| Report: Matt Wall | Stats & line-ups: PA | Gallery: Stefan Rapacz |
Harriers kept up their good recent form with a 3-0 win over Hyde at Aggborough on Tuesday that perhaps should have been even more comfortable than it was.
In truth from the opening minute the home side were dominant and even in having a two goal lead at half time, the advantage could have been far greater.
Some risky defending from the visitors and predatory work from Harriers set the tone – as early as the first couple of minutes, Nathan Blissett was denied he looked to pounce on a loose ball.
The first goal of the night came with just 16 minutes on the clock and Blissett was again involved as he fed midfielder James Vincent who powered one on the angle past goalkeeper Ashley Firth and into the back of the net.
That seemed to instantly deflate Hyde and five minutes later it could have been two as Chey Dunkley saw his effort clip the bar as he got up well to head a decent delivery into the area.
That second goal did come, though, and it was with 23 minutes played as Ryan Rowe leaped on to an attempted pass out from teenager Firth to a teammate who simply wasn’t there; Rowe firing low into the net for his fifth of the term.
Still the pressure mounted and the chances came; on 35 minutes Adam Watkins had two great chances in quick succession to score his first goal for the club but saw one header tipped superbly over the bar by Firth and another low shot, just second later, clip the foot of the far post.
Keith Briggs, Anthony Malbon and Blissett all had sights of goal as the half drew to a close, Liam Tomsett having the first chance of the night for Hyde as he got in behind, firing his low drive just inches wide of the target.
With the first half just five minutes old, Rowe had another good chance as he rode some challenges in the area before getting a shot away that was dealt with well by the Hyde ‘keeper, his manager not impressed with proceedings as he quickly used up his full allocation of substitutions.
The changes seemed to spur them on and on 59 minutes gone Nathan Vaughan was forced into his first real save of the game as David Poole drove one firmly his way that was parried strongly by the former Leamington man.
Seven after the hour the threat of Hyde getting back into the game grew further as Scott Spencer forced a save from Vaughan when you thought for all the tea in china that he’d score; sub Phil Jevons than powering a header over the bar.
The night well and truly soured on 71 as Harriers lost Josh Gowling to injury and a stretcher no less, a real blow for one of the most influential players of recent weeks, the injury curse striking yet again less than ten minutes later as Kyle Storer made his return at the expense of a struggling Vincent.
Another home sub, Marvin Johnson, injected some pace into the attack and fear into the visiting defence in the latter minutes of the night but Hyde finished far stronger than they started despite going down to defeat and on the basis of second half showings alone, a third goal was perhaps a tough harsh on them as Storer’s excellent ball fed Rowe who coolly put away his second of the night.