Venue: Aggborough Date: 12-03-24 Harriers 1 AFC Fylde 1 Att: 2151 (away fans: 21)

12-03-24. Kidderminster Harriers 1 AFC Fylde 1. Match report

No where near good enough so don’t blame the ref

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers managed to rescue a point against AFC Fylde this evening following a first half as dire as any we’ve seen at Aggborough this season. It wasn’t helped by the poor standard of officiating but the officials are not the ones out there playing for their lives to escape relegation. We didn’t seem to learn from the game at home to York City on Saturday that we need to play with more quality and try to pass the ball around rather than chase a ball booted up the field.

On a mild evening, at last, there was a first start for loanee Todd Miller following his bright cameo on Saturday while on the bench was Alex Penny recovered from his short illness, believed to be an allergic reaction to coconut of all things. Keep off the Bountys from now on Alex. Also there was Sam Robinson on his return from an injury picked up on the day that Phil Brown arrived at the club.

As is usual for us we started the game at high speed looking to press Fylde back but it wasn’t quite working out that way as it became something of a midfield battle. Yes, the referee was getting a little too involved but there was a lot of passion out there with two long time foes coming up against each other and the Harriers usually coming off worst.

Very little happened in a footballing sense with just a header over the bar from Cole Kpekawa early doors and a half chance for Nick Haughton soon after that was pushed around the post for a corner by Christian Dibble.

It was Fylde that took the lead eventually just after the half hour mark when our defence nodded off following a long ball over the top from their young protege Danny Ormerod to Josh Kay who had all the space in front of him to take the ball forwards and then look up to see Haughton unmarked on the other side of the area. A slide rule pass across and Haughton swept the ball home.

Oh if only we could do that once in a blue moon!

Fylde took control of the game after that and saw the half out without any problem. The referee didn’t help our cause much by getting so many things wrong but we should be wise to the professional antics some clubs employ and just get on with it.   

HT: 0 – 1

The second half got underway with the Reds seemingly having calmed down a bit and no thinking things through. Todd Miller was looking brighter than he had in a first half where he’d been devoid of service. Now he was playing on his preferred right side he was seeing more of the ball and tried to play some balls into the area but the Fylde defenders stood firm. Ten minutes later his spell on the pitch was over when we made an early, double substitution by bringing on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for him along with Alex Penny for the out of sorts Reiss McNally.

The arrival of JET signalled better things for us and in response Fylde made changes in bringing on defenders in place of midfielders to keep their narrow lead intact.

On sixty five minutes JET showed what he can do when, instead of pussy footing around, he fired the ball through a ruck of players from both sides and hit the post with a thud. It was so close to being the equaliser we had been yearning for. This seemed to spur us on and we rallied to try and find that elusive goal but without any luck. We had too many players on an off day with Ashley Hemmings invisible and Jack Lambert going to ground far too often.

With time beginning to run down the crowd tried to lift the team with the Red Army chant so Zak Brown tried his luck from range but it was over the bar. Sam Bellis came on for us with Regan Griffiths departing the scene and JET dropping back to take his place. We began to go for it at last and the goal came.

A cross came in from Hemmings to Amari Morgan-Smith waiting in front of the keeper Theo Richardson who collected his scooped shot but then fortuitously dropped it. AMS was in the right place at the right time and bundled the ball over the line. It wasn’t pretty but who cares?

We tried to add to the goal but time wasting from Fylde saw them trying to run the game down without giving us the chance to fashion anything worthwhile and we had to settle for a draw that takes us up the fourth from bottom after results elsewhere went in our favour. 

We have Bromley FC away next this coming Saturday and, hopefully, we’ll turn in a better performance than we did tonight.   

FT: 1 – 1

Goal for Harriers: Morgan-Smith 83

Goal for AFC Fylde: Haughton 33

The Harriers Online MotM is: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

McNally 56 
Griffiths 78 
Miller 56 
Penny 56 
Bellis 78 
Emmanuel-Thomas 56
AFC FyldeGoalsSubsTimeCards
Walker 82 
Adshead 63 
Ustabasi 70 
Long 70 
Barrett 82 
Whitehead 63
Mr Aaron Jackson