Report - Matt Wall
Stats - Press Association
Pics - Stefan Rapacz
Harriers put in one of their best performances of the season on Sunday to defeat promotion contenders AFC Wimbledon 2-0 at Aggborough and extend their recent run to just the one defeat in eight games.
The home side started well and worked themselves a number of early opportunities - with just seven minutes on the clock a dangerous ball from Dave Hankin floated into the box and caused goalkeeper Seb Brown all sorts of problems as he could only punch it over the angle of bar and post - from the resultant corner a moment later, Lee Morris saw a header from Ollie Thorne's knock-back went just over the bar.
On 13 minutes a neat counter move from Harriers opened up Wimbledon again - Byrne surged towards goal and released Lee Morris out wide who beat his man for pace before centering a cross to his strike partner Chris McPhee who was denied a sliding shot by some brave work from Brown. Four later, Chris Bush had the visitors first chance of the day as he warmed the hands of Daniel Lewis from 20 plus yards.
On 26 minutes a surging run from skipper Keith Briggs saw the midfielder force a save from Brown, whilst Hankin drove one wide just moments later as Steve Burr's men continued to create.
The man with the armband continued to be the point of the attack for Harriers and five minutes after the half-hour mark he pounced on a great ball into the box by Callum Gittings to head down towards goal, the effort going just wide.
On the 40 minute mark Wimbledon's Fraser Franks found himself in the book for an evil lunge on Lee Morris - from the resultant free-kick Harriers worked it quickly and cleverly, Lee Vaughan bombing on to supply McPhee who headed over. A couple of minutes later a surging run from Mike Williams saw him drive one into the side-netting.
You sensed as long as the chances kept coming, the breakthrough would soon follow and in the final minute of a half they largely dominated, Harriers took the lead. More fine football saw the ball threaded through to Morris, who worked the angle on goal before playing in McPhee who powered the ball past Brown and into the back of the net.
Wimbledon started the second half much more confidently than they began the first as they attacked their own fans but the first chances following the re-start went to the hosts - on 52 minutes Hankin drove across goal and just wide after being released on a great counter-attack, Briggs once again trying his luck as he hit off target just after.
Harriers continued to search for more and, almost predictably, it was Briggs again looking dangerous just before the hour mark; first as he drove a free-kick from 20 yards just over the bar, and then as he shot following some hesitancy in the Wimbledon defence, only being denied by a good stop by Brown.
In search of a response, Wimbledon introduced three changes in five minutes as Jon Main, Andre Blackman and Ricky Wellard all entering the fray. On the 68 minute mark Danny Kedwell kept the visitors on the attacking radar as he got up well to head a cross straight at Lewis.
With 74 minutes on the clock the second goal that Harriers so desperately wanted almost appeared - a lovely, dinked free-kick from Briggs finding the head of Thorne at the near post who nudged one towards the target that was only kept from the back of the net by another excellent Brown stop.
Just nine minutes later, though, Harriers struck to find that two-goal cushion - opportunistic work from sub Marc Williams saw him work a one-on-one with Brown; the striker's initial shot was saved excellently by the goalkeeper but neither the stopper nor a covering defender could stop the on-loan man making amends with the re-bound from the tightest of angles.