Match report Vs Brackley TownVenue: St James ParkDate: 28-12-19Att: 775 (away fans: 150)

28-12-19 - Report - Brackley Town 2 Kidderminster Harriers 0

The Harriers end the decade in defeat at Brackley Town

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers drew a mainly poor decade to a close this afternoon in a game that they had the majority of possession in and the greatest number of shots on goal, both on target and off. Having never won, or even drawn, a game at Brackley it was always going to be a tough ask even after coming into the game on the back of a brilliant home win against Hereford FC a few days earlier. Sadly this one, again, ended in defeat.

With the same eleven fielded as on Boxing Day it was the Harriers who made the running right from the off to show how far we had come in a matter of a couple of weeks under Jimmy Shan. We continued to dominate the game throughout the first half and how we ended up without scoring after forty five minutes was down to the goalkeeping heroics of the former Harriers keeper Danny Lewis in goal for the Saints.

Some would say that it was down to a lack of firepower up front that was also our undoing and they’d be right. It’s something that Shan and the board will need to look at in the New Year.

As it was Ethan Freemantle was given another chance to lead the line due to the absence of Ashley Chambers with an injury while Ollie Shenton had a further chance to add to the two goals he scored the other day.

Early chances came the Harriers way for Milan Butterfield when he fired wide, a header for Rhys Williams that was well caught by Lewis and then a Shenton drive that he pushed away but only as far as Freemantle. He couldn’t quite reach it though. The best chance came the way of Williams soon after with a curling shot that thumped back off the bar from fully twenty yards out and, in view of later incidents, if he had scored it may have changed the outcome of the game for him personally too.

More chances came our way but again we failed to capitalise on our superiority and it was beginning to look ominous. No doubt in the second half the normal Brackley would finally turn up and we’d regret missing all these chances. 

HT: 0 – 0

Brackley showed their intent before the half started by bringing on the ‘surprisingly dropped to the bench’ James Armson. It was possibly his firepower they had been missing all along. Five minutes in and we had to make a change too but ours was more enforced. Ollie Shenton had come off worst in a challenge and as a precaution Ed Williams came on in his place.

The Saints began to take over the game and put our defenders under pressure more than they had been during the first half. It took them just two minutes to show us how it should be done.

They were given a corner kick that we failed to clear properly and it was re-cycled back in by another former Harrier Kelvin Langmead towards Thierry Audel who slammed the ball home past Will Mannion in the Harriers goal. We responded in the way that we should be putting their goal under pressure once more with Milan Butterfield forcing Lewis into a good save followed by a Sam Austin effort that drew yet another top draw save.

It looked to be only a matter of time before we’d draw level and then, rightfully, go on to win the game. The problem was that after that our efforts of scoring drew to a shuddering close with the sending off of Rhys Williams.

Armson had got hold of the ball and began to advance on goal when Rhys came flying in with both feet off the ground to upend the Brackley striker. The referee Dan Locker had no hesitation in pulling the correctly coloured card from his pocket to send the Liverpool loanee back to the dressing room. With his loan spell due to end after New Years Day that might, sadly, be the last we see of a young lad with a bright future.

With the team having to re-arrange themselves all the drive had gone from our game and it now became one of limitation. We managed to hold out until four minutes before the end of normal time when Town finally killed us off.

Again the inability to clear the decks was to blame and with no one putting a foot though the ball it fell kindly for Lee Ndlovu to power it back in towards and beyond the clutches of Mannion.

This was possibly our best ever performance at a ground that we normally seem terrified by. It was also a performance that we’re also now seeing under the tutelage of James Shan and can only be good for us going into the next decade. We now need the board to also support him, us, and the players in the next decade too.

FT: 2 – 0

Goals for Brackley: Audel 52, Ndlovu 86

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Brackley Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Daire   46  
Walker   82  
Armson   46  
Fairlamb   82  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
R Williams      
Freemantle   67  
Shenton   50  
E Williams   50  
Peniket   67  
Mr Daniel Locker