Accrington Stanley 2(1) v (0)0 Kidderminster Harriers

Football Conference National - The Crown Ground - 12 December 2005

Attendance: 1366

Individual Stats
v Kidderminster
Robert Elliott 80(5)0000[25/13]Daniel Lewis 60(4)0000
Phil Edwards 500010[11/2]Patrick Flynn 500130
Leam Richardson 500010[16/5]Wayne Hatswell 61(1)0100
Robbie Williams 600020[4]Mark Jackson 500020
Michael Welch 500000[3/24]Johnny Mullins 600101
Romaud Boco 51(1)2210[26/8]Terry Fleming 60015(1h)0
Steve Jagielka 501200[7/23]Simon Heslop 61(1)0030
Anthony Barry 501110[19/20]Russ Penn 601020
David Brown 51(1)2311[30/18]Taiwo Atieno 61(1)1102
Paul Mullin 72(1)1022[10/26]Mark Pugh 51(1)1200
Gary Roberts 72(1)1602[21/10]Lee Thompson 50111(h)2
Peter Cavanagh     [2/6]Daryl Burgess     
Andrew Mangan 500100[9/11]Michael Blackwood 602100
Danny Ventre     [15/12]Laurie Wilson 61(1)0010
Paul Cook     [17/21]Gavin Hurren     
Andy Dibble     [29/1]John Danby     
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
Accrington Kidderminster
13Gary Roberts    
78Paul Mullin    
EdwardsWilliams WelchRichardson
JagielkaBarry BocoRoberts
 Brown Mullin 
FlynnJackson MullinsHatswell
HeslopPenn FlynnThompson
 Atieno Pugh 
Accrington Kidderminster
60ManganBrownMangan to striker.46BlackwoodPughBlackwood to left midfield, Thompson to striker.
    60WilsonHeslopWilson to right midfield.
Accrington Kidderminster
  Flynn 45+ Foul  
Referee: Mike Short (Barnsley)
Match Report by St@tto

Caretaker-manager Martin O'Connor began his reign in charge of Harriers with defeat at league leaders Accrington who won with a goal in each half.

After a week of upheaval it was never going to be an easy debut for O'Connor and his side came up against a form in team who were able to play with the confidence of a side who had won their last five games, and the last three without conceding a goal.  O'Connor was able to call upon central defenders Mark Jackson and Daryl Burgess who returned to the squad after suspension but only Jackson made the starting eleven in place of Gavin Hurren.  There was also a return to the side for Taiwo Atieno who came in for the injured Iyseden Christie.

Harriers began the game as if they meant business but were soon forced back onto the defensive by a lively Stanley attack with left winger Gary Roberts in particular causing problems for the visitors.  The home team took the lead after 12 minutes in fortuitous circumstances; awarded a free kick 25 yards out in a central position Roberts' stuck a shot that beat the wall but appeared harmless enough as it made its way into Danny Lewis' arms but somehow the Harriers stopper managed to spill it into the back of the net to gift Accrington the opening goal.

Although not being totally outplayed Harriers were kept comfortably at arms length by the well drilled Stanley defence and were restricted to half chances and long range shots such as Mark Pugh's first-time 25-yard effort from Atieno's knock down.  The home team always looked dangerous when going forward and should have doubled their advantage on the half hour mark when Harriers were unable to deal with a free kick that was pumped forward into the penalty area and after a scramble it fell to David Brown who blasted it over the bar from close range.

Lewis made up for his earlier error with a good save from Paul Mullin's shot on the turn after Robbie Williams had opened the Harriers defence up with an overhead kick from the halfway line that unintentionally fell inch perfectly for the big striker.  In the last minutes of the half Harriers had a good chance to level when Terry Fleming's deep free kick from the right found Atieno at the far post but he couldn't direct his header and it sailed harmlessly across the face of goal.

At the interval O'Connor replaced the injured Pugh with Michael Blackwood who immediately gave Harriers some of the spark that they had been missing in the first half and, for a few minutes at least, Harriers began to get on top.  Robert Elliott in the home goal was called into action five minutes into the second period when Wayne Hatswell's long crossfield pass found Atieno who knocked it past his marker but poked his shot straight at the keeper.

Harriers enjoyed their best spell of possession in the early part of the second half of the game but Accrington were able to deal with anything Harriers threw at them with ease and the visitors never really looked like scoring; leading-scorer Christie was clearly missed and given the responsibility of leading the attack Atieno was sadly clearly not as dangerous.

Accrington finished the game off twelve minutes from the end with a swift counter-attack after Harriers had been pressing forward; the ball was played out quickly, Roberts found Anthony Barry who surged forward before rolling the ball into the path of Mullin on the right who was in acres of space and lashed the ball into the top corner.  Harriers kept going, to their credit; Lee Thompson tried his luc from long range but his 25-yard effort flew high and wide and then a deep cross from the right by Laurie Wilson fell to Hatswell at the far post but his shot was straight at the keeper who didn't know much about it as he beat it away and his defence were able to clear the danger at the expense of a corner.