Harriers trail Wrexham by a single goal ahead of Sunday’s play-off semi-final second leg at Aggborough after the Dragons recorded a narrow 2-1 first-leg win at the Racecourse on Tuesday.
Early doors there were efforts off target from both sides as player-boss Andy Morrell lifted one wide of the target shortly after defender Chey Dunkley
nodded a header just shy of Chris Maxwell’s frame.
Soon after Dave Artell struck a header over the bar for the Dragons but, with a dozen minutes on the clock there was a real chance at either end. First, Michael Gash looked to watch the ball down well and shoot from close range only for Maxwell to block bravely.
Then, up at the other end, striker Brett Ormerod forced Danny Lewis
into a super stop of his own as he won the ball on the edge of the area before shooting sharply, home skipper Dean Keates then flashing over the bar.
Ormerod dropped another header wide with more than 25 played but certainly the home side were pressing home the best of an early advantage, the former Blackpool man turning well and keeping Lewis’ hands warm with another shot four minutes later.
You sensed that even without fashioning too many chance of their own, Harriers were doing a good job to keep Wrexham at bay so it was something of a hammer blow in first half injury time when the home side took the lead, a neat team move capped by Ormerod’s neat centre that was nodded past Lewis by David Artell for 1-0.
Within three minutes of the re-start there was a big chance for Wrexham to extend their lead as Ormerod robbed Mickey Demetriou
of the ball and raced away before setting up Jonny Hunt who drilled wide, central to goal from around 12 yards.
Just over ten minutes into the half, however, the scores would be levelled – Harriers broke with danger into the box and Anthony Malbon
found his legs crunched from under him to the award of a penalty that Michael Gash coolly planted straight down the middle and beyond Maxwell from the spot.
Ormerod stayed instrumental for the home side and he, soon after the goal, supplied player-boss Andy Morrell for an effort that blazed over, defender Lee Vaughan
up at the other end trying his luck with a side-footed shot that never really came off.
With a quarter of an hour left to go Harriers enjoyed their first real spell of concerted pressure in the game and they forced two good saves from Maxwell, sub Martin Devaney going close before Danny Jackman and Michael Gash took aim.
Wrexham weathered that storm however and with just seven minutes left of the game they strode back into the lead with a penalty of their own, Josh Gowling
adjudged to have fouled Ormerod in the area and Neil Ashton duly doing the honours for the reds.
Storer and Jackman both had chances in the dying moments but it’s now all to Aggborough
for what’s sure to be a similarly exciting second leg.