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Match Report


Posted Sat 28 Jan 12 at 17:18 PM


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

Harriers narrowly avoided slipping out of the play-off places on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at Stockport County that also saw them lose defender Tom Sharpe to injury.

Straight out of the blocks there was a super chance for Harriers to break the deadlock as they quickly pressed a mistake out of the home back-line; with just 57 seconds on the clock the ball fell into the path of Lee Hendrie who curled a great shot towards goalkeeper Ian Ormson that the youngster did well to parry to safety.

The effort was a reflection of a great first ten minutes for the reds - they breached the Hatters' defence on a few further occasions and were only denied by a late assistant's flag and some hesitant late defending.

In fact the only blemish on the first 20 minutes' performance for the visitors was that the score remained goalless. After it had been one way traffic up to that point there was perhaps a degree of predictability that Stockport would then net a goal of their own - so it proved, as with their first attack one long goal kick was flicked on by Tom Elliot and then fired past Tony Breeden from around 18 yards by Sean McConville.

Frustration reared its head initially for Harriers as they remained thwarted by some unconvincing defending and their problems worsened on 34 minutes as they lost the utterly luckless Tom Sharpe to injury, the defender leaving the field on the stretcher.

That led to a lengthy delay at the end of the first period and it was a five-minute spell in which the Hatters' defensive fragilities were again exposed, Steve Burr's men almost finding a way through courtesy of Mickey Demetriou's free-kick and Callum Gittings' attempted strike from six yards.

Harriers made their second change of the day at the interval as Anthony Malbon joined the fray - his good play won a corner seven minutes into the half from which Luke Jones rose well to plant a header just off target.

Just after, though, they were left with it all to do as Stockport struck a second just two minutes later - the visitors struck once more; everyone in red switching off thinking the ball had gone out of play, being punished by Danny L Rowe's long-range drive that swept past the palm of Breeden and into the net.

Thankfully for the away side the response was immediate, quite literally - they netted almost from the kick-off as Hendrie set up Nick Wright just inside the area, the striker seeing his shot deflected past Ormson before rolling into the bottom corner of the net.

With a little under 20 minutes left to play there was a big chance fort he home side to put more daylight between the two sides as substitute Martin Gritton rose completely unmarked inside the area to meet a deep cross though he could only direct the effort wide of Breeden's goal.

Great link up play with just six minutes left on the clock between Matt and Malbon saw the former work his way to the by line before cutting a ball across the six yard box that found Hendrie all alone - he shot first time but put too much on it as it sailed over the bar.

A super save from Breeden to deny Jon Nolan at close range ensured the County lead stayed at one, but the win was eventually theirs nonetheless.

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