Harriers’ winning streak came to an end on Tuesday night as they were beaten 2-0 by two second half goals at Gateshead on a frustrating night.
An odd start to the game saw the pitch covered in a blanket of thick fog that caused huge problems for all involved though that didn’t stop an early flurry of chances as both teams started brightly – Marvin Johnson
hit one effort wide for Harriers after six minutes with James Vincent
almost catching goalkeeper Adam Bartlett off guard with a shot four minutes later.
The Heed’s first opening came with 13 minutes on the clock and Danny Lewis
was forced into a smart stop as he dived high to turn over a header from Carl Magnay as he met a corner delivery at the near post.
From there the ‘home’ side started to stamp their authority on the game and before the half-hour mark they should really have netted at least once; further chances coming as Jamie Chandler fired an effort over the bar before James Browns’ shot was deflected away from goal.
It took Harriers some 39 minutes to register a serious scoring chance and when it came it went the way of top scorer Anthony Malbon
, he was unmarked to meet a Lee Vaughan
cross but could only glance the effort just over the bar.
Nine minutes into the second half Gateshead almost made the breakthrough as the reds switched off from a free-kick; the ball fell to Chandler who took aim from close range and was only denied by Mickey Demetriou
’s goal line clearance.
Three minutes after the hour mark a rare spell of pressure from Harriers almost brought about a goal but Bartlett was down quickly and early to keep hold of a firm drive from Lee Vaughan
as he prowled on the edge of the area.
It would be Gateshead to strike first blood on 71 minutes as Harriers failed to find an answer to the charging run through their half of James Marwood; he slipped in Chandler and with a deft touch he kept the ball close before bending it around the defenders and Lewis for 1-0.
Harriers battled desperately to try and rescue something from the tie but time eventually ran out as the Heed stood strong, netting their second through Hatch on the counter attack.