Match report Vs Kettering Town Venue: Latimer Park Date: 25-01-22 Att: 864 (away fans: 175)

25-01-22 - Report - Kettering Town 0 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers struggle on a poor pitch but still win

Report: Harriershane

After Saturday’s demolition job on beleaguered York City the Harriers travelled to Kettering Town who were seeking to impress new manager Ian Culverhouse, who only met the players officially ninety minutes before the game kicked off.

The Harriers line up saw four changes from Saturday’s game, as the hectic schedule begins to take its toll on legs and bodies – Sam Austin, Nathan Cameron and Ethan Freemantle all missing through injury whilst Alex Penny was ill. It meant Joe Foulkes was to get through his first full match since his injury, whilst there were also starts for Keith Lowe and Lewis Montrose.

The biggest piece of team news for the Poppies supporters was the omission of top scorer Callum Powell with an unnamed club from a higher level having had a bid accepted for him, rendering him unavailable whilst he negotiates what would be a well deserved move.

The Latimer Park pitch has come in for criticism from other teams throughout the season and it quickly became obvious that this game would not be one for the purists. Indeed it would be a throwback, a physical game, one that an observing Stuart Pearce, running his eye over us for his West Ham employers,  would have relished in his heyday.

The hosts were not shy in getting the ball forward quickly, leading to an early chance for Connor Barrett who was unable to test the Harriers backline before Connor Kennedy saw his effort smothered by Luke Simpson. The Harriers took the lead with what was their first real chance of note – a free kick was delivered well into the area where Ashley Hemmings sent an effort goalwards. Rhys Davies was equal to it but, unable to hold, palmed the ball into the path of an onrushing Amari Morgan-Smith who converted in front of the Harriers travelling contingent.

Morgan-Smith had another chance minutes later after he was fed in on goal, but the forward was denied by an exquisitely timed challenge from Riccardo Calder that earned applause from both sets of fans.

Midway through the half the Harriers were dealt a blow as Keziah Martin came off worse from a crunching Gary Stohrer tackle; the young midfielder was unable to continue, with Devonte Redmond taking his place.

Kettering were to lose a man of their own as Rhys Davies took an awkward landing after claiming a corner. The goalkeeper was in visible discomfort and was eventually stretchered off and with Jackson Smith not in the squad, defender Connor Johnson took his place in goal. We wish Rhys all the best in his recovery from what is believed to be a broken ankle.

HT: 1 – 0

With no recognised goalkeeper most people would’ve thought that the Harriers would be raining down the efforts to make him earn his money tonight; alas it was Johnson’s opposite number Luke Simpson who found his cash to be hard earned, first saving from Jordon Crawford as Harriers continued to face an aerial bombardment.

The hosts were clearly the dominant side in the second half but were let down at times by their decision making, firing high wide and not at all handsome on a number of occasions, whilst being betrayed by the pitch on others. The one thing they did do well though was to press us continually and never giving our lads a second on the ball.

One of the hairier moments for the Harriers came as Rhys Sharpe tried to turn in a dangerous near post ball but could only divert it off target. Ash Hemmings had a chance to put the game to bed for Harriers in what was a very rare foray forward, beating a couple of defenders before dragging his shot wide.

Back Kettering came and they did have the ball in the net, but the goal was correctly chalked off for a foul on Simpson or a possible handball. Perhaps it was more than Harriers deserved, but sometimes Lady Luck needs to be on your side as you grind out a win, and she certainly was tonight.

FT: 1 – 0

Goal for Harriers: Morgan-Smith 14

The Harriers Online MotM is: Amari Morgan-Smith

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Kettering Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Davies   44  
Sharpe   77  
Calder   67  
Joshua   44  
Conlon   67  
Milovanovic   77  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Martin   31  
Hemmings   88  
Sterling-James   66  
Carrington   88  
Dinanga   66  
Redmond   31  
Mr Greg Rollason