|Venue: York Road Date: 16-12-23 Maidenhead Utd 1 Harriers 0 Att: 1563 (away fans: 127)
Un-inspiring Harriers throw away another three points
A second half goal by Casey Petitt was the difference in an uninspiring game between Kidderminster Harriers and Maidenhead Utd as Harriers failed to build on their four-game unbeaten run to climb closer to getting out of the National League’s relegation places.
The former Crawley Town and Southend Utd man Ashley Nathaniel George was the decisive man who helped the home side over the line. His second half endeavour on the left wing saw him turn supplier for Petitt to seal the game midway through the second half.
Amari Morgan-Smith, Sam Robinson, Bailey Hobson and Krystian Pearce returned to the Harriers side, while Maidenhead, who are still unbeaten in the league since October boasted ex-Peterborough Utd player Kane Ferdinand in their ranks with Tobi Sho-Silva leading the line, brother of one-time Harrier Richard.
The game overall lacked quality with Maidenhead struggling to break down Harriers and vice versa. It was the home side who came closest to breaking the deadlock early as Reece Smith managed to get on the end of a poor defensive pass by Harriers, but after bearing down on goal from the right side of the area, his shot was blocked one-on-one by Christian Dibble.
Harriers, meanwhile, were limited to a number of chances for top scorer Morgan-Smith. He got onto the end of a Jack Lambert free kick from the right but his far post header went the wrong side of the post when he should have made goalkeeper Craig Ross work. He managed to tamely get on the end of another cross from the right shortly after but the ball went safely into the hands of Ross.
There were late shouts for a penalty as the first half drew to a close but referee Ben Wyatt waved Morgan-Smith’s appeals away.
HT: 0 – 0
If the flurry of Harriers half-chances were promising in the first half, the second did not follow in the same guise. Nathaniel-George tested Dibble from distance after cutting in from the left. He then turned supplier for the game’s only goal on sixty seven minutes.
A Maidenhead free kick was cleared away before the winger was played back in down the left. He dummied and pulled the ball back, seeing Reiss McNally go to ground in doing so. He came into the area, and cut the ball back for Pettit who finished simply past Dibble.
Harriers fans would have been forgiven for thinking that this would be the cue for the away side going for the game. However they were disappointed.
It might be the festive season and they may have had Gold on the pitch for his Harriers league bow, but the wise men on the sidelines continued not to shake things up. To be frank, in sense, it’s another sign of the management potentially not being up to the task – and it won’t be long until the murmurs of discontent start again.
Shane Byrne and Ben Tollitt came on but didn’t affect the game for the twelve minutes they were on – in fact Byrne was lucky to only get booked for a poor sliding challenge two minutes later.
As stoppage time was signalled Harriers did at least get a succession of corners. One dangerous ball from Lambert looked like it would just need a slight touch from Gold Omotayo to find the net, but he and the other Harriers players missed the ball as it went side of the far post.
It’s another poor result and an underwhelming performance from the Harriers as they scrap against relegation. Maidenhead were a beatable side and unimpressive in themselves – and while opposition fans complimented Harriers after the game for being hard to break down – they seemed to struggle to have a real cutting edge. Ross will certainly have felt he’s had busier days in the Maidenhead goal.
It’s all the more frustrating for fans as sides around Russ Penn’s side lost. Speaking after the game Penn said he thought both sides cancelled each other out. It’s hard to disagree, but it would be nice if the club benefited from those situations, rather than keep walking away without any points. It’s no use signing Omotayo if he doesn’t get any chances to put away.
Southend Utd and Boreham Wood are up next, the game against the former was another this season that Harriers will have felt unlucky not to walk away with more than a point so maybe that will change this coming Saturday.
FT: 1 – 0
Goal for Maidenhead Utd: Petitt 67
The Harriers Online MotM is: Kai Lissimore
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|Mr Ben Wyatt