Darlington 0 Kidderminster 0 - Report
Kidderminster Harriers earned a deserved point in a goalless draw at promotion chasing Darlington after a run of three successive league defeats.
Manager Russ Penn eager to halt an alarming dip in form, making three changes to the starting line-up, Christian Dibble picked up a foot injury in training so Tom Palmer returned between the ‘sticks’, Joe Foulkes came in for Alex Penny and Zack Brown made way for Kai Lissimore.
Harriers away reversal at Chorley on Tuesday night was their first league defeat away from Aggborough since the end of November and Penn was looking to ensure there was no ‘hang-over’ for the trip to the North East.
A swirling wind contributed to a frenetic start to the game as play went from end to end with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent, it was the visitors who forced the fist dangerous moment, Joe Foulkes jinxing his way past two challenges only to see keeper Tommy Taylor divert his effort away for a corner.
Midway through the half Kaine Felix broke for the home side only to see the Harriers defence re-group to keep the scoreline level at the expense of a corner.
Darlington gained momentum and with Harriers failing to clear Ben Liddle’s corner, Jack Lambert volleyed in an effort that Tom Palmer parried away at full stretch, the resultant corner was scrambled away as loan signing Jake Cooper was unable to take advantage as the ball stuck under his feet.
Harriers finished the first half well, Joe Foulkes should have done better when he blazed over from just inside the area and in the closing stages, Ashley Hemmings and Amari Morgan-Smith both saw efforts blocked.
Taylor produced a stunning stop to deny Kyle Morrison in the early stages of the second period, Ben Liddle responding with a diverted effort for the home side.
Jack Lambert and Theo Williams combined to open the Harriers defence releasing Kallum Griffiths who wasted the opportunity with a shot that flew high and wide of the target on the hour mark.
Jake Hazel was next to test Harriers resolve, his 66th minute effort producing another fine stop by Palmer as the rain made things even more unpredictable.
Palmer again denied Hazel late on as the game continued to flow end to end, an encouraging performance from both sides whose play deserved a goal but neither side were able to fashion the killer touch as the game finished goalless.
Darlington: Taylor, Sukar, Moke (Rose 46), Hazel, Lambert, Purver, Griffiths, Felix (Williams 46), Cooper, Wheater, Liddle (Rivers 83). Subs Not Used: Brookwell, Newall.
Harriers: Palmer, Foulkes (Penny 80), Richards, Morrison, Knight- Percival, Pearce, Hemmings (Brown 70), Lissimore, Byrne, Bearne, Morgan-Smith. Subs Not Used: Freemantle, Owen-Evans, McNally.