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Match Day
Saturday, 23 February, 15:00PM - Croft Park
Att. 705
3
Blyth Spartans AFC

Maguire 1, 88; Buddle 90+2


3
Kidderminster Harriers

Horsfall 6; Ironside 22 (pen); Williams 70

Key Moments

On an eventful afternoon, it was the hosts who scored first after 42 seconds as Maguire finished, but levelled through Ed Williams.

Blyth then had goalkeeper Jameson dismissed for bringing down Ironside in the area. The striker converted the penalty to make it 2-1.

Harriers then had a number of chances to extend their lead before eventually doing so through Williams with 20 left to go.

That should have been that, but a combination of Blyth's spirit and some unforgivable defending allowed the home side back in it - striking in the 88th and 93rd minute to steal a point they should never have been allowed to come close to getting.



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HARRIERS threw away two points at the death after conceding twice against ten-man Blyth Spartans.

On an eventful afternoon, it was the hosts who scored first after 42 seconds as Maguire finished, but levelled through Ed Williams.

Blyth then had goalkeeper Jameson dismissed for bringing down Ironside in the area. The striker converted the penalty to make it 2-1.

Harriers then had a number of chances to extend their lead before eventually doing so through Williams with 20 left to go.

That should have been that, but a combination of Blyth's spirit and some unforgivable defending allowed the home side back in it - striking in the 88th and 93rd minute to steal a point they should never have been allowed to come close to getting.

The tone for a dramatic afternoon was set early with barely 40 seconds on the clock when the first goal arrived - an effort from distance deflecting wickedly off Maguire and into the net past a stranded Hall.

Just five minutes later it was 1-1. Clayton-Phillips was the provider as he kept hold of the ball before looping a cross into the area, where a perfectly-directed header from Horsfall beat Jameson and dropped into the far corner.

The turnaround was complete for Harriers with 20 on the clock; an expertly-timed tackle from Butterfield allowed him to stride out of his own area before finding Ironside with a long pass - the striker nudging it beyond Jameson before being pulled to the ground. With no genuine attempt to win the ball, the referee had no choice but to award the goalkeeper a red card as well as the penalty. Ironside did the honours from twelve yards in beating striker Bobby Dale, the stand in-goalkeeper.

Austin was lively down the flank three minutes later and cut inside before finding the side netting, before Dale's miss-kick only found Ironside who tried to guide it back on goal where the stopper was on hand to gather.

Before the half hour, Maguire forced Hall to tip the ball over the bar before Green did similar - the home side continuing to make the best of the chances before the break when Maguire again almost on target with an overhead kick that went just over.

Harriers should have gone into the break 3-1 up as Horsfall's header on the stroke of the interval was palmed at by Dale and looked to have edged over the line before eventually being cleared.

Williams, Austin and Daniels all had chances for Harriers soon after the break, the visitors not doing enough to seriously test Dale between the sticks.

That was the theme as we went past the hour mark, Taylor supplying Williams who forced Dale's only real save of the afternoon with an effort that needed tipping over the bar.

Williams would be the man to eventually extend the lead on 71 minutes, good build-up seeing Daniels cutting the ball back to the former Cheltenham man who guided it into the bottom corner.

That should have been it, but Harriers paid the price for failing to convincingly see off the hosts, who were never short of belief as Reid powered a header over and Maguire went close.

Despite the deficit in personnel and goals, the momentum always seemed to be with Spartans and they reduced the arrears all too easily with two left of normal time - Nicholson left all-too free inside the area to back-heel the ball to Maguire who took his time and picked his spot beyond Hall.

Before Harriers could really compose themselves, their day's work was undone as Blyth snatched their equaliser. Buddle was the man of the hour - watching a scrap for the ball in the area unfold, he was left free to drive it home as it fell loose to send the home fans into raptures.

