|Venue: Recreation Ground Date: 11-11-23 Aldershot Town 1 Harriers 0 Att: 2849 (away fans: 161)
Poor Harriers fall to another poor defeat
Kidderminster Harriers remained bottom of the National League table after an insipid performance against an uninspiring playoff chasing Aldershot Town.
The away side faced two changes with Reiss McNally returning to the side after his sending off for two yellows against Chesterfield, and Ben Tollitt making his debut on the left wing – formerly occupied by Ashley Hemmings during last season’s historic promotion push. Hemmings, however, did not even make the bench.
It was a performance that would not live long in the memory, or likely to help keep the relegation wolf from the door. Jack Barham, fresh from his goals in the 7-4 epic against Swindon Town and Josh Stokes were keeping the Harriers back line busy, Barham in particular threatening most to split the central defending partnership of Krystian Pearce and Alex Penny as his pace unsettled the former and trickery the latter. However it was his partner who broke the deadlock.
As a direct ball forward was played, Stokes took a touch, outpaced and outmuscled Penny, and as be dribbled the ball to the right, buried the ball past Christian Dibble into the bottom left of the Harriers goal.
The away side’s only chance was when defensive midfielder Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up the ball after a misplaced pass and drove towards goal, shooting from twenty five yards out which deceptively looked as though it was hitting the top corner before hitting the stantion.
HT: 1 – 0
The second half continued in a similar way. Harriers came more into the game, but careless passing meant their only chances were a Tollitt drive which was palmed into the air by Aldershot goalkeeper Jordi van Stappershoef before being saved, and much later Bailey Hobson tried the same before again, his low attempt was caught by the Dutchman. Pearce also forced a shot from a corner well over the bar.
Harriers may have threatened, like dark clouds on a rainless day, but there were no clearcut chances. The same applied to the home side and Dibble wasn’t troubled too much.
The main issue, like other games, was that the Shots were there for the taking but Harriers never threatened. Sam Robinson and Tollitt looked bright but always looked as though they were trying to do too much, Amari Morgan-Smith was as isolated as he was behind the run of play.
If Harriers are to stay up, it will require a number of changes, and good fortune. Alex Penny, as much as his West Ham goal makes him a legend, isn’t a Conference defender, Barry Maguire was poor, Oxlade-Chamberlain was wasteful in possession and Morgan-Smith had another game where the pace looked too much for him.
Harriers have Dagenham & Redbridge at home next, in what will prove to be a decisive game in Harriers’ relegation battle. There are five points to be gained, the first time Harriers have been more than one game’s results from the drop.
More changes are needed if the Reds are to stay up. McNally today provided some good deliveries, Hobson and Tollitt looked promising, the latter on his debut. While it varies, in spells Penny, Morgan-Smith, Maguire, and Oxlade-Chamberlain all looked off the pace. Realistically not all of them can be replaced, but serious changes are needed to help the battle to stay up. And that doesn’t mean a certain ex-Harrier who has recently left Chesterfield.
FT: 1 – 0
Goal for Aldershot Town: Stokes 24
The Harriers Online MotM is: Reiss McNally
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|Mr Paul Johnson