Match report Vs Southport Venue: Haig Avenue Date: 28-08-21 Att: 903 (away fans: 112)

28-08-21 - Report - Southport 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers get a draw at tough Southport

Report: Harriershane

The August Bank Holiday weekend is always a tough one with games scheduled for Saturday and Monday starting off with the Harriers embarking on a trip to the Pure Stadium, formerly Haig Avenue, to take on Liam Watson’s Southport side.

Looking to match up with the hosts tactically Harriers manager Russ Penn opted to start with three centre halves; Keith Lowe coming into the side for Omari Sterling-James in an attempt to counter the considerable aerial threat that comes with “Watson-ball”.

Harriers started the brighter of the two sides controlling the tempo of the game and were handed the ideal chance to take an early lead when Jack Bainbridge was adjudged to have handled in the area. The ball did hit his arm, but there is a debate to be had as to whether it was in an unnatural position; nevertheless, Ashley Hemmings was not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and rolled his penalty past Cameron Mason, who was sent the wrong way in front of the 112 travelling Harriers supporters.

Sam Austin had a half chance to double the lead inside ten minutes as he led a breakaway from a home corner. All alone, he had no option but to test Mason on the angle with the former Curzon Ashton goalkeeper holding the effort well.

With fifteen minutes played Luke Simpson saw his first action of the game as Marcus Carver teed up Niall Watson (son of Liam) who forced the Harriers keeper into a save with his legs. The home side began to get into the game a bit more from this point and the Harriers were indebted to the well positioned Lowe who hacked a Chris Doyle effort off the line. Both sides would see efforts miss the target; Geraldo Bajrami and Joe Foulkes heading over for Harriers, whilst Carver and Josh Hmami also tried their luck but to no avail.

HT: 0 – 1

After a comedic wait to kick off the second half, courtesy of a pair of uncooperative sprinklers, the Harriers almost doubled their lead almost as quickly as they surrendered it at York City, hitting the bar before the home side scrambled the ball away.

It seemed like Southport had got a grip on Harriers in the second half, as long throw after long throw rained down on the Harriers back line. On a few occasions the home side saw the ball flash wide, usually after a header back across the goal from the back post before an effort would be turned off target.

The gameplan was clear; bombard Harriers and make them wilt. As it happened Lowe, Nathan Cameron and Bajrami were up to the task gamely dealing with the balls in that usually rendered Simpson helpless courtesy of blocking that seemed to take inspiration from the NFL. A mention for Joe Foulkes here as well who took his fair share of physicality and looked absolutely shattered at full time.

Halfway through the second half Southport finally made the break through, although whether they should’ve been afforded the chance was questionable. A long ball towards Foulkes saw the Walsall loanee get something on it to concede a throw, but also take a heavy landing from a suspected push as he jumped. In came the ball, and up went a hand, which the referee said belonged to Lowe handing Marcus Carver the chance to equalise from the spot; an opportunity he duly dispatched.

Post match Russ Penn alluded to the hand actually belonging to one of the two Southport players contesting the challenge with Lowe so it would be hard not to feel a sense of injustice should the highlights prove that to be the case.

‘Port very nearly took the lead with fifteen minutes to go and the man who conceded the penalty in the first half, Jack Bainbridge, was the man to whom the chance fell as he turned the ball fractionally wide from yet another long throw.

More balls rained down in the remaining ten minutes but the Harriers managed to withstand the barrage.

The buzzword post match amongst the players, staff and fans alike was “battle” but a point on the road is always a good one and it also preserves the unbeaten start to the season ahead of the visit of Chester, who are no doubt buoyed by their 97th minute equaliser against Gateshead today.

FT: 1 – 1

Goal for Southport: Carver 71 (pen)

Goal for Harriers: Hemmings 6 (pen)

The Harriers Online MotM is: Joe Foulkes

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Southport Goals Subs Time Cards
J Doyle        
C Doyle        
Munro   71
Carver 85  
Watson   78  
Archer   85  
Vassallo   71  
Buckley-Richards   78  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Carrington   84  
Freemantle   73  
Martin   79  
Montrose   84  
Sterling-James   79  
Bell   73  
Mr Kristian Silcock