KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (1) 1 ALTRINCHAM (1) 1
played on Saturday, 5 April 2008, at 3pm.
SUMMARY: Kidderminster's goal depended on a refereeing decision as Mr Creighton awarded them a questionable penalty just before the interval from which Christie scored. It was the third successive time that a spot-kick had been won against Alty at Aggborough - and all three have been converted by Christie. Alty had held a deserved lead from the eighth minute when Colin Little netted his 20th league goal, converting Shotton's nod-on from a Lynch freekick from near half-way. Lynch was also the player adjudged to have fouled Penn as he advanced into the right of the box, to concede the 44th minute penalty. Kiddy had the better of the second half of a game played in a stiff breeze but Alty had a couple of good late chances. This was a good Alty performance and a draw was probably a fair result but Farsley and Northwich both won to drop Alty down a place to 20th.
REFEREE: Mr. S Creighton (Berkshire)
ATTENDANCE: 1,535 (143 in the away end)
Chris Senior and Chris Lane dropped to the bench and Jake Sedgemore was omitted altogether against his former club, as Alty restored three loan players (Lynch, Turnbull and Tansey) to the starting line-up which had lost on Tuesday in the CSC.
Kidderminster were without first-choice keeper MacKenzie.
Alty arrived looking for points to get them out of their relegation predicament whilst Kidderminster were in confident mood after four successive league wins. Alty had won the reverse fixture at Moss Lane so knew that this was a game from which they might get something.
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS: (Red shirts, white shorts and red socks): 13. Dean COLEMAN; 2. Jeff KENNA, 4. Gavin HURREN, 5. Mark CREIGHTON (capt), 22. Alex JEANNIN; 10. Russell PENN, 19. Dean BENNETT, 7. Simon RUSSELL, 24. Darryl KNIGHTS; 21. Matthew BARNES-HOMER, 23. Iyseden CHRISTIE. Subs: 6. Michael WYLDE, 14. Brian SMIKLE, 15. Michael McGRATH, 17. Andy FERRELL, 18. Paul BIGNOT.
ALTRINCHAM (Pale and dark blue shirts, pale blue shorts and socks) 1. Stuart COBURN; 16. Ryan SHOTTON, 5. Darren TINSON (capt), 10. Greg YOUNG, 4. Ryan LYNCH; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 21. Paul TURNBULL, 14. Greg TANSEY, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE,12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 15. Chris LANE; 17. Richard BATTERSBY, 19. Chris SENIOR, 20. Carlos ROCA.
Right: Robbie Lawton (right) tracks Harriers' Russell.
Altrincham kicked off into a stiff breeze on a sunny afternoon at Aggborough. The visitors had brought strong support (143 in number) and they comprehensively out-sang the opposition from start to finish. Tansey had the game's first serious shot, beating two men before shooting narrowly wide (5 mins). Alty then silenced the Harriers' crowd completely by taking the lead. A foul by Jeannin on Lawton gave Alty a freekick on half-way. Taken by Lynch, Shotton rose well to nod the ball on to Little who scored his 20th league goal with a low shot from around 12 yards which beat the keeper to his right (8 mins). A protest from Jeannin led to a delay to the re-start as Mr Creighton gave him a lecture. Another Alty freekick from an identical position soon followed as the home side laboured to get into the game.
Kiddy belatedly got forward but Tinson headed Barnes-Homer's left wing cross narrowly past his own post for a corner (10 mins). Tansey then did well to shoot narrowly wide (13 mins). Kidderminster had trouble adjusting to the breezy conditions whilst keeper Coleman caused his side concern when he kicked a clearance against O'Neill but saw the ball rebound fortunately to safety. Then a well-constructed Alty passing move confirmed the visitors' superioriy at this stage (17 mins). But when Shotton lost possession on the Alty right, the ball came to Barnes-Homer, who shot wide (18 mins). Then Lawton's push gave Kiddy a freekick and soon after this Turnbull conceded a corner as he covered Christie's advance (21 mins). As usual, Alty pulled everyone back to clear the danger. The home side were now improving but although they won another corner (28 mins), they did not seriously threaten to breach a back-line ably led by Tinson and Shotton. A poor Harriers' cross from the right and a nervy, sliced clearance from Coleman underlined their below-par performance so far. Two more overhit crosses followed from Kidderminster before Coburn watchfully allowed a stooping header from Knights to drift wide (41 mins). Alty's fans continued to give excellent support as Coburn came to the edge of his box to bat the ball away, one-handed. Next Jeannin's cross, forced Tinson to concede a corner (42 mins). Russell curled this straight out of play.
