Match report Vs Alfreton Town Venue: North Street Date: 20-11-21 Att: 597 (away fans: 150)

20-11-21 - Report - Alfreton Town 1 Kidderminster Harriers 4

Harriers run rampant at Alfreton

Report: Harriershane

The Harriers travelled the fairly short distance to Alfreton Town looking to maintain the feelgood factor that has enveloped the club in recent weeks and in the process added to it with a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing as well as becoming the league’s top goalscorers.

For Russ Penn it was a case of “as you were” for the starting eleven, with the only change in personnel seen on the bench with Ethan Freemantle missing out with an unspecified injury. The veteran nuisance, Matt Rhead, started up top for the hosts who made one change from last week’s defeat to Gateshead; on loan Altrincham defender Ritchie Sutton returned to the side at the expense of Dwayne Wiley who dropped to the bench.

The early moments of the game saw some temporary concern for those of a Harriers persuasion following a robust 50-50 challenge between Nathan Cameron and Bailey Hobson fortunately, for Harriers, Cameron was able to continue.

Harriers seemed to be getting joy with a more direct style, with centre halves Sutton and Dominic Smith seemingly unable to cope with the presence of Amari Morgan-Smith. The former Alfreton forward had made a swift start to the game and managed to scamper onto a ball forward to beat both Dan Preston and Smith to possession on the byeline. Cutting inside he was eventually thwarted by goalkeeper George Willis, but not before some penalty appeals as he felt he had been clipped going past Preston.

This was soon forgotten though as the Harriers took the lead just two minutes later. Luke Simpson had saved well from a Rhead header before launching a booming kick upfield which was won in the air by Alex Penny. His flick on sent Harriers down the right flank, in a similar position to where Morgan-Smith had cut inside in the last move. With no cross seemingly on the Harriers retained possession and worked their way back inside before Mark Carrington played a superb reverse pass through to the scampering Sam Austin. Sammy finished with aplomb from the edge of the box.

With twenty minutes played Dayle Southwell managed to send a strike wide following good play from Hobson in an all to rare foray into a dangerous position for the hosts. Despite the Harriers lead the game was still to really spark into life but that was to change as we passed the half hour mark.

Alfreton’s main threat – when they carried one – was with Rhead, unsurprisingly, but he was being well marshalled by the Harriers backline allowing our forwards to trouble the home defence.

The Harriers lead was doubled with ten minutes until the halftime break with a lightening quick breakaway. Stealing the ball in midfield Ashley Hemmings drove towards goal before getting a shot off which was parried by Willis. Keeping up with play though was Austin who sent the follow up into the back of the net on an angle to double his tally for the game. Four minutes later it was 3-0 and quite frankly ridiculous.

If you thought the Omari Sterling free kick against Bradford Park Avenue was good wait until you see this effort on Sunday’s highlights. From at least fully thirty yards out the winger unleashed a powerful, dipping effort that flew into the back of the net to leave quite a few people – Willis included – quite frankly dumbstruck. A stupendous strike.

A late Mark Carrington tackle just after the goal saw him booked and the half threatened to ignite with Morgan-Smith also getting booked for his second handball offence charging down a clearance as tackles started to come in with a little more spite. In amongst it all Conor Branson headed what would only be a consolation for the host as the Harriers were undone from a poorly defended Southwell corner.

HT: 1 – 3

The first chance of the second half was a home one with Southwell sending a free kick goalwards that forced Simpson to tip the ball wide before dealing with the corner comfortably.

The Harriers went straight up the other end and won a corner of their own. The delivery was sound, flashing across the area before Austin beat a couple of defenders to force another corner which was dealt with. It was a warning sign, and thankfully for Harriers it was not heeded.

Another smart move from Harriers down the right hand side saw a ball played in behind for Morgan-Smith to gallop onto. You would not have thought he was yet to notch in the National League North this season as he drew Willis out of the goal before calmly slotting the ball past him. A popular goal, indeed, and deserved for his performances this month which have been superb. Hopefully now this can be the spark he needs to recapture the goalscoring form that we know he has.

That goal seemed to suck the last of any belief Alfreton had out of them and when Ritchie Sutton was booked for a late lunge Sterling nearly added to his own Goal of the Season highlight reel with another audacious effort – this time he could only clatter the bar with Willis beaten.

With twenty minutes to play Caleb Richards had a chance to open his Harriers scoring account when he ghosted into the area on the left. Spotted by Sterling, who slid the ball into his path, the defender took a touch and could only find the trailing foot of Willis who was seemingly wrong-footed.

Willis was busy again with thirteen minutes to play, denying Austin what would have been a deserved hat trick before the hosts sought to grab a late second consolation goal. Last season’s breakthrough prospect, Elliott Reeves, who has been seemingly starved of starts this season, had two attempts at Simpson’s goal following his late appearance from the bench but at the far post, the Harriers keeper would not be beaten.

With Brackley Town only able to draw at home to fellow high flyers Curzon Ashton, and Chorley’s draw with Boston Utd, the Harriers sit in fourth place, with two games in hand of AFC Fylde who are currently nine points clear. We now travel to Gloucester City in midweek to face a very different side to the one who overturned Harriers’ first half two goal cushion to win by the odd goal in five last season.

FT: 1 – 4

Goal for Alfreton Town: Branson 43

Goals for Harriers: Austin 9, 36, Sterling-James 40, Morgan-Smith 53

The Harriers Online MotM is: Sam Austin

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Alfreton Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Branson 63
Rhead   93  
Ceesay   74  
Reeves   74  
Whiley   93  
Johnson   63  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Austin 86  
Hemmings   82  
Sterling-James 73  
Martin   86  
White   82  
Clayton-Phillips   73  
Mr Adam Williamson