Match report Vs GatesheadVenue: International StadiumDate: 12-12-20Att: 0000 (away fans: 000)

12-12-20 - Report - Gateshead 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers grab a great, late winner at Gateshead

Report: Harriershane

With a free Saturday last week, and a free midweek, the Harriers were afforded the opportunity to undertake some rest and recuperation before the long trek to the Gateshead International Stadium where their hosts were top of the form table following a six game unbeaten run.

The Harriers manager Russ Penn, of course, had a spell with the Heed during his playing days and upon his return to one of his many former stomping grounds he made two changes to the side who fell to defeat against Kettering Town: Omari Sterling-James returning to the side, as did Alex Penny as Max Taylor dropped to the bench. The hosts named an unchanged side from their 1-1 draw with Leamington, meaning top scoring Fleetwood Town loanee Ged Garner would once again lead the line.

In what would become the theme of the Harriers first half attacks Amari Morgan-Smith got himself onto the end of a cross from Sterling-James but Harrison Male, making his fifth appearance of the season standing in for the injured James Montgomery, saved comfortably. The opening exchanges were frenetic, without any real opportunities presenting themselves for either side but Harriers could perhaps consider themselves to have had more of the game, winning their midfield battles and playing some neat football without testing Male too much.

Outside of a Jake Cooper headed chance after eighteen minutes Gateshead found themselves short of chances in the opening quarter of the game. One of the main men of the first half offensively for Harriers, Caleb Richards, began to stamp his mark on the game stinging Male’s palms with a fierce strike. Going straight up the other end Danny Greenfield would do the same to Luke Simpson from range before Greg Olley slid Garner in after half an hour. His cutback, though, was blocked and cleared by the veteran Harriers defender Keith Lowe.

Garner later threatened Simpson from range, with ten to go until half time, before he breached the Harriers offside trap to scamper onto a loose ball. Simpson dashed off his line and denied the Fleetwood youngster, who slid in to try and poke the ball past the Harriers custodian.

The connection between Sterling-James and Richards continued to prosper, with the Norwich loanee finding Morgan-Smith who could only head straight at Male, before the ball skimmed off his head from the same source in what was the last action of the half.

HT: 0 – 0

The second half, perhaps understandably settled into a more pedestrian pace as, once again, both sides were trying to figure the other out.

A late tackle saw Luke Maxwell booked with just two minutes played in the second half before George Smith fired wide after being teed up by Olley after fifty two minutes. For the next ten minutes, the game became a battle once more but the Harriers broke out of that pattern, being denied only by Kallum Griffiths who had to concede a corner. From that corner the Harriers caused problems again, crowding Male and causing a scramble where Lowe and Sam Austin would both try to turn it goalwards before Alex Nicholson hacked away.

Having denied the home side bravely in the first half Simpson uncharacteristically presented them with a chance with twenty minutes to play scuffing a poorly played back pass straight to Jordan Cook who fired over from thirty yards.

As the game entered the final ten minutes one would be forgiven for thinking that it was meandering towards the second goalless draw at Gateshead in 2020, following the draw in February. The Harriers had a different idea though and a dangerous break, led by Alex Penny, saw the former Boston defender force Male into a save.

From the corner a teasing Ashley Hemmings delivery into a crowd of bodies somehow found some part of Lewis Montrose’s body with the ball trickling past Male’s despairing efforts at clawing it out. The youngster will be very disappointed with that when he watches it back on Sunday’s highlights.

For Harriers the task was now to repel the Heed threat for the final ten minutes. Substitute Ethan Freemantle fired into the side netting before a late flashpoint saw him booked following a flare-up on the halfway line when Koby Arthur was unceremoniously pulled back on a counter attack. The Heed free kick was launched forward but, once again, the imperious Cliff Moyo met the ball and headed away to end the game and continue the Harriers’ impressive away form.

Our next league game won’t be until Boxing Day now when we travel to arch rivals Hereford FC but before then we will face our unknown FA Trophy opponents Stamford AFC this coming Tuesday evening in Lincolnshire.

FT: 0 – 1

Goal for Harriers: Montrose 83

The Harriers Online MotM is: Cliff Moyo

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Gateshead Goals Subs Time Cards
Garner   77  
Langstaff   77
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Austin   81  
Maxwell   66
Sterling-James   93  
Prosser   66  
Freemantle   81
Arthur   93  
Mr Paul Brown
Newcastle upon Tyne