 

Blyth Spartans AFC

3
Goals
9
Shots at goal
6
Shots on target
7
Corners
1
Offside
1
Yellow cards
1
Red cards

Kidderminster Harriers

3
Goals
14
Shots at goal
7
Shots on target
5
Corners
4
Offside
0
Yellow cards
0
Red cards

Blyth Spartans AFC

1
Peter Jameson
2
Alex Nicholson
3
Jordan Watson
4
Kieran Green
Oliver 78
5
Nathan Buddle
6
Louis Laing
7
Jarrett Rivers
8
Damien Mullen
Reid 66
9
Dan Maguire
10
Jamie Holmes
Wrightson 84
11
Robbie Dale (C)

Substitutes

12
Bradley Fewster
14
Sean Reid
Mullen 66
15
Connor Oliver
Green 78
16
Lewis Horner
17
Adam Wrightson
Holmes 84

Kidderminster Harriers

1
Brandon Hall
2
Sam Austin
3
Joel Taylor
4
Russ Penn
5
Fraser Horsfall (C)
6
Ryan Johnson
7
Nick Clayton-Phillips
Daniels 45+5
8
Milan Butterfield
9
Joe Ironside
10
Ashley Chambers
Richards 78
11
Ed Williams
Truslove 83

Substitutes

12
Billy Daniels
Clayton-Phillips 45+5
14
Josh Heaton
15
Harry Higginson
16
Kane Richards
Chambers 78
17
Liam Truslove
Williams 83

Ed Williams is looking forward to Harriers’ longest away trip of the season as they travel to face Blyth Spartans.

Sitting in 10th position, Harriers embark on a 496 mile round trip to Croft Park to face The Spartans, who sit one point and one position below.

Williams returned from a spell on the sidelines two weeks ago, making a substitute appearance against Chester and grabbing a goal in the process.

However, the attacker picked up another illness following the match, which meant he was only able to make another short appearance a week later against York City.

With illness now behind him, Williams is looking forward to trying to Harriers’ latest test.

"It's been a tough few weeks for me but I'm just looking forward now," said Williams.

“I had a slight knock on Boxing Day which took me out for six weeks, and then illness during that period set me back a bit longer than expected, but it’s good to be back now.

“I came on two weeks ago against Chester, and I’m just building fitness.

“It was a good day, and hopefully we can get back to winning ways this weekend.

“I had another illness after the Chester game and didn’t train until the following Thursday which, obviously, wasn’t great.

“I didn’t feel too great last Saturday but I was able to feature a little bit, but I’m feeling better now.

“A few people have been off this week with illness, but we’re looking to get it sorted now as everything has been cleared up and we’re looking forward to the weekend”.

Williams is the current Harriers top scorer with 12 goals, and is looking to add as many as possible to that number before the end of the campaign.

More importantly, though, Williams is hoping that he and his teammates can push forwards into the playoffs.

"...It will be good to get a few more goals before the end of the season." Ed Williams

“It will be good to get a few more goals before the end of the season - that’s my aim,” said Williams.

“The main thing is the team’s progress, winning games, and seeing where we can end up this year.

“We know ourselves, we’ve made far too many mistakes this year.

“We are lucky that we’re still in and around the playoffs, but it motivates us to get it right now, as it needs to turn around now so that we can be where we want to be at the end of the year”.

Last time out Harriers lost 2-1 at Aggborough to York City, and Williams stated that he was disappointed that the team couldn’t reach the performance levels of the previous week - a 4-1 victory over Chester.

New manager Mark Yates has implemented a different style of play, which Williams says he and his team mates are enjoying.

“The performance was nowhere near that of the previous week - we didn’t really do what we worked on in the previous weeks which was a shame,” said Williams.

“Our job is to put the work that we do in the week onto the pitch on matchdays.

“It’s a different style of football that we’re using now, but I think everyone is reading off the same page and we have just got to implement that.

“We’re all behind him, we all believe in what he’s doing - it’s attacking, we’re getting the ball in the opposition’s half rather than, maybe, being a little bit safe in our own half.

“We’re taking risks and getting the ball forward and that way, we’re creating more chances and getting the ball in the box, being a bit more of a threat."

Harriers will hope to travel with a relatively clean bill of health with the worst of the recent bug now out of the camp.

Tom Palmer and Jimmy O'Connor are the only pair likely to miss out through injury.

Kick off at Blyth Spartans on Saturday is at 3:00pm.

Watch Ed Williams' full pre-match video interview, courtesy of our YouTube channel, by clicking the video tab above.

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