Harriers Held To Opening Day Draw: Harriers 2-2 Leamington
Having come from behind to lead Harriers were pegged back by a late equaliser from ten-man Leamington.
An often cagey encounter saw Harriers, who gave debuts to five players, struggle to assert themselves against a well-disciplined Brakes side in the opening stages. The home side enjoyed much possession but didn't really trouble former Harrier Jake Weaver in the visitors' goal.
The best chance for Harriers in the first half fell to Ashley Chambers who latched on to a long ball from the back in the inside-left channel but fired straight at Weaver. Better finishing would have served Harriers well as both Milan Butterfield and Correy Davidson had chances in good positions but fired high and wide.
Leamington took the lead somewhat against the run of play four minutes before the break when Cliff Moyo was adjudged to have pushed Josh March in the penalty area. Marsh picked himself up to take the spot kick and sent Cameron Gregory the wrong way to score.
Butterfield had the opportunity to level the scores ten minutes after the break as Harriers stepped up a gear; Leamington failed to clear a corner from the left and Rhys Williams was able to hook the ball back into the goalmouth where the Bermudan headed wide.
The equaliser came just a couple of minutes later when Alex Prosser rattled the crossbar with a 25-yard effort that came back out and hit Chambers before bouncing slowly over the goal-line.
Harriers pressed hard for a second but were wasteful with their shooting. It took them until the 72nd minute to take the lead; Declan Weeks' corner from the left was flicked on by Moyo and Ed Williams was on hand at the far post to head in from close range.
It looked as though Harriers would enjoy a winning start to the season, particularly after Jack Edwards was sent off on 82 minutes for a needless reckless challenge on Moyo. With four minutes remaining, though, The Brakes grabbed an equaliser when Rhys Williams was caught out by a long ball and allowed Junior English to chase it down to the by-line before pulling it back to the near post where Kaiman Anderson was on hand to smack it into the roof of the net.