Preview: Harriers v Crawley Town
The big games keeep coming thick and fast for Harriers with second-placed big-spending Crawley Town the visitors to Aggborough this evening.
Harriers will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to ten games, and hopefully their home winning streak to seven. Steve Burr should have an almost complete squad to choose from this evening; only Jack Byrne is definitely out, serving the third of his four-game ban, while Keith Briggs will face a fitness test on a hamstring injury that he picked up in the weekend draw at Luton. Lee Morris came through his short appearance unscathed and is pushing for a recall to the starting line-up are Nick Wright and Lee Vaughan who had to watch from the bench on Saturday.
Crawley are having a good season; they are currently second in the league, a point behind leaders Wimbledon with six games in hand. They also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, hence the backlog of league fixtures, where they were beaten at Old Trafford by Manchester United. They are currently fifteen games unbeaten in the Conference, not tasting defeat since losing to Newport County, also the last team to beat Harriers, back in October, and they haven't lost away from home since September when they were sunk at Wimbledon. They will be without Pablo Mills and John Dempster this evening as both are suspended while Scott Neilson is still recovering from injury. Manager Steve Evans may stick with the team that thrashed Histon 5-0 at the weekend meaning that ex-Harrier Glenn Wilson will have to e content with a place on the bench.
The record in previous meetings between the two clubs is perfectly even with four wins apiece from eleven games. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-0 Harriers win with the goal coming from Gavin Caines. Crawley have only won at Aggborough once previously, back in September 2006, giving Harriers a three wins to one record on home soil.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis; Sharpe, Williams, Briscoe, Albrighton; Blair, Briggs, Shaw, Gittings; McPhee, Morris.
Subs (from): Vaughan, Hankin, Griffiths, Wright, Matt, Canham, Thompson-Brown, Stevens.
Missing (suspended): Byrne.
Tonight's referee will be Mark Heywood from Cheshire. This will be his sixth Harriers game in total and third of this season. His two previous visits to Aggborough this season have seen Harriers defeated by Mansfield and Newport. In earlier seasons he oversaw two wins and a defeat.
The weather forecast for this evening suggests that it will be partly cloudy and 6°C at kick-off time.