Kidderminster Harriers 1(0) v (3)3 St Albans City

Football Conference - Aggborough - 12 August 2006

Attendance: 1806

Individual Stats
v St Albans
Scott Bevan 40(1)0000[1]Paul Bastock 70(5)0000
Jeff Kenna 610120[2]Chris Seeby 500110
Gavin Cowan 51(1)0110[21/15]Lee Flynn 500100
Stuart Whitehead 51(1)023(1p)0[6/5]Gary Elphick 50003 (1h, 1p) 0
Mark Creighton 512110[5/17]David Theobald 610100
Dwayne Lee 51(1)1020[23/4]Tom Davis 50022(1h)0
Jamie McClen 600000[10/7]Matt Hann 51(1w)0001
Russ Penn 604130[16/8]Ranbir Marwa 500200
Andy White 501210[9]Paul Hakim 610230
Dean Sturridge 51(1)1010[8/10]Lee Clarke 62(1)04(1p)30
Michael Blackwood 513320[11]Adam Wilde 500301
Jake Sedgemore     [7/12]Dean Cracknell     
Luke Reynolds 51(1)1000[14]Simon Martin 501012
Simon Russell 500000[15/16]Ben Martin 500010
Brian Smikle 600000[18]Josh Sozzo     
Steve Taylor     [13/21]Rob Norris 500000
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
St Albans144651
Kidderminster St Albans
90+Jeff Kenna 9Paul Hakim 
   21David Theobald  
   43Lee ClarkePenalty
KennaWhitehead CreightonCowan
McClenPenn LeeBlackwood
 White Sturridge 
St Albans
SeebyElphick TheobaldFlynn
HannMarwa DavisWilde
 Hakim Clarke 
Kidderminster St Albans
46SmikleMcClenSmikle to right midfield.68S. MartinHakimMartin to striker.
68ReynoldsWhiteReynolds to striker.74 ElphickTheobald to central defender.  Now 3-4-2.
68RussellLeeRussell to attacking midfield, Penn to defensive midfield.76B. MartinWildeMartin to right central defender, Theobald to left central defender, Clarke to left midfield.  Now 4-4-1.
77  Creighton to striker, Whitehead to central defender.  Now 3-4-3. 90+NorrisHannNorris to left midfield, Clarke to right midfield.
Kidderminster St Albans
Whitehead 52 Foul Clarke 49 SimulationElphick 74 Handball
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)
Match Report by St@tto

Harriers' new Conference campaign got off to the worst possible start, beaten at home by league newcomers St Albans City in disappointingly easy fashion.

It was Harriers' heaviest home defeat on Opening Day since being beaten 3-0 by Barnet in 1987.  The new-look Harriers side looked as though they had only been introduced to each other minutes before kick-off; in he case of two debutants - Dwayne Lee and Gavin Cowan - that wasn't far from the truth as they suffered nightmare debuts, although to be fair to them they weren't the only ones who didn't enjoy their first competitive appearance in a Harriers shirt.

St Albans arrived at Aggborough for their first ever game at this level fired up and ready for action and took just eight minutes to shatter the air of confidence around Aggborough.  Lee's pass in midfield was wayward and picked up by Adam Wilde who set up Lee Clarke to split the defence wide open with a through ball for Paul Hakim who easily slotted the ball past Scott Bevan from the edge of the penalty area, the first goal that Bevan had conceded after going through pre-season unbeaten.  Midway through the half harriers were caught out again; a ball over the top was missed by Stuart Whitehead and Clarke's shot was pushed away by Bevan for a corner.

That corner was dealt with at the cost of another and it was from this that City doubled their advantage as David Theobald glanced in a header at the near post that went in off the far post.  Harriers were in disarray and didn't threaten the visitors until late in the half; a free-kick was pumped forward to Andy White who knocked it down to Mark Creighton, his shot was deflected for a corner.  Jamie McClen's corner from the right found Lee at the far post but his header was straight at veteran keeper Paul Bastock.  A couple of minutes later Dean Sturridge did well to get to the byline on the right but his cross to the far post was headed wide by Michael Blackwood.  Before the break the game was effectively killed off when the visitors were awarded a penalty after Whitehead had tripped Clarke.  Clarke himself took the kick and fired high to Bevan's left with Bevan diving the wrong way.

After the interval Harriers had more of the game but were so far out of the game they were unable to do anything with the possession that they had, City defenders throwing themselves in the way of the ball at every opportunity should Harriers threaten.  Just before the hour mark Jeff Kenna's right-wing corner found Lee but his header was deflected wide and from that second corner Whitehead's header was saved by Bastock.

Harriers' best chance of the game so far arrived shortly afterwards; Kenna, again, was involved, crossing from the right to White in the 6-yard box but somehow he fired over the bar.  The home team's best spell of the game was now and a consolation goal seemed certain to come for a short time.  Brian smikle carried the ball out of defence with a long run into the heart of opposition territory before passing to russ Penn on the right who then found Michael blackwood on the opposite flank but his shot was blocked by a  desperate lunge by Gary Elphick.

Fifteen minutes from time Harriers were handed a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet when Elphick handled as penn tried to take the ball past him.  Referee Attwell awarded a penalty and sent-off Elphick but Sturridge's penalty was so weak that Bastock had got down to his left to save before the ball arrived and then reacted quickly to block Luke Reynolds' follow-up.

At the other end Matt Hann was allowed to run through the heart of the Harriers defence and his shot beat Bevan from the edge of the penalty area but fortunately for Harriers came back off the post and then Simon Martin fired the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.  In the last minute another Kenna corner proved dangerous; Cowan's header was saved and Reynolds' follow-up was blocked.  Bastock was finally beaten deep into stoppage time when Kenna fired a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner of the net.