Gash brace sinks Lambs early hopes
16 March 2013
Dale Belford brought his squad to Aggborough to face Steve Burr's high flying Harriers who could end the day in third just three points off the top of the table with only Wrexham's goal difference being better and Mansfield holding pole position.
The Lambs on the other hand were going out with three changes to the side that drew with Alfreton with Marcus Kelly returning after injury, Michael Wylde making his first start since rejoining the club, and Kyle Perry up front as Richard Tait and Jake Hessenthaler started on the bench while Tom Marshall did not feature as the team went in search of three points to try and move closer to the 50 point mark of safety.
Harriers got to the game under way kicking towards the travelling Lambs fans and put some early pressure in the final third of the field but Oji and Wylde coped admirably at the back with the attempted crosses as the rain and wind caused havoc on the field.
The Lambs pressed forwards and in the sixth minute Harriers failed to deal with a well struck shot by Cunnington came back out to him and his side footed shot into the bottom right of the target squeezed through for his 18th of the season (1-0, 6 mins)
Cunnington took a knock to the head as The Lambs pushed forwards again around the 10 minute mark and when play resumed the ball spent more time at the feet of a ‘blue' player than a ‘red' one (Tamworth of course playing in their change strip)
A Briggs shot on 15 earned the home side a corner but it curled out of play and so the threat was immediately nullified.
But the threat was ever present from Harriers and Pilkington's right sided cross deflected off Cunnington for a corner on 19 which Perry cleared to the half way line.
A clash of heads saw Wright leave the field with a nasty cut to his forehead around 26 and The Lambs played a man short while he received treatment.
A similar head injury to Dunkley caused the Harriers player to change his shirt on 32 and The Lambs play on through the centre but Kelly's strike curled away from goal and Perry was unable to latch onto it.
Wright returned to the field on 35 as Vincent struck a right footed shot over the bar from 25 yards
In the next move though Briggs finished off the loose ball after Vaughan had struck a low angled drive from the right of the area and brought a good save from Breeden. However, the ball ran invitingly for Briggs and his low finish evaded the blocks of The Lambs defence (1-1, 36 mins). Wylde was booked before The Lambs restarted the game.
Harriers continued to press until the break winning corners on both sides and four minutes stoppage time was shown.
And Harriers took the lead through Pilikington's freekick shortly before the whistle blew on half time. The dead ball was expertly struck by the Pilkington and left Breeden with no chance of stopping it as it curled into the bottom corner giving the home side the edge at the break (1-2, 45 mins)
The Lambs got the second half underway kicking towards the 143 travelling fans behind the goal, sampling the fine food in the ground,
A good looking cross by Byfield on the right of the box on 48 was put behind for a corner by the home defence but when Kelly received the ball he was forced to play it all the way back to Breeden and in the next move, Oji slid into cut out a long ball and got back to his feet in obvious discomfort which required treatment a minute or three later.
A good ball into the box on 52 by Kelly, from the left channel, saw Cunnington go down under a challenge as he went up to try and head it goalward, but when the whistle blew it was only for offside against the striker and not, as The Lambs fans hoped, a penalty in their favour.
A similar ball by Kelly then found Wright and he tried an overhead effort from the edge of the box which Lewis collected easily.
Cunnington forced a good save from Lewis on 54
But on 57 Harriers extended their lead even further after a foul by Byfield on Jackman on the left of the box set up the same player with the deadball and despite Wylde getting his head to the ball, Gash finished from close range (1-3, 57 mins)
Cunnington then made headway into the area but his final shot rolled past the left hand upright from 10 yards out while at the other end Breeden pulled of a good one handed save to deny Rowe and Briggs left footed strike took a deflection off two defenders to hit the side netting on the left of the box on 63.
A header from Wylde on 68 almost found it's way into the back of the net, but Lewis did well to deny him by pushing it away from danger one handed, and on 75 Lloyd replaced Wright up front.
Breeden escaped a serious error in judgement on 78 when gash bore down on him in the area and the Harriers forward was unable to turn quickly to fire in a fourth.
Kelly's corner from the right on 80 caused some mayhem in the area until the referee spotted an infringement and stopped play with a single whistle blow and Courtney was booked for a foul on Jackman on the halfway line on 81.
Gash headed home from the left of the box into the right bottom corner to seal his sides win on 84 (1-4)
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Marcus KELLY, Michael WYLDE, Adam CUNNINGTON, Tommy WRIGHT (Danny LLOYD 75), Darren BYFIELD (Jake HESSENTHALER 66), Duane COURTNEY, Connor GUDGER, Jonathon THORPE, Sam OJI
Subs: James WREN (GK), Richard TAIT, Stuart HENDRIE
Kidderminster Harriers Team:
Danny LEWIS, Lee VAUGHAN, Mickey DEMETRIOU, James VINCENT, Anthony MALBON (Ryan ROWE 60), Danny PILKINGTON (Marvin JOHNSON 73), Danny JACKMAN (Mike WILLIAMS 87), Michael GASH, Keith BRIGGS, Chey DUNKLEY, Josh GOWLING
Subs, Nathan VAUGHAN, Greg PEARSON
Referee: Mr. L Swabey (Devon)