Express & Star

Ebbsfleet United 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0 - Report

Ten-man Kidderminster Harriers’ hopes of returning to winning ways were demolished when they crashed to a grim 3-0 National League defeat at Ebbsfleet United.

Kiddy loss

Disappointed Harriers had Alex Penny sent off during a nightmare first half when they conceded all three goals.

The Fleet were comfortable winners thanks to a Dominic Poleon brace which was followed by a goal from Luke O’Neill.

Shot-shy Harriers’ defeat came on the back of their 2-1 loss at AFC Fylde and a home goalless draw with Bromley.

Aggborough chief Russ Penn made three changes from the side which faced Bromley the previous Saturday with midfielder Barry Maguire and striker Gerry McDonagh coming in for their first starts. Ashley Hemming was also recalled to the starting line-up.

They were without suspended Jack Lambert as well as defender Matt Preston, who is recovering from a calf injury, and midfielder Shane Byrne, a long term casualty following knee surgery.

Harriers, who like Ebbsfleet are back in non-league’s top flight following promotion last seasons, struggled to settle, although Hemmings was able to get in an early shot which was comfortably dealt with by home goalkeeper Mark Cousins.

The Fleet responded with a shot from Poleon which was blocked by goalkeeper Christian Dibble before Harriers tried their luck with shots from Hemmings and Zak Brown, but both were well off target.

Lack-lustre Kidderminster, making their first visit to Ebbsfleet since 2012, fell behind on 23 minutes when Craig Tanner set up the chance for Poleon to net with perfectly placed shot past Dibble.

Lively Poleon struck again on the half hour mark when he calmly slotted his shot past Dibble after the opportunity had been created by Nathan Odokonyero

Harriers suffered another major blow on 35 minutes when Penny was given his marching orders for two bookable offences.

In a desperate attempt to get back into the game Brown pulled the trigger on a drive from distance, but his effort was stopped by Cousins before Hemmings was wide with his follow up shot.

Worst was to follow for dismal Harriers, however, when Ebbsfleet stormed into a 3-0 lead on the stroke of half time when a ball into the area by Josh Wright was smartly finished off by O’Neill.

The visitors were quickly under the cosh again in the second period with Ben Chapman soon going close to adding to Ebbsfleet’s healthy tally.

Not long afterwards Tanner had a shot bounce off Dibble before Harriers’ substitute Kai Lissimore turned neatly inside the area before firing just over.

Harriers, however, managed to prevent the Fleet from finding the net again in a match which Penn’s troops will quickly want to forget.

Ebbsfleet: Cousins, O’Neill (Hollis, 69), Wright, Wakely, Tanner, McQueen, Poleon (Amoo, 60), Domi (Clifford, 77), Solly, Odokonyero, Chapman. Subs not used: Edser, Coulthhirst.

Kidderminster: Dibble; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Penny, Pearce (Phillips, 82), Knight-Percival, Richards; Leesley (Lissimore, 60), Mcguire (McNally 46), Brown; Hemmings, McDonagh. Subs not used: Morgan-Smith, Hall.

Referee: Jamie O’Connor.

Attendance: 1,356 (116 away fans).

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