Kidderminster Harriers 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2

by David Gudgeons

Brian  Talbot made just one change to the starting line-up from last week’s 1-1 draw with Torquay United, David Bell replacing Andy Burgess in the midfield.

Kidderminster kicked off on this cold, sunny afternoon at the Aggborough. Both teams went on the attack in the early stages of the match, but the first real effort fell to the Diamonds on 6 minutes after a cross from Bignot was headed onto the bar by Lowe.

Just two minutes later, Kidderminster had a great chance to take the lead but Bishop’s shot went past Turley’s right-hand post. Diamonds broke to the other end straight away but Hall’s effort was well wide of the goal.

On 13 minutes, Diamonds had a great chance after great work from Bell released Hall, but his shot from 19 yards was saved by Brock. Lowe got his header on target from the resulting corner but again it was saved by Brock. Just a minute later Paul Hall latched onto Lowe’s pass in the Kidderminster area and he struck the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards.

15 minutes: Kidderminster 0, Diamonds 1

Kidderminster put Diamonds on the back foot for the next few minutes, but were unable to make the final ball count.

On 18 minutes, Hall knocked the ball through to Lowe who was free on goal, but the assistant referee adjudged him to be offside. The two sides were fairly evenly matched for the next ten minutes or so and neither team had any notable chances on goal.

Then the game came to life again with the Diamonds on the attack, Darby found himself just inside the Harriers box and held the ball up well for Lowe, but Lowe needed just a little too much time and when he shot for goal, his effort was blocked and cleared.

30 minutes: Kidderminster 0, Diamonds 1.

Kidderminster had a good chance to equalise on 33 minutes after Bennett managed to get in a low cross but Bishop mis-kicked and Diamonds cleared the danger.

On 35 minutes, Kidderminster’s, Coleman had a shot from 35 yards but his effort went well over the bar. Three minutes later, Lowe got in a shot from a tight angle but his shot hit the side netting.

The Diamonds manager and coach could not believe the assistant referee when he flagged Darby offside after Shilton passed back to his own ‘keeper from 40 yards.

One minute of injury time was shown by the fourth official as the first half drew to a close. Kidderminster’s Henriksen, had the last chance of the half, but his effort from 25 yards went well wide of the target.

HALF-TIME: Kidderminster 0, Diamonds 1.

Diamonds kicked off the second half looking to increase their lead, but it was Harriers who had the first shot of the half. Paul Hall was penalised for a foul on Shilton, but his free-kick went over the bar.

Henriksen should have equalised on 50 minutes, when he found himself free in the penalty area, but his shot from 6 yards was well saved by Turley at point blank range.

Duane Darby left the pitch just a minute later with what looked like a hamstring strain and Robert Duffy entered the frame in his place.

Although Diamonds had an even share of possession, it was the Harriers who looked more likely to score, with several efforts coming in a short space of time as they tried to get themselves back into this match.

On 57 minutes, Harriers’ leading scorer, Henriksen had another effort, but again he failed to hit the target. His shot from the edge of the area went 10 yards wide of Turley’s left upright.

Two minutes later, Melligan’s header was knocked onto the post and out of play by Turley’s outstretched arm and Kidderminster were foiled once again.

60 minutes: Kidderminster 0, Diamonds 1.

On 63 minutes, Lowe was booked for a foul from behind on John Melligan. Five minutes later, despite being against the run of play, Hall doubled his and the Diamonds tally, after Brock could only parry Lowe’s 35-yard free-kick and the Jamaican was on hand to fire home the rebound from 8 yards out.

75 minutes: Kidderminster 0, Diamonds 2.

On 76 minutes, Duffy became the second player to be shown the yellow card when he kicked the ball away after the referee had blown his whistle for a tight offside decision. A minute later, Harriers’ manager, Britton introduced Ian Foster into the action, taking off Dean Bennett.

On 82 minutes, Kidderminster almost halved the deficit when Henriksen’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Bignot.

Diamonds almost made it 3 with just 5 minutes remaining, but Wardley didn’t get enough power from Hall’s cross. Diamonds continued to break at every possible opportunity and after some good play, Underwood almost scored, but his lob lacked height and Brock held the ball with ease.

John Melligan almost snatched a late consolation,but his shot-come-cross went wide of the goal. With just a minute of normal time remaining, Lowe was replaced by Sambrook, who took up the right midfield position and Hall advanced into the striker’s role.

During the 3 minutes of added time, Wardley latched onto a great through ball from Hall and his effort was tipped over the bar by Brock.

FULL TIME: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2.

Attendance: 3,417 (369 from Diamonds).

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Hunter, Peters, Wardley, Darby (Duffy 51), Gray, Bignot, Bell, Hall, Lowe.

Substitutes: Setchell, Talbot, Sambrook, Duffy, Demspter.

Bookings: Lowe 63 (Foul), Duffy 76 (Unsporting Behaviour),

Kidderminster: Brock, Williams, Hinton, Bennett (Foster 79), Shilton, Henriksen, Ayres, Flynn, Melligan, Coleman, Bishop.

Substitutes: Foster, Smith, Danby, Doyle, Hodge.

Bookings:

Referee: Alan Butler (Notts)

Assistant Referees: Russell Green & Jon Cordy

Fourth Official: Patrick Kean

MOM: Paul Hall (Right Place at the Right Time)

See a video of the Onandi Lowe free kick here.

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