Express & Star

Kidderminster Harriers claim a home win at last

Kidderminster Harriers brightened their gloomy home record in National League North by beating Buxton 1-0 thanks to a quick-fire goal by Ashley Hemmings.

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Man-of-the-match Hemmings struck after just 34 seconds to notch his ninth goal of the campaign. It was manager Russ Penn’s side’s first win at home since January 31 when they beat Blyth Spartans 3-1 – a success which was followed at Aggborough by three defeats and three draws.

Harriers, who drew 1-1 at Buxton in late September, have now won just five home league games this season.

Kidderminster were unchanged from the side which triumphed 1-0 at Farsley Celtic the previous Saturday.

They were again without Nat Knight-Percival, who was completing a four-match suspension, while his fellow defender Reiss McNally remained on the injury list.

Harriers got off to a dream start by storming into the lead inside the first minute.

A determined build-up involving Joe Foulkes, Krystian Pearce and Shane Byrne led to Hemmings firing home a sweetly struck first time shot from 18 yards.

Stunned Buxton continued to be pushed back onto the defensive and had a couple of anxious moments when Caleb Richards saw his goalbound shot blocked before Pearce headed over a Joe Leesley free kick.

Another impressive raid shortly afterwards resulted in Amari Morgan-Smith sending over a cross which reached Hemmings, but his acrobatic overhead kick went over the bar.

The Bucks finally produced their first attempt on goal on 25 minutes when Brad Jackson curled a shot wide with home goalkeeper Christian Dibble rarely being troubled throughout the first half.

After a scrappy opening to the second period the visitors eventually got in a shot at goal just after the hour mark, but Sam Osborne’s effort was easily dealt with by Dibble. Then, a couple of minutes later, Diego de Girolamo headed just over from close range.

At the other end Hemmings stabbed the ball just wide before a Leesley pile-driver rebounded off the underside of the bar.