Match report Vs AFC Fylde Venue: Mill Farm Date: 25-09-21 Att: 1120 (away fans: 150)

25-09-21 - Report - AFC Fylde 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1

The Harriers fall short at AFC Fylde

Report: Harriershane

The Harriers travelled to Mill Farm, Fylde today to take on the early league leaders and title favourites AFC Fylde who, despite being knocked out of the FA Cup in a midweek replay, boast an almost perfect record in the league; a 1-1 draw against Kettering Town the only blemish on their record to date. We were hoping to improve on our only loss os the season so far following the home defeat to Gateshead two weeks ago.

Looking to spoil their copybook Harriers were handed a boost with the welcome return of Nathan Cameron to the defence to resume his blossoming partnership alongside Geraldo Bajrami. Despite his brace against Sporting Khalsa in the FA Cup last week, Nyal Bell was again named amongst the substitutes.

The Coasters opened up with the confidence you would expect a team of their league standing to have and took the lead inside six minutes courtesy of a superb solo goal from Nick Haughton. Making a diagonal run off Jack Sampson, Haughton got hold of the ball and skipped past three Harriers players before sliding a cool finish past Luke Simpson for his eighth goal in nine games in all competitions.

Moments later he combined with the former Leamington FC man Sam Osborne before sending in a dangerous ball which was dealt with by the Harriers back line.

After a couple of niggly fouls, and some baffling non-calls, the Harriers were served a blow as Omari Sterling-James picked up a knock from an uncompromising challenge; Jaiden White taking his place at the nine minute mark.

The Reds were unable to gain a foothold in the game as Jim Bentley’s side continued their offensive onslaught. Sampson, Alex Whitmore and Ben Tollitt all looked to double the home side’s lead in the ten minutes since the substitution before Harriers finally registered their first shot at Chris Neal’s goal – Sam Austin curling a ball comfortably wide.

Harriers eased into the half towards the end of the period, with Austin again in a shooting position before seeing his effort blocked by Dan Pike. Apart from that there was very little to write home about.

HT: 1 – 0

Whatever Russ Penn said at half time must have worked as we immediately sought to threaten that Fylde lead with Amari Morgan-Smith heading over from close range. Tollitt saw an effort blocked minutes later after Sampson’s knockdown before Harriers got their equaliser with the half just seven minutes old.

A deep cross from the left found went straight through the Fylde defence on its way to an onrushing Joe Foulkes who leathered an effort past Neal into the roof of the net to double his professional goalscoring tally.

Lewis Montrose and Sampson were involved in a physical battle throughout, with both players committing multiple fouls on each other, including one that the Harriers skipper was booked for in the first half, but it was a Pike foul that led to the next Harriers chance; Bajrami heading Ashley Hemmings’ delivery over the bar.

With just over twenty minutes to play Haughton looked to return to the party. Standing over a free kick from twenty yards out before sending it goalwards with a devilish amount of whip. Thankfully there was too much on it as it flashed just past Simpson’s left post.

From a similar position Hemmings fired a free kick of his own over after Austin had been fouled by Jamie Stott who also found himself booked. With ten minutes to play Fylde should have been back in front and were denied only by a superb piece of goalkeeping from Simpson.

Again it was Haughton at the centre of it, racing through on goal before feeding Tollitt who sent an effort goalwards. His effort was parried out by Simpson with the 1120 strong crowd just waiting for the net to bulge as Haughton went to tap in. The Harriers goalkeeper somehow managed to claw the ball back into his grasp.

The Fylde goal would eventually come, and the winner along with it, as veteran substitute Stephen Dobbie was sent through just two minutes after coming on. The Fylde faithful could not have wished for a better person for the chance to fall to, as Harriers hesitated to clear a ball, and the thirty eight year old duly slid the ball under Simpson to win the game.

Hemmings and Morgan-Smith did have headed half chances but the Harriers were unable to equalise, falling to their second league defeat of the season.

FT: 2 – 1

Goals for AFC Fylde: Haughton 6, Dobbie 83

Goal for Harriers: Foulkes 52

The Harriers Online MotM is: Joe Foulkes

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

AFC Fylde Goals Subs Time Cards
Stott   76
Sampson   82  
Osborne   66  
Obi   76  
Piggott   66  
Dobbie 82  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Bajrami   87
Montrose   73
Sterling-James   9  
Lowe   73  
Bell   87  
White   9  
Mr Richard Holmes