Russ Penn calls on Kidderminster troops to play key role

Russ Penn has called on Kidderminster Harriers’ travelling army to make the difference once again as the National League North play-offs begin tonight.

Russ Penn
Russ Penn

Harriers remarkably gate-crashed the division’s top seven places with a final-day Aggborough success over Kettering – a sixth win on the spin.

It set up this evening’s trip to Alfreton Town – the last team to deny the Reds a win in a goalless draw on March 25 – where the visitors will once more be roared on by scores of away fans.

Penn will not mind a do-or-die play-off eliminator clash away from Aggborough. His side boast the third-best away record in National North this season with 12 wins from 23 games. Their home record is the fifth poorest.

Penn said of the last-gasp play-off push: “I’m going to learn my lesson from last year and not get too high, because we’ve got a big game tonight.

“It’s a game I believe we can win, a local game suits us, my plea to the fans who have supported us all year is lets take some big numbers.

“Keep backing the boys, because they are bouncing off you at the moment. They are our 12th man, it’s a cliché, but the 3,700 at home on Saturday just proves where we are.

“I think we’ve all been slightly disappointed this year, but we’ve achieved exactly the same as last year, and I want to go two steps further this time.”

Billy Heath’s hosts’ finish of fifth was a best position since relegation from the level above in 2015. There has been very little to separate the sides this season with a 1-1 and 0-0 draw.

Alfreton rather stuttered over the line with just a single win in six to end the regular season.

Harriers are expected to be backed by a big following in the 1,300 away allocation in Derbyshire.

“We’ve played Alfreton twice and had two poor draws,” Penn added. “It will be a fantastic aim, this is the business end, we’ve achieved our goal – now let’s go and do it.”

Should Harriers make it beyond Alfreton tonight, their play-off semi-final will be on the road at King’s Lynn Town – who finished second by just two points from AFC Fylde – this Sunday afternoon (12.30pm kick-off). The final would be on May 14 – again, on the road.

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