Match report Vs Chorley FC Venue: Victory Park Date: 26-10-21 Att: 849 (away fans: 60)

26-10-21 - Report - Chorley FC 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers gain a point despite a red card

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers came away with a share of the points at Chorleys’ Victory Park this evening after the shock of losing star player Geraldo Bajrami to a second, unjustly awarded, yellow card by the referee.

He had already been booked late on in the first half but when he challenged Harry Cardwell on the touchline, a few minutes from the start of the second half, Cardwell dropped to the floor like a ton of taters. At first the ref thought nothing of it until surrounded by the Chorley players demanding that Bajrami should be sent off so then, prompted to do so, he pulled out first a second yellow and then the red card. Baj will now miss the Curzon Ashton game next Tuesday.

The first half never had the ‘excitement’ that the second half had and a display of hoofball from both sides wasn’t actually creating much. Chorley started off with a couple of quick consecutive chances for Billy Whitehouse that we managed to keep out. After that the game turned into aerial attrition with neither side getting a clear chance on goal. In fact the Reds failed to get a single shot on target at all.

Any chances the home side were getting was being dealt with efficiently by the Harriers defence – Nathan Cameron clearing a couple of efforts off the line. 

Both teams went into the break with only a few moments of interest to talk about.

HT: 0 – 0

The second period kicked off but before either side had the chance to settle down came the aforementioned red card incident. We quickly made a defensive change by sending on Keith Lowe in place of Ethan Freemantle who wasn’t getting much service in front of goal anyway.

We had a to play with a strong rearguard for the next ten minutes to keep out a chance for Jon Ustabasi that called the Harriers keeper, Luke Simpson, into a rare moment of action. Suddenly we started to burst into action of our own with Sam Austin crashing a shot against the crossbar from thirty yards out. Better was to come.

From nothing, and twenty yards out from goal, Ashley Hemmings suddenly saw his chance and sent a searing  half volley screaming past goalkeeper Matt Urwin and into the top corner of the net. The Harriers had given Chorley the ideal response to the earlier controversial incident. 

We now had a game and it was on. Chorley replied to our goal with a couple of headers that almost sneaked in and then Cardwell crashed into Simpson causing the ball to run free but thankfully Nathan Cameron was on hand again to clear it away as Cardwell tried to fire the loose ball home.

Simpson was called into action again to stop Whitehouse scoring  but he dealt with it easily enough. We then made something of a strange substitution by bringing on Amari Morgan-Smith for Omari Sterling-James. Strange because we had only just taken off a centre forward fifteen minutes ago for defensive reasons and now we were bringing another one back on?

Chorley continued to go in search of the equaliser with Ustabasi again coming close with a shot from range but going wide and then it happened. The home side made a final substitution by taking off Ustabasi and bringing on their leading scorer Connor Hall. He’s not the leading scorer for nothing and with his first touch of the ball he put it past the Harriers keeper to draw his side level.

They had a chance to claim a winner soon after when an earlier sub, Millenic Alli, fired goalwards but thankfully Simpson saw it coming and saved well.

Amazingly, with four minutes of extra time added, we could have strolled home with all three points ourselves. With Chorley committing themselves to getting the winner a clearance found Sammy Austin waiting on the halfway line. He collected the ball and set off on a straight line for Urwins goal and fired it towards the corner of the goal only for Urwin to, somehow, get a hand to it and deny us our winning goal.

The game came to an end seconds later and at least we had escaped the expected defeat following the Bajrami red card. The Harriers had played magnificently and had collectively done all they could to avoid that.

FT: 1 – 1

Goal for Chorley FC: Hall 80

Goal for Harriers: Hemmings 58

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Chorley FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Goodridge   71  
Shenton   74  
Ustabasi   79  
Tomlinson   74
Alli   71  
Hall   79  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Sterling-James   70  
Freemantle   52  
Martin   83  
Lowe   52  
Morgan-Smith   70  
Bonds   83  
Mr Ben Wyatt