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Match Report

 

Posted Fri 29 Oct 10 at 21:21 PM

FULL TIME: Southport 2-2 Harriers

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

The tremendous, battling spirit of Kidderminster Harriers was on show on Friday night as the men in red came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Southport in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Harriers were bright starters to this one and applied some early pressure in keeping the ball camped inside the Southport half for the whole of the first five minutes or so - they created one real chance from the spell, too, as Jack Byrne took aim from around 20 yards and forced a good, low save from goalkeeper Tony McMillan.

After what had been a good start, Harriers found themselves a goal down on 17 minutes as the home side made the breakthrough with what was their first real attempt of the night. Byrne got up well and looked to have touched the ball into the path of his own defenders - only for the back line to stand still against the danger of the charging Southport attack, Chris Simm able to steal possession and take a touch or two before driving a cracking, dipping shot towards Daniel Lewis that sailed into the top corner of the net.

The men in red did their best to respond quickly - a free-kick was sent into the area and was headed down by Chris McPhee; Callum Gittings then on hand to crash a scuffed volley just wide of McMillian's upright.

With a little over ten to go until the interval, a long throw caused Harriers all sorts of problems as it dropped into that six-yard danger area - a real scramble resulted and the away side were grateful to Lewis for some brave work as he took charge and smothered the ball.

At the other end, Harriers had a brace of half chances as Tom Shaw drilled a free-kick over the bar and Gittings forced a low save from McMillan. But typically, they were made to pay for not taking said chances when Southport got themselves even further in front - a routine delivery from a set play coming into the area seeing Rob Marsh-Evans left all alone to ghost past two defenders and plant the most simple of headers past Lewis and into the back of the net.

Just five minutes into the second period it was Byrne again for Harriers who had the best early opportunity - he kept the ball well and moved past several Southport players as he edged towards the area, firing a shot towards goal that was deflected wide.

Two minutes later the men from Aggborough got themselves back into it - fantastic work from sub Dave Hankin saw him cut inside and charge on goal before lofting a great ball out wide to Marc Williams who kept it tight before crossing into the six yard area where Lee Morris, another sub, was on hand to head home his first in club colours.

That lifted Harriers and deflated the hosts - and the away side pumped up the pressure and a couple of minutes later they were back on level terms. Lively striker Williams took the gamble on a ball up field - he got goal side of the covering defender and collided with goalkeeper McMillan; the ball spilling out to Morris who shaped to shoot for his second of the night before being hauled to the ground by the shot-stopper - cue a penalty kick and a deserved red card for the home custodian. Southport took an age to sort the goalkeeping substitution, but McPhee kept his cool on the spot to send Steve Dickinson the wrong way to net the equaliser and his sixth goal of the season.

With 20 minutes to go it so easily could have been three as Harriers split open Southport once again - a delightful ball to Morris saw the front man not confidently on the edge of the area down to his partner Williams who was only denied a goal by a fantastic low save by Dickinson who blocked bravely.

The home fans grew ever-more frustrated as the second half reached its later stages - you always sensed the referee would be frantically urged to even things up in terns of red cards and with just over ten minutes to go we saw exactly that - Byrne going in late on Chris Lever on the edge of the Southport area, the red card couldn't have come out quick enough as the midfielder got his marching orders, players and management in the Harriers camp looking on in disbelief.

As the game entered injury time both camps pushed in search of what would have been a winner - Harriers kept it neat and in the 'D', McPhee supplied Williams once more who took a touch before shooting firmly at goal, Dickinson once again being equal to it with another tremendous save.

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