Harriers Dig Deep For Derby Win
Harriers had to come from behind to take victory in the local derby against their erstwhile tenants who once again finished with ten men.
There was a surprise in the Harriers starting line-up as WBA youngster Alex Palmer was named in place of the injured Sam Hornby, rejoining the club on loan for the rest of the season.
As had been the case in the previous game on Boxing Day, the visitors set out to stop Harriers from playing, showing little or no ambition to achieve anything more than the point that they started the game with. Midway through the half, though, they took the lead; Ebby Nelson-Addy did well on the left wing allowing Cieron Keane to cross, Harriers failed to deal with the ball into the danger area and Junior English was on hand to sweep it past Palmer.
With a goal advantage to defend the visitors were even more content to defend in numbers and limit Harriers' chances to get back into the game. On 26 minutes a training ground free-kick routine ended with leading scorer Arthur Gnahoua seeing his shot deflected for a corner and shortly afterwards Elton Ngwatala's run set up Tyrell Waite in space on the right but he fired over the bar under pressure from goalkeeper Ethan Ross.
Harriers made a substitution at the break introducing Sam Austin in place of Tyrone Williams and he immediately had an impact; six minutes into the half he won the ball on the right from Cieron Keane , leaving him for dead as he cut inside but fired wide of the near post.
On the hour Harriers drew level; Zaine Francis-Angol broke clear on the left wing, his low cross towards the far post was only half cleared by Keane and the ball fell straight to James McQuilkin who fired it straight back past Ross for his fourth goal of the season.
Harriers kept pushing for a winner, building up the pressure on the visiting defence, and were eventually rewarded 12 minutes from time. Darryl Knights' pass set Austin away on the right and he once again left Keane trailing in his wake before sending in a cross the Sam Oji headed into his own net.
In the closing stages Harriers could have built on their lead even further; Ngwatala's lofted pass found Liam Truslove in space in the middle of the penalty area but he headed straight at Ross and then Truslove's pass split the defence open to send Knights into the penalty area bnut he shot straight at he keeper.
In stoppage time the visitors were reduced to ten men when former Harrier Lee Hughes was dismissed for needlessly kicking out at Ngwatala.