AFC Fylde 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1 - Report

Kidderminster Harriers suffered their first away National League North defeat of the season when they went down 2-1 against table-topping AFC Fylde at Mill Farm.

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The Coasters clinched victory with goals from Nick Haughton and substitute Stephen Dobbie with teenage defender Joe Foulkes, on loan from Walsall, scoring for disappointed Harriers.

The clash was regarded as the toughest test so far this term for boss Russ Penn’s men against a Fylde outfit who successfully bounced back with a hard earned victory following their FA Cup exit against Spennymoor Town earlier in the week.

For Harriers it was their second league defeat on the trot which nudged them down from fifth to seventh in the table.

Harriers, who went into the entertaining game with one win and two draws in their opening three away league games, made one change from the side which won 3-1 in the previous Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie at Sporting Khalsa.

Defender Nathan Cameron returned to action after recovering from hamstring trouble and replaced Leith Lowe, who was named among the substitutes.

Midfielder Mark Carrington again missed out, serving the last of a three-match ban for being sent off against Guiseley earlier this month.

A deflected shot by Sam Austin earned Harriers the first corner of the game on four minutes, but it came to nothing.

Fylde, unbeaten in the league so far this term, were soon back up field and two minutes later went into the lead through Haughton who took full advantage with an angled shot following some below-par defending by the visitors defence.

Not long afterwards Harriers made a substitution when Omari Sterling went off with an injury and was replaced by Jaiden White.

The hosts continued to look a threat and Ben Tollitt had a close range effort deflected away and out of danger.

He then produced another driving run which resulted in another shot which, this time, went over the bar.

Midway through the first half space opened up in the home rear-guard to enable Austin to fire in a shot which was not far off target.

Battling Kidderminster steadily began to look far more competitive and White had a goalbound effort deflected away for an unproductive corner before Austin fired over the bar with an ambitious long range effort.

Harriers made a promising start to the second period and Austin sent over an excellent cross which Amari Morgan-Smith headed over from close range before Geraldo Bajrami managed to block a goalbound shot from Tollitt.

Kidderminster were rewarded for their untiring efforts with an equaliser on 52 minutes when Foulkes smashed the ball into the net following a cross from White.

Fylde tried to get their noses back in front with a shot from Haughton which was well blocked by Aggborough goalkeeper Luke Simpson.

Harriers were then heavily indebted to Simpson for making two excellent quick-fire saves to deny Haughton and Tollitt.

Fylde grabbed the winner on 84 minutes when hesitancy by the visitors allowed Dobbie to roll the ball past exposed Simpson.

Kidderminster: Simpson; Foulkes, Cameron, Bajrami (Bell 87), Richards; Montrose (Lowe, 73), Martin; Hemmings, Austin, Sterling (White, 9); Morgan-Smith. Subs not used: Emery, Penny.

Referee: Richard Holmes (Preston).

Attendance: 1,120.

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