Match report Vs Leamington FCVenue: AggboroughDate: 19-04-19Att: 1515 (away fans: 93)

19-04-19 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 1 Leamington FC 2

Harriers fail in the heat and the play-offs are over

Report: Harriershane

Leamington turned up at Aggborough today on a glorious Good Friday afternoon to well and truly put the Brakes on Harriers’ fading play off hopes. The visitors, who could name a plethora of ex-Harriers in their ranks were without an away win in ten games and were expected to be put to the sword by an unchanged Harriers team from last week’s victory against FC United of Manchester, meaning that Academy graduate Tom Palmer would make his first home league start.

Harriers bolted out of the traps making all the running early in the piece and deservedly took the lead after just five minutes; good work from Joel Taylor and Ashley Chambers saw the ball played into Joe Ironside who turned and finished coolly past Tony Breeden from the edge of the box. The Harriers’ top scorer is out of contract at the end of the season and with another campaign, where he has neared the twenty goal landmark there is sure to be interest from elsewhere, however much Harriers supporters would like him to extend his stay here at Aggborough.

The visitors’ first effort was a wayward effort from stalwart Callum Gittings, also formerly of this parish, before Leamington equalised after just ten minutes. After what Mark Yates considered to be a foul on Ed Williams wasn’t given, the Brakes broke and found Jordan Murphy, via a Ryan Johnson slip. Murphy, another one of the gaggle of former Harriers players, put the ball into the danger area for Colby Bishop who was wonderfully denied by a spreadeagled Palmer; sadly Jack Edwards dispatched the rebound.

Following the goal neither side threatened although Leamington did have the best of the play before Harriers attempted to be hoisted by their own petard; Horsfall switching off and selling Palmer horrendously short with a backpass which was latched onto by Colby Bishop who fired wide under pressure from Solihull Moors loanee Harry Flowers.

As the half hour mark came, and went, one felt that the visitors remained in pole position in the game and they duly converted after thirty two minutes when Murphy’s corner was met by Junior English who powered home a header from close range after Palmer was beaten to the ball.

Our heads went down and it was obvious that the dressing room at halftime was not the place where any sane fan would wish to be.

HT: 1 – 2

Mark Yates made a half time change, replacing Flowers with Russ Penn. It emerged post-match that this had enraged Flowers who has made it clear he wants to return to Solihull following his perceived harsh treatment. He won’t be missed by many in these parts.

With five minutes played of the second half it really should have been 1-3 as a ball made its way through to Bishop who was denied superbly by Palmer’s outstretched hand. A minute later Harriers should have been level. A ball into the box from Sam Austin found Ryan Johnson who headed it down to Liam McAlinden, about twelve yards out on the angle and with space. The Cheltenham loanee could only crash an effort off the bar and out of play. A great chance, passed by.

Harriers did equalise two minutes later, after fifty four minutes, only for the referee to bizarrely rule the goal out. Ironside did excellently to chest the ball down and turn to escape the attentions of both Leamington centre backs and dispatch an effort at goal. Referee Scott Simpson decided there was something amiss and chalked it off. One began to get the feeling it was going to be one of those days.

The second half was almost exclusively contested in the Leamington half and the former Harriers keeper Breeden began to earn his money late on, making saves from Ironside and Chambers before he pulled off a save from the very top draw of goalkeeping. With just two minutes of normal time remaining Milan Butterfield found himself with time and space and let fly with a swerving effort from twenty five yards which was heading towards the top area of the net. Breeden managed to somehow spring and get both hands to the ball and bat it away for a corner.

The Harriers siege continued but Leamington repelled attack after attack, seeing out the allocated five minutes of injury time with relative ease before, Mr Simpson brought the curtain down on Harriers’ season.

Post match Mark Yates called the first goal pathetic and the game symptomatic of the season as a whole for Harriers and you would be hard pressed to disagree. He will sit down with chairman Colin Gordon in due course as we all wait to see what the next move will be for Harriers. All we know is that it needs to be the right one.

With the newly announced pyramid changes coming into effect over the next two seasons, the Harriers need to strike whilst they can. Next season only two teams will be relegated from each Step Two division before converting to a 24 team league for 2020/21, no doubt making the league even more competitive with the quality that is on offer in the eligible Step Three divisions. Think South Shields, Warrington Town, Farsley Celtic, Stourbridge, AFC Rushden & Diamonds; those who don’t go up this year will be in with a fantastic chance of promotion to our level next year.

Let’s not be lost in the pack.

FT: 1 – 2


Goal for Harriers: Ironside 5

Goals for Leamington FC: Edwards 10, English 32


The Harriers Online MotM is: Sam Austin

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Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Palmer        
Austin        
J Taylor      
Flowers   46  
Horsfall        
Johnson        
McAlinden   74  
Butterfield        
Ironside      
Chambers        
Williams        
 
Subs:  
Penn   46  
Richards   74  
Higginson        
White        
Heaton        
 
Leamington FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Breeden        
English      
Gudger        
Clarke        
Mace        
Lane        
Murphy        
Gittings   61
Bishop        
Edwards 69
Obeng   77  
 
Subs:  
Flanagan   61  
Wilding   69  
Hodges   77  
C Taylor        
Parker        
     
Referee:  
Mr Scott Simpson
Stoke on Trent