11 March 2017
it was a difficult afternoon for Russ O'Neill' Alfreton Town when they visited Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday, a poor first half causing the damage with all three goals conceede before the break.
early pressure from the play-off contenders had been soaked up with keeper Fabian Spiess on top form , until Adam Smith made a dreadful error after 20 minutes, caught in possession by Jordan Tunnicliffe as he tried to dribble his way out of his own area before compouding matters by bringing down his opponent.
A penalty was awarded, Smith picked up a caution and James McQuilkin smashed the ball past Spiess to open the scoring for the home side.
Spiess had already saved brilliantly from Liam Truslove's full-blooded volley in the 12th minute, then made a point blank save from Daniel Nti just two minutes later, but could not prevent Truswell from converting McQuilkin's 28th minute corner with a deflected shot to put the hosts two up.
It was 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Tyrell Waite found the cornr of the net rather too easily from Josh Ezewele's cross, but Alfreton at last showed some re-action with sam Smith heading into the side-netting from a 35th minute Craig Westcarr free-kick.
kidderminster carried on where they left off , Ryan Wilson forced to slice a clearance against his own bar before Spiess again saved well, this time from Sam Austin.
A much better more composed second half performance at least gave the Reds some hope, spending much more time in the opposition's half and sailing a much tighter ship at the back where a better balance had been achieved with Niall Heaton having replaced Adam Smith at half-time and taking over from Wilson at left-back.
As a result Westcarr was able to engineer a shooting opportunity in the 51st minute, turning to fire at home keeper sam Hornby before Mark Shelton fed Wilson wide left for a cross that was also held.
Shelton then ran positively towards goal after picking up a loose ball, only to take one touch too many, Westcarr could only manage a stifled shotwhich barely tested the keeper and an 87th minute attack yielded the Reds' only cornerof the game, but despite their territorial advantage in the latter stages Spiess had to make defiant saves from substitut Andre Brown.
Right at he end Morgan Brough was given a taste of National League North football, O.Neill having selected two Academy players for the bench, with prolific scorer Brough joining skipper Ellis Evans,
Alfreton Town Team:
Spiess, Richards, McGowan, Kennedy, Wilson, Atkinson, Monkhouse, Shelton ( Marshall 82), A.Smith (Heaton h/t), S.Smith (Brough 90+3), Westcarr
Subs not used : Jordan, Evans
Kidderminster Harriers Team:
Hornby, Ezewele, Francis-Angol ( Williams 67), Croasdale, Lowe,, Tunnicliffe, Nti (Carter 70), McQuilkin, Waite (Brown 75), Truelove, Austin
Subs not used : Deseruvwe, Knights
Referee: Martin Woods