Harriers bagged another impressive win on Saturday as Anthony Malbon scored a brace in a dominant 4-0 victory at Hyde in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The first chance of a bright afternoon came with a dozen or so minutes on the clock and it went the way of the home side as the experienced Phil Jevons lofted a free-kick into the area; it was met by Luke Ashworth’s header that Danny Lewis
managed to clear on to the post at the expense of a corner.
Harriers needed to stay patient as the Tigers made a solid start but with around 20 minutes on the clock that patience was rewarded with a breakthrough as Steve Burr’s men went 1-0 up. It was a move of real quality, too, Amari Morgan-Smith released down the flank before firing an early, deep cross into the box that Anthony Malbon
nodded home for his second goal in as many games.
Four minutes later Marvin Johnson
almost doubled that lead but saw his well-taken free-kick fizz just past the post; Morgan-Smith going oh-so close on the half-hour mark but his double effort was somehow kept out thanks to some fantastic goalkeeping from Chris Dilo as he made one save with his legs before getting up to clear the rebound.
The men in yellow controlled the best part of the half and so it would have been against the run of play that Hyde levelled on 40 minutes as they were awarded a penalty after Lee Vaughan
was adjudged to have handled in the area – justice perhaps done, however, as Lewis stepped up to deny Jevons from 12 yards with an excellent save.
Before the half drew to a close there were two more fine chances for Harriers to extend their lead but, first, Malbon found Dilo in fine form once again as he kept out the striker’s effort and further on, Johnson struck an effort from close range off the bar.
The second half would be ten minutes old by the time Dilo was beaten again and it was a breathtaking effort from Johnson to make it 2-0 as he chested down Kyle Storer’s sprayed pass superbly, taking another touch before launching the ball across goal and into the back of the net.
Harriers were relentless and on 58 minutes it was 3-0. It was questionable defending to say the least as Dilo was sold short – Malbon teeing up Morgan-Smith who saw his shot fantastically stopped by the ‘keeper; Vincent’s follow-up then blocked before Malbon decided to finish the job after all by slamming it home in front of the travelling fans.
It was four on 66 minutes and it was the deadly duo of Johnson and Malbon again who forced it – the former setting up the latter who drove across the face of goal, the ball coming back off the foot of the far post before being turned in by substitute Greg Pearson who notched a debut goal.
Another sub, Ryan Rowe, entered the fray soon after and with 15 minutes remaining he almost made it 5-0 with what would have been his eleventh of the season but his curling effort was tipped away at the last by the impressive Dilo.