Match report Vs Chester FC Venue: Aggborough Date: 30-08-21 Att: 2143 (away fans: 325)

30-08-21 - Report - Kidderminster Harriers 3 Chester FC 1

Harriers put three past Chester

Report: Harriershane

August Bank Holiday weekend at non-league level is a brutal weekend with two games in three days. On the face of it the fixture list hadn’t been kind to Harriers, sending them to a physical encounter with Southport on Saturday before returning to Aggborough for what is usually a mighty tough game against Chester.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the nature of that Southport game, Russ Penn opted to make only one change in reversing the one he made the other day; Omari Sterling-James recalled at the expense of Keith Lowe.

For Chester, Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have experienced a tough start losing key members of the squad to injury and potentially also experiencing COVID after-effects – today they were missing Declan Weeks (groin) and fellow midfielder George Glendon, who has now missed the last three games. Danny Livesey was a doubt after Saturday’s game with Gateshead but he started for the Cestrians alongside Dan Cowan at the back.

The Harriers flew out of the blocks, attacking the North Stand, with nice build up play inside the opening minute presenting Ethan Freemantle with an opportunity which was blocked by Matty Williams then Geraldo Bajrami heading over from one of a pair of corners shortly after. With nine minutes played Ashley Hemmings skinned Williams on the halfway line and drove forward before feeding Sam Austin, who’s driven cross was turned behind by Cowan.

Austin would have a crack himself shortly after, teeing himself up for a volley that flew just over the crossbar. With eighteen minutes played Harriers thought they had scored as Freemantle went to turn provider this time; his cross a perfect one for Hemmings to get his head to. The winger’s connection was good, heading into into the ground, but it only bounced onto the underside of the crossbar before being clawed away by the busy keeper, Louis Gray.

Harriers were rampant, in no small part to the excellent marshalling of George Waring by Bajrami and Nathan Cameron, allowing the hosts to keep up the pressure relentlessly. That pressure would ultimately tell with twenty five minutes played after more neat play teed up Sterling-James who cut in from the left hand side before flashing an effort past Gray whilst holding off a pair of Chester defenders to hand Harriers a richly deserved lead.

Sensing a second goal the Harriers continued to press forward relentlessly with Sterling and Hemmings trying their luck before the latter rattled the post after a nice lay off from Joe Foulkes.

Harriers had the ball in the net for a second time only to be denied by the linesman’s flag as Austin was adjudged to have converted from an offside position following a scramble in the area. The last action of the half saw Austin again take aim, this time a wicked curling effort that looked to be dipping in before Gray pulled out another top class stop to thwart Harriers.

For now, at least.

HT: 1 – 0

As expected, Chester started the second half the stronger of the two sides, and they really should have been on level terms as one of their two half time substitutes, Simon Grand, fired an effort over the bar from six yards out when he really should’ve been hitting the target.

A potential let off for Harriers then as was a corner on the hour mark that found the head of Waring but a handily placed Foulkes hacked the header off the line.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 with the strike quite possibly the finest maiden goal for a club scored, certainly in recent Harriers history. Given his Wrexham past it just had to be Mark Carrington didn’t it? Finding himself with the freedom of Aggborough, thirty yards from goal, he decided to test his luck and in the words of Andy Gray on one of the many famous Liverpool Champions League nights many years ago… “What a hit, son!”, as Louis Gray was stranded with the ball having rocketed into the top corner to send Aggborough into a combination of shock and delirium.

Honestly, watch the highlights. I defy anyone not to watch that goal multiple times.

That moment of pure quality, described post match by Jimmy O’Connor as a “once in a lifetime hit”, would’ve been a fitting end to the goalscoring action in this game, alas/thankfully it was not to be as Austin finally got himself onto the scoresheet following another scramble in the area after a brace of blocked shots. With a lot to do from just inside the box, and bodies sprawled on the floor, the in-form Harrier managed to pick a spot low enough and far enough out of Gray’s reach to give the scoreline the comprehensive gloss that the performance had so richly deserved.

The copybook was blotted slightly, a small coffee stain if you will, in the dying embers of the game when Lewis Montrose upended Grand; John Johnston dispatching the penalty coolly to give the visitors an unmerited consolation goal.

The win moves Harriers onto ten points from a possible twelve, placing them third after four games behind the two teams in the division still with a perfect record – Brackley Town and AFC Fylde.

On to Guiseley next Saturday and, on paper, a game we should get something from. Another three points would be good.

FT: 3 – 1

Goals for Harriers: Sterling-James 24, Carrington 62, Austin 71

Goal for Chester FC: Johnston 94 (pen)

The Harriers Online MotM is: Geraldo Bajrami

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Foulkes   76  
Carrington 69  
Freemantle   66  
Penny   76  
Montrose   69  
Bell   66  
Chester FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Marsh-Hughes   46  
Dudley   63  
Morgan   46  
Grand   46  
Oyibo   63  
Johnstone 46  
Mr Dale Wootton