Match report Vs Kettering Town Venue: Aggborough Date: 18-04-22 Att: 2409 (away fans: 188)

18-04-22 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 0 Kettering Town 0

Harriers fail to break down a packed defence again

Report: Harriershane

The Harriers were glad to welcome Sam Austin and Geraldo Bajrami back off the treatment table, but were less glad to leave Aggborough with only a point after a goalless draw which the visiting Poppies had set out to obtain at 3pm in this Easter Monday clash.

Amari Morgan-Smith missed out as a precaution, with a slight tight groin, meaning that Ethan Freemantle was handed a start against an imposing Kettering Town backline.

The first few minutes set the tone for the remainder of the half, and arguably the game, as the Harriers retained possession courtesy of the visitors low block. The third minute saw the hosts create a half chance through the endeavour of Freemantle, who chased down the keeper, Jackson Smith, before setting up Sam Austin to attempt a chip; Smith equal to it on this occasion.

An Omari Sterling-James cross was also claimed by Smith, who was unable to do anything about the next effort at his goal. Good play between Sterling-James, Ashley Hemmings and Caleb Richards presenting Hemmings with a chance that he couldn’t convert; sending his effort wide of the post. Hemmings was again involved in the goalmouth action moments later, heading tamely into Smith’s hands.

That was at the halfway point of the half and, with the goalmouth action drying up, the next fifteen minutes or so was exclusively Harriers in possession as Kettering retreated back into their shell.

The Harriers did breach the away containing tactics briefly with five minutes to go until half time as Hemmings was played in superbly by Austin but the winger could only drag his effort wide. The final effort of the half was a Sterling-James trademark, a swerving effort from thirty yards out which swerved enough to worry Smith, but also to safety.

HT: 0 – 0

The second half was only two minutes old when the Harriers went the closest they would ultimately come to breaking the deadlock as Alex Penny headed an effort off the crossbar.

Kettering’s first and only shot of the game came just short of the hour mark through the prolific former Hitchin Town man Callum Stead. His header was goalbound, but cleared off the line by Joe Foulkes before Harriers went straight down the other end and nearly got a goal of their own; Sterling-James seeing his effort blocked.

Matt Stenson was sent on for Ethan Freemantle with over half an hour to play, looking for him to repeat his Southport heroics.

Having been on the pitch for ten minutes he had a great chance to do just that; being played in one on one but one touch too many allowed Smith out to close down the angle of the striker’s shot. A kind ricochet for the Kettering goalkeeper saw the ball hit Stenson and go out for a goal kick and another missed opportunity for Harriers. Smith denied Stenson again with ten minutes to go after he was found by Austin.

Ultimately the Harriers were unable to break down a stubborn Poppies backline, who had came for a point and got exactly that but their lack of ambition for a play off chasing team was somewhat surprising. Still, results elsewhere saw them enter the top seven tonight, so whatever works, eh?

FT: 0 – 0


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Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Simpson        
Foulkes   93  
Richards        
Penny        
Bajrami        
Carrington        
Austin        
Martin        
Freemantle   56  
Hemmings        
Sterling-James      
 
Subs:  
Cameron        
Lowe   93  
Montrose        
White        
Stenson   56  
 
Kettering Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Jackson Smith        
Barrett      
Brown        
Jack Smith   78
Johnson        
Cooper        
Stead   72  
Kennedy      
Stohrer        
Crawford   72  
Sharpe        
 
Subs:  
Davies        
C Smith   78  
Sherriff   72  
Milanovic        
Deacon   72  
 
Referee:  
Mr Dean Watson
Lancashire