Venue: Aggborough Date: 30-09-23 Harriers 1 Barnet FC 2 Att: 2797 (away fans: 183)

30-09-23. Kidderminster Harriers 1 Barnet FC 2. Match report

First half bad. Second half good.

Report: Phil Lench

Quite possibly our worst first half performance for many a year was enough to see visitors Barnet FC win the game with two easy goals and without breaking a sweat. As is usual with us this season we stood and watched as a far superior team walked, not ran, rings around us.

Right from the off we were clueless and allowed Barnet to control the game completely. It didn’t take long for them to take the lead when a free kick on the edge of the area was put into the nearside of Christian Dibbles goal when Anthony Hartigan saw him stood too far to the other side of the goal and aimed for the corner that Dibble had no chance of covering.

We responded fleetingly with a  volley from Alex Penny that, typical of a defenders shot, flew over the bar. In fact as against Oldham Athletic last Tuesday most of our shots seem to go over the bar.

Barnet resumed control once again although they were receiving plenty of help from the referee who continually turned a blind eye to the shirt pulling and other antics employed. When he did actually give us something a big cheer went up from the exasperated Harriers fans.

The Bees came back with a shot from Nicke Kabamba that got deflected and then seconds later they increased their lead further through a player that we’ve come up against many times – Callum Stead, last with Brackley Town and played against us in last seasons play-off final. Unmarked he stole into the area to meet a deep cross that had been missed by all in red and buried beyond the reach of Dibble.

Our best chance of the half fell for Bailey Hobson as he broke clear of his marker to advance across goal but then carried on advancing across until he’d gone past then tried to hook it back but could only put it over the bar. 

HT: 0 – 2

Russ Penn made a change at the start of the second half (he had to do something didn’t he?) by sending on new signing Sam Robinson in place of the, again, lacklustre Ashley Hemmings. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain was moved into the centre of defence as a result. The change sparked something and we actually began look like a team that believed in themselves. 

It was still Barnet getting the chances to score though with Idris Kanu going the closest when he lunged at a far post ball in an attempt to push it home but it got cleared away for a corner instead. After that came a chance for Joe Leesley that, you guessed, went over the bar and then, somehow, we got a goal!

Awarded a corner it was taken by Leesley onto the head of Krystian Pearce who rose highest to head it home. With Alex Penny and a Barnet defender both going to ground clutching each other it was expected that it would have been ruled out by the official but he pointed to the centre spot and the goal stood.

With the Harriers now looking to draw level on came Kieran Phillips in place of Amari Morgan-Smith in a move that would give us far more pace up front. It did but we still rarely got near their goal due to the poor supply from midfield and Phillips being offside more often than not.

That was about it after that, Barnet seemed happy with what they had and we couldn’t improve on what we had. We now have a Tuesday evening game at Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday evening and we just have to keep plugging away. Play more like we did in the second half today then surely results will start to come.

FT: 1 – 2

Goal for Harriers: Pearce 64

Goals for Barnet: Hartigan 8, Stead 28

The Harriers Online MotM is: Krystian Pearce

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Morgan-Smith 65 
Hemmings 46 
Phillips 65
Robinson 46 
Barnet FCGoalsSubsTimeCards
Brunt 87 
Kabamba 62 
Kanu 90
Armstrong 87 
Gorman 62
Potter 90 
Mr Aji Ajibola