Darlington 0-1 Kidderminster Harriers - Report
Kidderminster Harriers travelled north looking to continue their rich vein of form and extend their nine match unbeaten league run. Victory in midweek over Farsley Celtic closed the gap to fourth placed AFC Fylde, with Harriers having a number of games in hand over their promotion rivals.
In the end it was substitute Marcus Dinanga who stepped from the bench to heade in Sam Austin’s left wing cross to give Harriers three points with a goal three minutes into time added on at the end of the game.
Harriers made three changes to the team that defeated Farsley Celtic, Keith Lowe replaced Nathan Cameron, Alex Penny came in for Joe Foulkes and Amari Morgan-Smith replaced Ethan Freemantle in attack.
Both sides looked eager to test each other’s back line, Jack Lambert sending a left wing centre across the face of the Harriers goal on four minutes.
Harriers responded and as the half continued it was the visitors who created the better scoring opportunities.
Ashley Hemmings crashed a left footed drive over the angle of bar and post as he escaped the clutches of Danny Ellis on 13 minutes.
Harriers captain Sam Austin struck a low 21st minute drive that home keeper Tommy Taylor did well to parry full length away to his right before the keeper again made an important block to deny the lively Hemmings.
Approaching the interval Harriers should have taken the lead, defender Alex Storey making a last ditch deflection to keep out Amari Morgan-Smiths goalbound effort and Hemmings guided a close range header wide of the target in time added on at the end of the first half to leave it goalless.
Sam Austin though he had opened the scoring on 48 minutes as he held off Storey’s challenge and his goalbound effort was only partially held by Taylor who watched in horror as the ball nestled in the net, fortunately the match official had already blown for the foul on Austin and the keeper’s blushes were spared.
Harriers always looked likely to net a winner although Jack Lambert went close for the home side, eventually the pressure paid and Dinanga settled the game in Harriers favour. This from a man who once came off the bench for Telford to score a hat-trick on this very ground when the Bucks were 3-0 down at half time.
Darlington: Taylor, Smith, Storey, Hatfield, Rivers (Dos Santos 85), Ellis, Lambert, Cassidy (O’Neill 73), Purver (Wheatley 64), Griffiths, Rose. Subs Not Used: Beeden, Hedley.
Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Lowe, Bajrami, Martin, Sterling (Dinanga 89), Carrington, Austin, Hemmings (White 72), Morgan-Smith (Freemantle 78). Subs Not Used: Foulkes, Redmond.