Match report Vs Darlington FC Venue: Blackwell Meadows Date: 15-01-22 Att: 1348 (away fans: 100)

15-01-22 - Report - Darlington FC 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Dinanga grabs a late, late winner at Darlington

Report: Phil Lench

A late, late goal for one of our new loan signings was enough to give the Harriers all of the points on offer this afternoon at a fog enshrouded Darlington FC. Marcus Dinanga had only been on the pitch for a few minutes, after coming on two minutes from the end of normal time, when he popped up five minutes later to nod home Sammy Austins cross.

That was justice for Sam after he weirdly had a goal disallowed earlier after the referee played the advantage, following a foul, and then changed his mind and awarded a free kick for us instead so ruling out the perfectly valid goal. At least he had the last laugh.

The win has now given us a ten game unbeaten run in the league that was last achieved in the 2017-18 season. Overall we have been unbeaten, in both league and cup, in sixteen of the last seventeen games. Our only defeat since mid October being the FA Trophy game at Boston Utd just before Christmas. That is some mean feat and long may it continue.

The Harriers manager chose to go with our usual starting line up less Nathan Cameron who had picked up a slight injury last week. In his place stepped Keith Lowe. On the bench was another new loan signing in Devonte Redmond after he signed for us from Wrexham AFC for the remainder of the season. 

It was the Harriers that took the game to Darlington from the start and came close to scoring twice. Ashley Hemmings was the first with a shot that went wide in the thirteenth minute while eight minutes later the home keeper, Tommy Taylor, saved Austins shot low down. Darlingtons first sighting of goal came in the thirty fifth minute when Alex Purver tried his luck but his shot was deflected away for a corner. That lead to a series of corners for Darlo and resulted in their best spell of the game so far.

HT: 0 – 0

The second half was only three minutes in when the referee, Richard Aspinall, made that huge cock-up. Seeing his chance Austin had set off for goal only to get pulled back physically on the edge of the are. Instead of going down he carried on with the ref, seeing that he was free on goal, encouraging him by waving play on. Sammy fired the ball home to send us into the lead but then the referee changed his mind and instead awarded us a free kick from where the offence took place.

The free kick came to nothing but the disappointment of the decision rubbed of on the Harriers as the game turned into a midfield battle for the next twenty minutes. It was Sammy that got us moving again when he played in Omari Sterling-James but his shot took a deflection and went wide. Darlington responded with a chance for Jack Lambert that he sent over the bar.

A series of substitutions for us took place in an effort to spark some life back into our game. On came Jaiden White and Ethan Freemantle in place of Ashley Hemmings and Amari Morgan-Smith followed soon after by Dinanga for Sterling-James. 

With the announcement of five minutes of extra time the Harriers increased the pressure on the home team as we went in search of that killer, late goal.

That came three minutes into that added time when a flowing move from Caleb Richards to Jaiden White to Sammy Austin then onto the head of Dinanga to flick the ball into the back of the net and three well earned points for us that keeps us snapping at the heels of those above us. It also bought back memories for Dinanga because the last time he played there – for AFC Telford Utd in November 2019 – he scored a hat trick.

It’s on to Hereford on Tuesday evening for the postponed New Years game and, hopefully, another three points against our old rivals.

FT: 0 – 1

Goal for Harriers: Dinanga 93

The Harriers Online MotM is: Omari Sterling-James (chosen by Harriershane)

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Darlington FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Rivers   85  
Purver   63  
Cassidy   73  
O’Neill   73  
Dos Santos   85  
Wheatley   63  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Morgan-Smith   78  
Hemmings   72  
Sterling-James   88  
Fremantle   78  
White   72
Dinanga 88  
Mr Richard Aspinall