Express & Star

Kidderminster remain in National League North play-off contention with win over Southport

Kidderminster Harriers made the trip to struggling Southport with manager Russ Penn looking to his team to finish strongly towards the end of the league campaign still having a mathematical chance to reach the play-offs.


Just one defeat in their last ten fixtures left Penn’s charges just two points outside the play-offs and the inconsistency of the teams in this league meant that 12th placed Harriers could go into the last game of the season at home to Kettering still with something to play for.

Southport, on the other hand, still needed a point to preserve their National League North status after a run of six straight defeats, so the fixture was far from an end of season affair.

Harriers had scored early goals in five of their previous six games and after just 21 seconds of this fixture they found themselves ahead again.

Zak Brown and Joe Foulkes found space down the right flank, playing in Ashley Hemmings who moved inside to collect a return ball from Shane Byrne before firing his effort beyond Tony McMillan as the ball entered the goal via the inside of the right hand upright.

Amari Morgan-Smith pushed an effort narrowly wide in a first half of very few chances on a lively hard pitch.

The home side grew in confidence after the break and started to threaten, earning a penalty on 58 minutes when Caleb Richards was adjudged to have pulled down Adam Anson and Charlie Oliver stroked home the penalty kick to Christian Dibble’s right.

Harriers were not to be denied, Amari Morgan-Smith benefitting from some good build up play only to see his lofted effort finger-tipped wide by home keeper Tony McMillan as Harriers pressed.

On 70 minutes the visitors were ahead, Joe Leesley’s right wing corner was not cleared by the home defence and Morgan-Smith was on hand to convert from close range.

Six minutes later the game was won, Leesley again provider from the left and Hemmings provided the finishing touch to take the game away from Southport.

Harriers move up to ninth in the table being one of ten teams who could still make the play off eliminators on what will be an exciting final day of the season when Kettering Town visit Aggborough.

Southport: McMillan, Oliver, Doyle, Anson, Munro, Walton, Heath, Hmami (Vassallo 75), Watson (Miles 55), Bainbridge, Carberry (Heath 80). Subs Not Used: Wade(g/k), Adams.

Harriers: Dibble, Penny, Richards, Morrison, Pearce, Hemmings (Hall 90+2), Brown (Lissimore 90+!), Leesley (Knight-Percival 88), Byrne, Morgan-Smith, Foulkes. Subs Not Used: Bearne, Palmer(gk).