Gloucester Comeback Stuns Harriers: Harriers 2-3 Gloucester City
Harriers threw away a two-goal lead and missed a penalty before slipping to their first home defeat of the season.
In the early stages of the game Harriers' performance was sparkling as they dominated possession and played some really good football. Twelve minutes in the home side took the lead; Declan Weeks arrowed a long pass out to Correy Davidson on the left wing, he got to the by-line and crossed to the far post where Ashley Chambers was on hand to volley past Zack Jeacock.
Harriers' great start got even better less than three minutes later when Richard Peniket and Ed Williams combined on the right to set up Weeks who lashed a dipping shot from 30 yards beyond the reach of Jeacock.
The home side continued to dominate but were given a scare on 31 minutes when Marlon Jackson was allowed space to turn in the penalty area but hit his shot against the bar with Cameron Gregory stranded. Harriers didn't heed the warning though and allowed City to pull a goal back moments later when a long ball over the top set Joe Parker clear before slotting past Gregory.
Harriers could have quickly restored their two-goal advantage with Sam Austin's cross from the right finding Chambers with time at the far post but his cushioned header dropped over the bar onto the roof of the net. The scores were soon level as Harriers were undone by another long ball. This time Rhys Williams was caught out trying to shepherd it out of play, knocked off the ball far too easily by Zak Kotwica who pulled it back for Jackson to fire home.
After the break Harriers started brightly again and could have regained the lead; first when Milan Butterfield fired straight at Jeacock from distance and then when Weeks lofted a free-kick over the bar.
In controversial circumstances Gloucester took the lead on 65 minutes. Cliff Moyo and Josh Thomas came together shoulder-to-shoulder and the referee awarded the visitors a free-kick but after consulting with his linesman on the far side of the pitch awarded a penalty instead. Joe Hanks took the spot-kick and just managed to get it past Gregory who got a hand to it.
Harriers tried to press for an equaliser but were short of ideas and seemed to be trying too hard to force things to happen rather than using the calm approach that had seen them take the early two-goal lead.
City failed to clear a corner with 14 minutes left and Weeks' cross found Peniket but his glancing header went just wide of the far post.
Harriers were then handed a lifeline in the 83rd when Spencer Hamilton bundled Chambers over in the penalty area. A goal now could have seen the game turn again allowing Harriers the possibility to go on and grab a winner. Chambers took the penalty himself and saw Jeacock dove to his left to save and Harriers' chance was gone.