Match report Vs Alfreton TownVenue: AggboroughDate: 26-01-19Att: 1315 (away fans: 36)

26-01-19 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 0 Alfreton Town 1

Abject Harriers lose again

Report: Harriershane

Following the excellent victory at AFC Telford last week hope abounded that it heralded the beginning of a great run of form starting with the visit of an Alfreton Town side who were, quite frankly, out of form coming into this game.

In the week Colin Gordon brought in Jake Weaver and Kieran Boucher, both goalkeepers, covering for Brandon Hall and Tom Palmer both of whom were suffering from injuries from the aforementioned Telford game. Weaver started, with Ryan Johnson returning to the lineup at the expense of Harry Higginson who could consider himself unfortunate to have been dropped after his debut heroics last week.

Alfreton boasted three former Harriers in their ranks: Martin Riley, Richard Peniket and pantomime villain Reece Styche.

The games first action came from the effervescent Nick Clayton-Phillips who embarked on one of his trademark runs from the off. His cross went for a corner which was headed comfortably wide.

The opening five minutes saw Harriers maintain possession with Alfreton content to sit in and close the gaps. As they grew into the game and began pressurising Harriers the chances started to manifest themself for the visitors; messrs Styche and Peniket firing over.

A normal part of play, the goal kick, offers a chance to reset and get down the field. Herein lay a major issue in the poor Harriers performance, especially first half, where the centre backs split to the edge of the box whilst five Harriers players lined up on the halfway line leaving a thirty yard chasm in which the second ball dropped and was won by Alfreton everytime.

With twenty minutes gone Peniket went down innocuously following a duel with Johnson. The stretcher was called, with the prognosis post-match insinuating ligament damage which could put his season in doubt. We, of course wish him well in his recovery.

Following the delay the visitors took the lead. Bobby Johnson’s corner was swung in towards the back post where Riley and substitute Tom Allan were poised to turn home; somehow the ball broke to Styche who bundled home before being treated by the physio having been kicked in the face by his team mate.

Any wind that the Harriers had was knocked out of their sails as Alfreton strode forward, Styche again having efforts blocked, with Weaver also saving well from a Bobby Johnson free kick.

Once again an abject first half performance was greeted by a cocktail of displeasure and apathy.

HT: 0 – 1

Milan Butterfield had been introduced late in the first half as a substitute for Russ Penn although the second half yielded no real difference with that move. It started with Alfreton putting Harriers under plenty of pressure from balls into the box and set pieces.

With fifty minutes on the clock Ryan Johnson was withdrawn with a knock, allowing Harry Higginson to come on. The Harriers were slightly better in the second half, however with Alfreton sitting in, it was always going to be doubtful that the patched-up hosts would possess the necessary guile to break Billy Heath’s stubborn side down.

As the minutes ticked down an air of resignation engulfed Aggborough as the visitors not only were comfortable in defence, but also looked the most likely to double their lead. The closest Harriers came was a couple of runs again from Clayton-Phillips, where he was crudely hacked down, and a Chambers header that flew well wide.

The last chance of the game fell to Butterfield whose effort was blocked by Josh Clackstone. Frustratingly, with time running out, Harriers were still insistent on “manipulating the ball” in the defensive third.

A crowd of just over 1300 was in attendance today and will drop further still. Since the start of October the Harriers’ home record stands at P9 (all comps) W2 D1 L6, scoring 9 and conceding a princely 18. Somehow, despite sitting in ninth place, Harriers still sit only two points off the play offs, perhaps an indictment of the quality of the league.

A visit to strugglers Ashton United awaits Harriers next week and we are reminded of the footballing lesson they dished out back in August, before running out of steam drawing 3-3.

Nice and attractive for the managerial candidates queuing up for the Harriers hotseat, then!

FT: 0 – 1

Goal for Alfreton Town: Styche 25

The Harriers Online MotM is: Nick Clayton-Phillips

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
R Johnson   50  
Heaton   75  
Penn   40  
Austin   75  
Butterfield   40  
Higginson   50  
Alfreton Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Riley   71  
Peniket   22  
B Johnson        
Bateson   71  
Allan   22
Mr Lewis Smith