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Match Report


Posted Tue 05 Oct 10 at 21:37 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 2-1 Gateshead

Report by Matt Wall - stats provided and generated for by the Press Association.

A goal on his first home start for the club by Matty Blair saw Harriers come from behind to beat Gateshead 2-1 in the Blue Square Bet Premier at Aggborough on Tuesday night.

With four minutes on the clock in this one it was the home side who pounced for the first chance of the night - inside four minutes, Blair nipped in to steal the ball and supply Marc Williams who, making a rare start, could only fire a low shot into the arms of visiting stopper Tim Deasy.

Barely a couple of minutes later, Harriers got caught on the back-foot and when an up-and-under ball into the box wasn't dealt with - Kris Gate looked to squeeze in and get onto the ball but was caught under the slight challenge of Ollie Thorne; referee Graham pointing straight to the spot and awarding a penalty which former Aggborough Martin Brittain duly dispatched, but with minimal celebration.

Almost immediately, the Heed camped men inside their own half and defended solidly against any Harriers attack. In fact, it took 26 minutes for Steve Burr's men to get the ball into the Gateshead area for the first time with any conviction - a good run and cross from Jack Byrne finding skipper Keith Briggs who, leaning back, could only slice over the bar.

Two after the half-hour mark, a free-kick saw Lee Vaughan lift an effort into the box that Briggs looped narrowly over the target with a decent header and a just a moment later, another Vaughan cross was met at the far post by Chris McPhee who volleyed just off target.

Four after the re-start the night almost got a whole lot worse for Harriers as the visitors went within a whisker of doubling their advantage. The home side had cleared their lines well enough but the ball fell to the feet of Jon Shaw from around 25 yards - the former Halifax man curling a beautiful effort towards goal that clipped the inside of the post and away to safety.

It was as if Harriers had taken that as a warning - on 52 minutes they were back on level terms after striking out of the blue; a great ball from Briggs floated into the area and was chased down by both Marc Williams and Byrne, the latter squeezing between two defenders to poke the ball home past Deasy.

The men in red then upped the pressure and four minutes later they had the ball bouncing unchallenged in the Gateshead area once again - Marc Williams picked it up and looked to turn and shoot but found his progress stopped by a blatant shove by James Curtis. The Welshman went down hard but, to the astonishment of almost all inside the ground, the referee gave a free kick the other way.

Gateshead tried to rally and had an opportunity with around 25 minutes left to play, Nelthorpe cutting inside and fizzing a low effort towards Lewis that the stopper parried and gathered at the second attempt.

Compared to their first half outing, Harriers were vastly improved in the second period and when they took the lead with just a quarter-hour left it was fully deserved. Neat work on the edge of the area saw Briggs played in - the skipper spraying a great ball across goal to the far post where Blair was waiting to ram the ball home for his first-ever Kidderminster goal.

Five minutes later it was almost 3-1 - Gateshead just couldn't live with the pace of substitute Nick Wright; he latched on to a ball over the top and struck the ball really sweetly, an effort that beat the goalkeeper and looked destined for the back of the net, only for Michael Kay to get back for the visitors and clear off the line.

With 88 minutes on the clock there was another chance to have wrapped it up for the hosts - Byrne providing a great ball to the far post where Callum Gittings ghosted in un-tracked, his powerful shot going just over the target.

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