Harriers 1 Boston 2 - Report
Colin Gordon’s Kidderminster Harriers suffered another damaging blow to their fading National League North play-off hopes when they slumped to a grim 2-1 home defeat against Boston United.
It was a bitterly disappointing result for off-form Harriers following a turbulent week in which they parted company with boss Neil MacFarlane.
A goal by Joe Ironside was the only bright spot for Aggborough chairman Gordon who has taken over the managerial role until the end of the season with assistance from senior players Jimmy O’Connor and Russ Penn.
Battling Boston took an early lead before eventually sealing victory with a controversial penalty in a bad tempered match in which Harriers had substitute Kane Richards sent off in stoppage time.
Kidderminster, who won 2-0 at Boston in September, made one change from the side which lost 2-1 at Spennymoor Town earlier in the week with Dan Bradley coming off the casualty list to replace Richards.
Front-runner Richards started off on the subs’ bench along with new on-loan capture Nick Clayton-Phillips, a teenage winger from West Bromwich Albion.
Boston made a lively start with Harriers’ goalkeeper Brandon Hall being called on in the third minute to dive low to his left to save a shot from Gavin Allott.
A minute later Sam Austin broke away from the visitors rear-guard only to see his shot go tamely wide.
Boston, however, burst into the lead in the sixth minute when Declan Weeks lost possession to enable Brad Abbott and Jay Rollins to join forces and set up the opportunity for Max Wright to fire the ball past Hall.
The visitors went close again shortly afterwards when a cross from ex-Aggborough campaigner Ben Davies reached Allott whose shot was cleared off the line by Lee Vaughan.
Harriers took until the 22nd minute before they gave their former Football League opponents cause for concern with a glancing header from Ironside flashing narrowly wide following a teasing cross from Aaron Phillips.
Boston soon got over the alarm and were not too far off the mark with solid header in front of goal by Allott.
Harriers went close to getting on terms when a corner by Weeks reached Fraser Horsfall whose header was pushed onto the bar before eventually being cleared.
Kidderminster finally made it 1-1 just after the half hour mark when Austin played a through ball to Bradley whose cross was swept into the net by Ironside for his side’s 50th goal of the season in all competitions.
The Pilgrims regained the lead on 39 minutes when Davies scored from the spot after a hotly disputed penalty was awarded for a foul by Josh Heaton on Allott. The ball went into the net off the underside of the bar.
Harriers started the second period on the front foot with Austin screwing a shot wide before Heaton had a header comfortably saved by goalkeeper George Willis.
Shortly after the hour mark Rollins looked to be well offside when he broke away but, with only Hall to beat, directed his shot wide of the far post.
Harriers huffed and puffed for the rest of the match, but were unable to find the killer touch in front of goal.
In injury time Richards was sent off for a heated exchange during Harriers unsuccessful appeals for a penalty.
Kidderminster: Hall; Vaughan, Horsfall, Heaton, Phillips (Baxendale, 85); Penn, Weeks, Austin (Clayton-Phillips, 58); Chambers (Richards, 73), Ironside, Bradley. Subs not used: Butterfield, Higginson.
Boston: Willis; Davies, Gibbens, Qaulter, Jackson; Wafula, Abbott, Thanoj, Wright (Chettle, 90); Allott (Slew, 90), Rollins (Harris, 80). Subs not used: Malkowski, Walker.
Referee: James Bell (Sheffield).
Attendance: 1,249 (54 away fans).