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Match Report


Posted Tue 11 Jan 11 at 22:52 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 4-1 Kettering

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

A second goal of the season for skipper Keith Briggs was among the highlights as Harriers kept up their unbeaten start to 2011 with a comfortable 4-1 win over Kettering at Aggborough on Tuesday.

The home side were creative from the off and particularly inside the first ten minutes there was threat from Matty Blair out wide as he looked to go past his man and supply some ammunition into the area, though a couple of corners and a shot into the side netting was as good as it got.

Thankfully, though, it wasn't long until the breakthrough came and Harriers got their reward for some early pressing. Ten minutes on the clock, delightful play into the Kettering area saw Jack Byrne supply Lee Morris who took one touch on the angle before finishing past Nick Bussey and into the back of the net.

It took nine minutes for their to be any further chance of note on either goal and when it came it was Morris the goal scorer involved once again as he watched Tom Shaw's accurate cross into the area down on to his head, an effort falling just into the arms of Bussey.

On the half-hour mark Blair took full advantage of the hesitant Kettering defence by keeping the ball and running hard at them - they parted like the waves, as did Jamille Matt as he sensed his team mate's confidence; Blair eventually getting a one-on-one with Bussey before firing narrowly wide of the post.

The chances kept coming for Harriers as the half wore on, and so long as the score remained 1-0, the opportunities were accompanied with a sense of nervousness as each missed the target; Keith Briggs five minutes before the break catching one sweetly on the volley but smashing it over the bar.

Two minutes later, Wright should have done better when he side-footed wide from around ten yards after Chris McPhee had had pulled the ball back.

Within seconds of the second half getting underway, Kettering won themselves a free-kick on the very, very edge of the penalty area, the whipped ball in being well cleared by Shaw.

Seven minutes after the re-start, Harriers finally gave themselves some breathing space with a deserved second goal; terrific work out-wide from Wright saw him skilfully leave his man for dead on the byline before drilling the ball across goal where it eventually fell to Blair who spun on the spot before finishing past Bussey.

The two-goal cushion was short-lived, however, as Harriers even if subconsciously, became a little sloppy. Just after Marna had driven a ball unchallenged right across the face of Daniel Lewis' goal, the visitors pulled one back as Ian Roper climbed above the defence to nod down into the area for Brett Solkhon who drove firmly past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Steve Burr's charges went straight about finding another goal and when the ball came to him outside the area, Shaw did well to strike first time with a volley that flew goalwards but straight into the chest of Bussey who got down well to hold.

That third goal did arrive on 67 minutes as Aggborough was sent wild with delight once more - this time it was Morris who took a turn to baffle the Kettering defence as he battled his way past bodies before lifting a sublime cross towards the far post where skipper Keith Briggs was waiting on hand to plant a solid header into the back of the net with a thump for 3-1.

Harriers continued to press and so nearly had a fourth as Morris was alive again to supply Matt in the area who seemed to take a knock in the back for his troubles as he shaped to shoot. Kettering stayed alive at the other end and Leiws had to be on his toes with 12 minutes to go as sub Paul Furlong struck an effort that needed a good gathering stop.

With just three minutes left on the clock, Byrne watched one down onto his boot from 12 yards out before shooting straight at Bussey whilst in injury time, sub Dave Hankin went on a strong run before seeing a shot of his own saved down low.

Harriers weren't done just yet though - a fourth was in order as the hosts racked up their biggest win of the season as another sub, Callum Gittings, only on the pitch for ten minutes, smashed one in from around 20 yards that flew into the bottom corner. Lovely stuff.

Mecca Bingo

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