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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 Oct 11 at 16:54 PM

FULL TIME: Kettering 0-1 Harriers

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

Happy travellers Harriers moved to within three points of the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday as they battled to a 1-0 victory over Kettering at Nene Park.

A Kettering side much-changed from their midweek defeat to Hayes & Yeading engineered their first opportunity at goal of the day with a little over a minute on the clock as Steve Meechan lined one up just outside the area, a rising effort flying high of the target and goalkeeper Dean Lyness, in for his start with Daniel Lewis out injured.

Up at the other end Jamille Matt registered Harriers' first attempt as his rising header at the far post warmed the hands of home custodian Laurie Walker.

With a quarter of an hour played there was a more serious save for Walker to make after Nick Wright's good work stretched the Poppies defence, he teed up Jack Byrne and let one fly from around 20 yards that needed a firm double-fist to take it over the bar.

A scorching heat on the day hardly helped to produce a flowing spectacle and though Kettering's Jamie Navarro tried his luck and hit a couple of efforts off target, the half-hour stage came and went without any real incident.

With just six minutes to go until the break however Harriers went close with an excellently-worked move; Luke Medley away out wide and whipping in a fine ball to Matt, who nodded down into the path of Scott Phelan who saw a low drive fizz just wide of the post.

Three minutes later however the opening goal of the game arrived and it went with the run of play as the visitors stole ahead; superb work in midfield by Byrne saw him rip forward and chip an inch-perfect ball over the top of, and into the path of Matt - the front-man had plenty to do but he did it all very well; nodding it down and holding off two defenders before powering it home for his second of the term.

Inside the opening ten minutes of the second period Harriers had two great chances to double their lead - the first was an odd opportunity - Medley set free with a ball over the top saw him chase down on goal, the ball taken off his toes by a strong boot from defender Marcus Kelly who rolled the ball back to his goalkeeper, who in turn took his eye off it and almost allowed it to run under him and into the back of his own net.

Rattled and from the resulting corner, there was a bit of a scramble that saw Phelan drag the ball back to Medley who, on the edge of the area, drove one towards Walker that needed a strong parried save.

On the hour mark it was Walker's opposite number, Lyness, who was in action and when the ball was fed through to Kieran Hughes-Mason inside the area there looked to be danger; the young stopper getting down well at his near post to smother it.

Harriers almost made their opponents pay for not taking that chance as they broke away at the other end moments later, a fine move involving Callum Gittings and sub James Vincent saw the ball fed to Wright who curled a shot towards goal that Walker turned around the post.

With a little under a quarter of an hour to go Harriers made the last of their three changes as scorer Matt made way for Tommy Wright.

Just six minutes were left on the clock when Medley looked to cap a strong individual performance with a goal but he blazed off target when perhaps Vincent was better placed.

Late attempts from Marc Williams, over, and Vincent, well held, saw Harriers attempt to kill the game off but in the end one goal was enough.

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