Match day

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Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17

Match day

Team logo
Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17 14:00
The National League U19 Alliance

Howell dumps Slough out of Bob Lord Trophy

Slough Town

Slough Town

Kidderminster Harriers

Kidderminster Harriers

Howell (0-1)
Bob Lord Trophy Attendance: 408 Unknown
Slough set the stage in the first half on Tuesday night but the star act never followed and the final curtain went down on their Bob Lord Trophy aspirations.

This long awaited and much postponed second round match in the league cup never got into first gear and was watched by a paltry crowd.

Weather and Christmas had taken its toll and the conditions were difficult for both sides footballing styles.

Slough were much the brighter side and looked to turn in another exciting performance after the opening moments produced some neat flowing moves which threatened to tear the Harriers apart.

But for all the possession and play, Slough's hallmark of the evening was to struggle to gel a good ball into the box and as the game wore on it was Kidderminster who counter attacked well and created the clearer chances.

Trevor Bunting did well to save from Paul Davis after Steve Thompson's midfield slip let him in and David Hadly blasted over from a good position as Slough cleared their ranks.

But Slough got back on top and held the midfield, Allan Pluckrose showing pace and ability on the left and constantly threatening.

Steve Scott had some good touches on the right but often ran into trouble when cutting in with Neal Stanley adding vital width throughout.

At the other end Bunting twice did well, first holding Davis' header and then stopping Peter Howell's effort after he sidestepped Steve Whitby.

Slough still dominated the game in the Harriers' half though and got the ball under control in difficult conditions, but the decisive final ball in Kidderminster's last third was lacking.

Pluckrose produced Slough's best effort so far with a distanced shot that deflected off Thompson and was pushed round the post by Ron Green.

The best chance fell on 40 minutes when Stanley's through ball was left and Francis Joseph latched onto it, his effort parried and looping into the air where Thompson volleyed wide of an open goal.

A score looked on the cards for the second half with little problems for Slough in the first.

But Slough seemed to lose grip in the second period and were often caught hack pedalling as the Harriers pushed into space. Joseph saw his effort scrambled round the post after Stanley had again provided the width but slowly Slough lost the ability to break down their visitors and Kidderminster got a good share of the spoils in midfield.

Ultimately it had to be a mistake that decided the game as Kidderminster failed to threaten much and Mark Hill was unfortunate to be the player involved. His indecision to clear a long ball let in Howell, who had the simple task of beating Bunting to settle the match.

Rebels boss Alan Davies summed up the season so far saying: "I don't think we realise how well we have done, come the New Year this could be a very, very good season for us. All credit must go to the players and staff who have approached the season so well with all the turmoil going on behind the scenes and it shows how professional we are in the dressing room."

Is it more than expected to be sixth with games in hand? "I thought it was going to be a difficult season, sometimes things go against you in the second year as teams work you out, but some of the football we have played has gained respect from others in the league."

After the Kidderminster result Davies said: "We played well in the first half and I told them at half time to go out and carry on where they had left off but to be honest we didn't that well." As for the New Year Davies added: "All I want is for the team to carry on playing as they have so far this season. Hopefully the club will have a new owner, I have been here seven years and now I want the club to get in a stable position and play for the future.

"We have to decide whether to stay in the Conference or go a step higher, but it will take lime to get the club on a stable footing."

What about the chance of full time management? "I would give my right arm to do it, I would love to be full time," he replied.

"The club know my views on that but the stumbling block has always been the position the club has been in. When the club gets its new ownership, that's when I can look at what I do."

Kidderminster Harriers Lineup


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