When a Coburn clearance came to Kidderminster near half-way, they surged up the right through Penn. As Lynch tackled him just inside the left edge of the box, he was judged to have fouled Penn, and the referee both awarded a penalty and booked Alty's left-back. It was the third penalty to the home side in successive games against Altrincham and was harsh on the young defender. Christie blasted the penalty past Coburn to make it 1-1 (44 mins).
No physios had been on the pitch yet Mr Creighton awarded two additional minutes and went on to play more than three. In this time, each side won a corner. Just before the interval Jeannin fired narrowly over from the edge of the box.
|Half-Time: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|
The hosts kicked off and when Kenna erred, from a freekick Shotton could only bundle Lawton's cross narrowly wide at the back post (48 mins). Coburn fielded a Knights volley (51 mins) before, at the other end, Young went down off the ball, but play continued regardless allowing Penn and Christie to break clear, the latter shooting wide. When Shotton was clearly fouled in the back by Knights, Mr Creighton, the referee, not only failed to give a freekick but booked the defender (54 mins). Mr Creighton further annoyed Alty by giving a handball against Tinson and then booking Turnbull for not returning the ball (59 mins). How the admirable Mr Creighton had managed to book three players inside an hour in a game devoid of any serious fouls was a mystery.
Kidderminster wasted another corner through overhitting the ball (62 mins) before Christie went down cheaply in the Alty box and got nothing for his pains. Lynch then allowed a freekick fom 35 yards out to drift out of play on the wind before Coleman continued his edgy performance when he sliced a clearance onto the stand roof. At this point Chris Senior replaced Joe O'Neill up front for Altrincham (66 mins). It was then Tansey's turn to see a freekick from the Alty left cleared before, at the other end, Christie went down under Coburn's challenge but was again not rewarded with a penalty but rather with an offside decision against himself (69 mins).
Altrincham then put together an effective attack but unfortunately it was leading scorer Little, on the right, crossing to Senior rather than the other way round and the ball skimmed off the head of the shorter of the two Alty strikers (70 mins). A minute later Ferrell came on for the Harriers in place of Knights. Soon afterwards Senior crossed the ball into the goalmouth from the left of the box but Jeannin calmly headed the ball back to his goalkeeper (72 mins). Senior was involved again soon after this when he won a ball against the odds on the right wing and fed Little but his attempted return pass to Senior was poor. Now Chris Lane came on for Lynch. This allowed Ryan Shotton to be sent forward from left-back, as Peyton dropped into that slot and Lane went to right-back (74 mins).
Kiddy won two corners as the game moved towards its final ten minutes and at the first of these, won by Penn's cross off Lane, the Harriers brought on Smikle for Russell (78 mins). Play was now end to end, with the next action seeing Senior caught offside for Altrincham. A foul on Young gave Lane a freekick which was cleared but Kidderminster came back at the visitors. When Ferrell's aerial cross from the left evaded Coburn, the Alty keeper went down under a challenge but got up to block Penn's resulting shot before going down again. But play continued with the Alty keeper staggering in his box with what looked like a facial injury but not being permitted to get assistance until the Kiddermninster attack broke down (82 mins).
Kidderminster won two late corners (85 mins) before Gary Scott unexpectedly came on to replace Alty's Warren Peyton at left-back (87 mins). When Jeannin committed the worst foul of the game on Turnbull in midfield, he escaped with conceding a freekick but not even a word of censure from the referee who had brandished three cards at Altrincham (88 mins). In the final minutes Alty pressed hard for a winner and nearly got it. Firstly Tansey did well on the right against Jeannin but fired a wild shot at goal from the right (89 mins). Then Tansey had another opportunity moments later but this time underhit his close range shot to the surprised keeper who held it at the second attempt (90 mins). Four minutes of added time were announced during which Alty pressed again with Senior being tackled in the box and then Little being fed by Lawton for a shot from 25 yards which he hit without power to the keeper (90+3 mins). Finally Young had to be alert at the other end to see off the last attack of the game by Christie (90+4 mins).
News of Farsley's surprise win at Torquay and of Northwich's less unexpected victory over Stafford tempered the joy of Altrincham's well-deserved point here at Aggborough but with Weymouth losing, Alty remained outside the bottom four but having played two more games than the Terras. Burton's home defeat by Grays also gave a glimmer of hope that Nigel Clough's side are not invincible ahead of Alty's visit to the Pirelli Stadium next Tuesday.
|Full-Time: KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 1 ALTRINCHAM 1|