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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 19 Oct 10 at 11:48 AM

FULL TIME: Kettering 1-1 Harriers

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

Chris McPhee struck a fifth goal of the season to secure ten-man Harriers a deserved share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw on what was a deeply frustrating afternoon at Kettering in the BSBP.

Harriers got off to the worst possible start in this one after just four minutes by handing a gift-wrapped lead to their in-form hosts. A corner was driven in low and wasn't picked up by anyone in yellow - the ball allowed to roll free to Brett Solkhon who, with time and space, was able to stab home past Daniel Lewis who was left completely stranded.

The response from the visitors was slow in coming as they struggled to get to grips with the strength and physicality of their opponents - on 13 minutes they had a chance to force a save from the home goalkeeper Kelvin Jack but Keith Briggs' free-kick from just outside the area could only strike the wall.

Four before the half-hour mark it should have been two to the hosts - they had a brace of excellent opportunities to extend their lead as, first, John Dempster headed over from close-range following a neat ball in towards the far post. Just after, a mix-up at the back from Harriers left Kettering free to break; James Dance forcing a fine save from Lewis as he stood free to drive at goal from around ten yards.

On 33 minutes former Redditch man Dance wrestled himself free on the edge of the area and turned away from a challenge to hit another effort towards Lewis that required a solid save from the Aggborough custodian as he got down well to palm it away.

It took until the final six minutes of the first period before Harriers worked a real chance on goal - a surging run by Lee Vaughan opened up the Poppies and allowed him to feed Matty Blair who in turn shipped a neat ball towards the near post that Lee Morris headed just over.

Harriers started the second half brightly but were dealt an absolute hammer blow just four minutes in as they were reduced to ten men for just the second time this season - in all objectivity it looked a harsh decision - on his first start for the club, Aaron Griffiths went in firmly on Jean-Paul Marna, clearly winning the ball and changing its direction, but not so in the opinion of referee S. Cook who immediately flashed a red card in the youngster's direction.

It took a while for things to settle down and the afternoon worsened even further for the visitors on the hour mark when skipper Keith Briggs was forced off through injury, replaced by Callum Gittings who tried to immediately make an impression as he shot wide of goal.

If anything the set-backs from a Harriers point of view actually opened up the match as they looked to stretch the opposition further, Chris McPhee getting into some solid positions but only just narrowly missing out on supplying the likes of sub Marc Williams.

In the 71st minute it was Gittings again causing some problems as he turned well on the edge of the area, shooting firmly at Jack who got down well to hold the ball.

Kettering never looked comfortable with a single-goal lead for the majority of the second period and with just over ten minutes to play they wasted a good chance to extend it as Nick McKoy shot straight at Lewis, the goalkeeper gathering at the second attempt.

They paid the price as with just eight minutes to go - Kettering allowed Gittings too much time and space out wide and with McPhee making an excellent run, the winger slipped him in with perfect timing, Macca smashing the ball home from just outside the area, in to the top corner of the net for his fifth of the season.

Just a moment later Williams stole a march on the home defence and picked up on a beauty of a ball - one on one with Jack, the striker looked to lob the ball over him and into the back of the net, but was stopped by the goalkeeper clearly handling outside his area; somehow the referee awarding absolutely nothing.

A fine save from Lewis to deny Serge Makofo arguably secured the point for Harriers as the home side enjoyed a rare surge forward.

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