First Home Win For 10-man Reds: Harriers 2-1 Stalybridge
A stereotypical game of two halves saw Harriers have to hold on to record their first home win of the season.
New signing Ryan Croasdale had to be content with a place on the bench, along with summer signing Wayne Thomas who came into the squad for the first time, as John Eustace named the same starting eleven as the midweek win at Nuneaton.
With a stiff breeze at their backs in the first half Harriers dominated possession, leaving the visitors chasing shadows for long spells. Skipper Keith Lowe made a strong run forward on 18 minutes to create the opening goal; his shot from distance was blocked by a team mate but fell nicely to Mani Dieseruvwe who fired in his third goal of the season.
Harriers doubled their advantage eleven minutes before the break, Arthur Gnahoua's corner from the right headed in by Tyrone Williams.
After the break Stalybridge came out with more purpose and were much improved from their woeful first half showing. Making use of the wind that was now in their favour they were able to press Harriers back and reduced the arrears on 52 minutes; a free-kick from deep on the left was not cleared and Nick Ryan was on hand to stab the ball in from close range at the far post.
Shortly afterwards Celtic nearly drew level when Harriers again failed to deal with a set piece, this time a corner from the left, but this time Jordan Tunnicliffe was in place to clear Liam Hynes' shot off the line.
Harriers then suffered a setback when Ashley Carter was sent-off for violent conduct in an off-the-ball incident with 24 minutes still to play.
Despite the numerical disadvantage Harriers managed to look comfortable in the latter stages of the game and could have increased their lead further. On 74 minutes Dieseruvwe on the left fed the ball to Zaine Francis-Angol whose cross to the far post was cleared by Ryan with Tyrell Waite waiting.
Ten minutes from time Waite was denied by Celtic keeper Tony McMillan who made a great save to push his shot away fro a corner after he had been set up by a combination of Lowe, Francis-Angol and Croasdale.