Kidderminster Harriers 0(0) v (0)0 Rushden & Diamonds

Football League Two - Aggborough - 19 March 2005

Attendance: 3860

Individual Stats
v Rushden
John Danby 70(4)0000[15/19]Scott Shearer 80(5)0100
Simon Weaver 700010[8/2]Sean Connelly 500100
Wayne Hatswell 73(2)0010[22/11]Andy Burgess 600010
Mark Jackson 601110[28/40]Mark Williams 500210
Johnny Mullins 601310[6]Rob Gier 500000
Dean Keates 700110[11/8]Stuart Gray 51(1)1200
Bertrand Cozic 700020[21/7]Alex Hay 72(2)1321
Lee Jenkins 51(1)0010[2/22]Neil McCafferty 500130
Chris Beardsley 500212[7/9]Billy Sharp 5 11222
Blair Sturrock 61(1)3200[12/13]Drewe Broughton 61(1)1254
John McGrath 601240[23/21]Craig Dove 501100
Iyseden Christie 501020[9/14]John Dempster     
Billy Jones     [14/18]Adrian Littlejohn 5 00100
Simon Russell 61(1)1000[19/20]Phil Gulliver     
Mark Rawle 501110[29/23]Marcus Kelly 500000
Daniel Lewis     [1/17]Lee Worgan      
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
WeaverJackson MullinsHatswell
CozicJenkins KeatesMcGrath
 Beardsley Sturrock 
ConnellyWilliams GierBurgess
HayMcCafferty GrayDove
 Sharp Broughton 
Kidderminster Rushden
62RussellJenkinsRussell to right midfield, Cozic to right central midfield.81KellyDoveKelly to left midfield.
65RawleSturrockRawle to striker. 90+LittlejohnSharpLittlejohn to striker.
78ChristieBeardsleyChristie to striker.     
Kidderminster Rushden
Referee: S. Dunn (Gloucestershire)
Match Report by St@tto

Harriers' hopes of avoiding relegation took a serious blow when they were held to a goalless draw by Rushden and the other teams around them all won leaving them still four points from safety and with just eight games left to play.

The second highest attendance of the season at Aggborough saw a closely contested encounter between two evenly matched teams who cancelled each other out, the visitors will have been far more happy with the result even though Harriers' unbeaten run now stands at five games.  With Tom Bennett suspended Lee Jenkins came back into the team after recovering from injury and there was a place on the bench for Iyseden Christie for the first time since October 23.

Harriers created an early chance, Blair Sturrock found John McGrath on the left and his cross into the heart of the penalty area caused confusion even though there was no Harriers player nearby as goalkeeper Scott Shearer flapped at it and was relieved to see it fall to safety.  former Harrier Drewe Broughton set strike partner Billy Sharp free at the other end and he outpaced the Harriers defence and then shot woefully, dragging his effort across goal and wide of the far post.

The best chances of the opening period for Harriers fell to skipper Wayne Hatswell; a Simon Weaver crossfield pass picked out Sturrock who laid it back to Hatswell whose low 25-yard shot was dealt with comfortably by Shearer and later on he headed straight at the keeper from a Dean Keates corner.  In between Stuart Gray had had a shot saved comfortably by Danby who was called into action again when Sharp held off Weaver in a chase for a long ball and almost flicked it over the Harriers keeper but he just managed to get his fingertips to it and deflect it to safety.  There was plenty of incident in the first half for both teams but there was little excitement, the game was tense and with more at stake for Harriers they seemed more worried about what they could lose.  Johnny Mullins went close with a header from a McGrath cross after good work by Bertrand Cozic had only been half cleared by Alex Hay; an unmarked Mark Jackson headed over from another Keates corner and Sturrock fired a shot from long range just over the bar as Harriers continued to create good openings but were not clinical enough to take them.

After the break Harriers were more lively at first and built up a period of pressure that looked certain to break the deadlock.  Chris Beardsley held up the ball well before rolling it into the path of Jenkins whose low shot was well saved by Shearer down to his right at the expense of a corner.  A McGrath cross from the left was flapped at by Shearer under pressure from Beardsley and Sturrock should have done better with the loose ball, firing just wide.

At the other end Diamonds had a brief respite; a long ball was flicked on by Broughton for Sharp, his shot was blocked by Hatswell and following up Hay hit a blistering drive towards the near post that Danby pushed away for a corner.  Hatswell and Hay were then involved at the other end; a Keates corner found Hatswell whose header was cleared off the line by Hay.  Danby had to be alert to keep out Hay again after the ball was given away to the Rushden man in acres of space on the right.

Harriers tried to change things around with the introduction of first Mark Rawle and then to the delight of the Harriers support Christie.  Rawle should have won the game for Harriers when he got on the end of a Keates cross from the left but he could not control his header and it went over the bar.   Mullins brought the ball forward as Harriers pressed for a late winner, he found Simon Russell on the right who cut inside and forced Shearer into action again. From the resultant corner taken by Keates Mullins glanced a header wide across the face of goal.  There was little further incident and Harriers had to settle for the point; they live to fight another day but with all of the other teams around them winning their task is made all the more hard.