Express & Star

Kidderminster secure National League North play-off spot

Cock-a-hoop Kidderminster Harriers clinched a place in the National League North play-offs after beating relegated Kettering Town 3-0 at Aggborough.


They made it six impressive wins on the bounce thanks to second half goals from Joe Foulkes, Joe Leesley and Ashley Hemmings.

Results elsewhere also went in their favour to enable delighted manager Russ Penn’s men to secure sixth spot in the table.

Watched by their biggest crowd of the season – 3,786 – Harriers’ well deserved victory was only their seventh league win at Aggborough this term.

They will now visit Alfreton Town in the play-offs on Tuesday.

Kidderminster, who triumphed 3-0 at Kettering in September, were unchanged from the side which won 3-1 at Southport the previous Saturday.

They made a promising start with man-of-the-match Leesley having a shot fly over the bar before visiting goalkeeper Owen Mason was called on to save a low drive from Hemmings.

Mason was needed again minutes later to stop another effort from Hemmings as lively Harriers regularly pushed forward in an unsuccessful bid to notch an early goal.

Kettering, however, forced the first corner of a high tempo match in the 16th minute, but Keaton Ward’s kick was headed over by under pressure Lewis White.

Just after the half hour mark Harriers were awarded a free kick 35 yards out which was flighted into the danger zone by Leesley and resulted in a goalmouth scramble that ended with Mason dropping on the ball to snuff out the threat.

The hosts forced their first corner three minutes later, but it came to nothing and was followed shortly afterwards by a long range shot for the visitors by Ward which sailed high and wide.

Just before the interval Zak Brown wasted a decent opportunity to break the deadlock when he side footed a shot wide of the Kettering goal from just inside the area.

Harriers made a dream start to the second period by taking the lead in the 47th minute when Foulkes flicked the ball past Mason from close range for his first goal of the season.

They went close to extending their led in the 61st minute when an effort from Amari Morgan-Smith rebounded off the post before his follow-up went narrowly over the bar.

They were bang on target again, however, on 66 minutes when Leesley rattled home a sweetly struck 20 yard drive for his first goal for the club.

The scoring was wrapped up in the 77th minute when leading scorer Hemmings smashed home a 30 yard pile-driver for his 13 goal of the campaign.


Kidderminster: Dibble; Penny (Knight-Percival, 77), Pearce, Morrison; Foulkes, Richards; Byrne, Leesley (Lissimore, 81), Brown, Hemmings (Bearne, 88), Morgan-Smith. Subs not used: Palmer, Hall.

Kettering: Mason; Myles, White (Sheriff, 66), Gascoigne, Cooper, Sharpe, Forsyth, Scott (Bennett, 76), Sault (Graham, 60), Ward; Knowles. Subs not used: Hill, Lethwaite,

Referee: Richard Aspinall.

Attendance: 3,786 (283 away fans).