|Venue: Aggborough Date: 28-10-23 Harriers 1 Chesterfield 3 Att: 3913 (away fans: 1531)
The Harriers give Chesterfield a tough game
Report: Phil Lench
This was always going to be a game to test the mettle of the Harriers and so, by the end, it turned out to be. Table topping Chesterfield, and their strong following, arrived at Aggborough full of confidence of gaining all three points but they hadn’t taken into account that we would be up for it too and prepared to give them a run for their money.
For the first thirty minutes it was all Harriers, even allowing for their twenty fifth minute goal, but eventually the superior quality of the ex league club took over.
The game got underway with new loan signing Ryan McLean getting his first start in red and his zipping runs down the channels left Spireite defenders chasing shadows and resorting to bringing him down. He had them worried. On the other side of the pitch Sam Robinson was creating the same problems for them and, likewise, he was facing roadblocks in his way but usually managing to wriggle around them.
It was Robinson who had a major part in our first sight of goal when his pass forward was to far for Amari Morgan-Smith at first but the keeper, Ryan Boot, came out to meet it but completely cocked up and AMS got there to disposess him, the ball rolled away to McLean who fired in but Boot got to it and eventually fumbled it into the safety of his chest.
The annoying Armando Dobra tried his luck into the side netting from some way out and then came their goal. Tom Naylor robbed a napping Barry Maguire of the ball in the centre of the park and played it through to Oliver Banks who had the easy task of putting the ball past Christian Dibble.
We weren’t going to lie down though and soon after we had pulled the game level again. We had already given warning that we weren’t going to roll over for them when McLean had a shot blocked and Robinson forced a corner. The ball came in and Zak Brown rose highest at the far post to head the ball home.
Both sides had further chances but the thrilling first half ended all square. Both sides headed into the dressing rooms for stern talks so which one would come out the stronger and more fired up?
HT: 1 – 1
Sadly it wasn’t us. Chesterfields defenders and midfielders had been instructed to cut off the supply to McLean and he was rarely to be seen in the second period. They also clicked into second gear and we struggled to cope efficiently.
Dangerman Will Grigg tried his luck with a shot saved by Dibble and soon after the Harriers keeper got down to, untidily, grab the ball from the boot of Naylor when he should really have scored. We responded with Brown breaking free from his marker and setting off on goal but, with the keeper now close up to him, he tried to lob him but couldn’t lift the ball high enough and Boot collected it easily.
The referee, who had been having a decent game so far, began to lose control and started to dish out the yellow cards. A few of them were warranted but the one for Reiss McNally was harsh when Ryan Colclough dropped to the ground far too easily and became even harsher later on.
It was just after that Chesterfield took the lead once more.
In a bit of a scramble in front of Dibbles goal, following Miguel Freckletons corner, Alex Penny managed to clear the ball off the line but it only fell as far as Banks who then forced the ball over the line.
The goal knocked us back a bit and we seemed to lose confidence as the Spireites took charge. More bookings, and subs, followed and then McNally found himself dismissed. The ball was played forwards by a Chesterfield player but it was played a little too far. McNally innocently collected the ball just as Michael Jacobs came rushing in. Jacobs fell to the floor and the referee booked Reiss for a second time then sent him off while the Chesterfield players applauded Jacobs for his ‘excellent work’.
It was a mere formality when Will Grigg added a third goal. Another sub, James Berry, broke free and played the ball to Naylor who then chipped the ball onto Griggs head and into the goal.
With the two clubs positions in the table, and the differing quality of each teams players, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Reds. We gave them a game that they won’t forget soon but with other results going against us we now find ourselves rock bottom for the second time this season.
The only way is up!
FT: 1 – 3
Goal for Harriers: Brown 25
Goals for Chesterfield: Banks 21, 68, Grigg 91
The Harriers Online MotM is: Zak Brown
Talk about the game here
Latest table and stats here
|Mr David McNamara