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Match Day
Saturday, 23 March, 15:00PM - St James Park
Att. 845
3
Brackley Town

Armson 4; Ndlovu 70; Byrne 78 (Pen)


1
Kidderminster Harriers

Ironside 37 (Pen)

Key Moments

Harriers were behind early as James Armson struck, but were level at the break thanks to a Joe Ironside penalty.

Ironside had a good chance to put Harriers ahead after the break, but it was the hosts who added two further goals, an Ndlovu header and a Byrne penalty, to clinch the victory.



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HARRIERS were dealt a punishing 3-1 defeat at Brackley in National League North.

Harriers were behind early as James Armson struck, but were level at the break thanks to a Joe Ironside penalty.

Ironside had a good chance to put Harriers ahead after the break, but it was the hosts who added two further goals, an Ndlovu header and a Byrne penalty, to clinch the victory.

Up against a Saints side looking to avoid the play-off Eliminators, Harriers found themselves on the back-foot from the off, a lively Armson making them pay for a loose ball in the area that he duly lashed beyond Brandon Hall on the volley.

Only some solid defending stopped this one being done inside 15 minutes - Hall got down low to keep out Baker's shot before Johnson needed to get in the way of a Myles drive to keep it away from the target. The Harriers custodian then stood firm to keep out Ndlovu's drive at close-range.

While defending at one end, Harriers had to make the best of a few scraps up at the other - Horsfall's header needled a timely clearance with 21 minutes played, before Thomas set up McAlinden whose shot was held by former Harriers man Danny Lewis.

Baker, always a threat, got past two men well before firing over close to the half-hour mark before, on 37, Harriers got themselves level. After being fouled in the area, Ironside dusted himself down to finish from the spot, in off the post.

That enabled Harriers to finish the first half and begin the second with a little more impetus, but found themselves disrupted soon enough after Sam Austin was forced off through injury - with the Reds already missing Billy Daniels, Ed Williams and Milan Butterfield on this day.

Ironside and Chambers, on 67 minutes, superbly double-teamed their way to a lost cause of a ball - Ironside catching it on the volley and almost seeing it find the net, the attempt just hitting the side netting. Within three minutes, Brackley were back in front. Ndlovu looked to be offside as he turned the ball home on the line from a corner, but visiting protests fell on deaf ears.

A tall order at 2-1 became worse soon after as Brackley netted a third. Byrne - minutes after hitting the post with a header - confidently dispatched a penalty after Liam McAlinden had fouled Fairlamb inside the area.

There was more than 10 minutes to play at that stage but, in truth, neither side really looked like adding to the score - the home side more than happy to see out yet another victory to continue their fantastic own form, while Harriers are left looking for favours from elsewhere to make their play-off dream a reality.

Brackley Town

3
Goals
10
Shots at goal
6
Shots on target
11
Corners
1
Offside
1
Yellow cards
0
Red cards

Kidderminster Harriers

1
Goals
4
Shots at goal
3
Shots on target
1
Corners
0
Offside
1
Yellow cards
0
Red cards

Brackley Town

1
Danny Lewis
2
Ellis Myles
3
Shepherd Murombedzi
4
Shane Byrne
5
Connor Hall
6
Gareth Dean (C)
7
Matt Lowe
Nti 90
8
James Armson
Fairlamb 76
9
Lee Ndlovu
10
Carl Baker
Prosser 85
11
Adam Walker

Substitutes

12
Luke Fairlamb
Armson 76
14
Dan Nti
Lowe 90
15
Shaun Jeffers
16
Alex Prosser
Baker 85
17
Oran Jackson

Kidderminster Harriers

1
Brandon Hall
2
Sam Austin
Weeks 57
3
Joel Taylor
4
Fraser Horsfall
5
Harry Flowers
6
Ryan Johnson (C)
7
Liam McAlinden
8
Russ Penn
9
Joe Ironside
Richards 83
10
Ashley Chambers
11
Kwame Thomas

Substitutes

12
Declan Weeks
Austin 57
14
Harry Higginson
15
Harry Stratford
16
Kane Richards
Ironside 83
18
Tom Palmer

As the season reaches the crucial stage, Russ Penn is keen to ensure that Harriers take it one game at a time. 

Currently sitting just one point outside of the playoffs, Harriers head to face an in-form side in the shape of fifth placed Brackley Town, who have won eight of their previous nine National League North matches.

Harriers, however, are also hitting some form having picked up three victories from the previous four matches and head into the game following a crucial victory over Spennymoor Town, but Penn stressed that the team must continue to take things one game at a time.

"It was great to get the three points last week but we've got a tough three game on the trot now against the teams in 4th, 5th and 6th, but we need to get those points to climb our way back into the playoffs," said Penn.

"We are taking things one game at a time - we can only affect the next game and there are only three points up for grabs so we will be looking to get them on Saturday.

"We will be confident going there - we are on a bit of form ourselves with three wins from the last four, so there is nothing to fear.

"It's a pressure time now really - at this time of the season, it's not really about performances it's about results".

With players returning from injury, coupled with the recent signings of the likes of Kwame Thomas and Harry Flowers, healthy competition is increasing amongst the Harriers squad and Penn hopes that it will have a positive impact heading into the end of the season.

"...we will be confident going there - we are on a bit of form ourselves with three wins from the last four, so there is nothing to fear..." Russ Penn

"You can't always play every game but competition is healthy as otherwise, you just accept that you are playing every week and your performances can drop," said Penn.

"We need that going into the end of the season, and hopefully we can get where we want to be".

Player-coach Penn has been enjoying working alongside manager Mark Yates alongside his work on the pitch in recent months, and praised the work that has been done to make the squad more disciplined and defensively solid.

"We've got a disciplined group - I think the gaffer has brought that into the squad since he's come back," said Penn.

"We're defending better as a team, but you've got to be like that in this league as you've got to stay in the game as long as you can, because you will get chances.

"I'm a player and that's what I will be until my legs give in.

"Due to the age that I am, I will help out here and there.

"It is a funny role but I'm enjoying it, though I am a player first and foremost - I train every day with the lads".

Harriers will hope to have Declan Weeks available to play some part in Saturday's game as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Nick Clayton-Phillips continues to receive treatment at West Bromwich Albion and is a longer-term absentee.

Kick-off at Brackley is at 3:00pm.

WATCH: Russ Penn's full pre-match video interview, courtesy of our YouTube channel, by clicking the video tab above.

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Latest News

Flowers returns to Solihull

Defender’s loan spell comes to an end…

Russ Penn pre-match

Mark Yates post-match

Kwame Thomas post-match

 

Latest News

Flowers returns to Solihull

Defender’s loan spell comes to an end…