an effort from twelve yards out that went straight at the goalkeeper who saved easily.

From there the game closed out. York threatened to counter but came up against Harriers’ impressive rearguard.

The result is not a fatal blow to either side’s survival hopes but will have provided a thorough whack to them. A consistent problem that has plagued Harriers’ season arose again; the inability to score goals and create chances. It was the fifth 0-0 draw at Aggborough this season, the majority against badly struggling sides.

At times today the lethargic pace of Harriers’ thinking going forward was clear to see, the side’s big money striker had a game pass him by and during their second half of pressure when both Hemmings and Miller had shown that spontaneity to unsettle the Minstermen defence, none of their colleagues cottoned on to make a run.

Having a goalkeeper in Christian Dibble who is likely to win the golden glove is important for any side, but means little without the ability to score. The result won’t rule out safety for either side, but will significantly narrow their path to doing so.

AFC Fylde are the next visitor to Aggborough on Tuesday in the latest must-win game. After throwing money at their form in January they have pulled well clear of the relegation zone but the Harriers will hope to come away with an ever vital three points.

FT: 0 – 0

The Harriers Online MotM are: Regan Griffiths & Zak Brown

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Bellis 62 
Lambert 62
Omotayo 62 
Miller 62 
York CityGoalsSubsTimeCards
Batty 86 
Castro 80 
Chadwick 68
Duckworth 86 
John-Lewis 80 
Gravata 68 
Mr Sam Mulhall