Express & Star

Kidderminster 1 Rochdale 1 - Report

Kidderminster Harriers’ first goal of the season at Aggborough was not enough to prevent their National League clash with Rochdale from ending in a 1-1 draw.


Joe Leesley was on target for manager Russ Penn’s men with the visitors equalising through skipper Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

It was Harriers’ fourth consecutive home stalemate after opening the season with successive goalless draws against Woking, Bromley and Maidenhead United.

The deadlock also extended their disappointing run to six matches without a victory.

Kidderminster made a couple of changes from the side which lost 2-1 against Southend United at Roots Hall the previous Saturday with defender Alex Penny and on-loan midfielder Barry Maguire being drafted into the starting line-up.

They were without Krystian Pearce, who is away on international duty with Barbados, and injury victims Matt Preston (calf) and Shane Byrne (knee).

Pearce’s captaincy duties were taken over by Nat Knight-Percival.

Harriers, facing their former Football League opponents for the first time since 2005, soon began to settle in the energy-sapping heat and an early mistake by Ebanks-Landell let in on-rushing Amari Morgan-Smith whose progress was halted when goalkeeper Louis Moulden came off his line to clear.

The hosts forced their first corner shortly before the quarter of an hour mark following a good run by Penny, but the kick was safely headed out of the danger zone.

The Dale responded with a corner of their own which also proved unproductive,

Harriers, however, broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when good work by Jack Lambert set up Leesley for the chance to score with a smartly executed half volley into the top corner of the net.

Minutes later Morgan-Smith was unlucky with a well struck long range drive which was superbly pushed away by diving Moulden.

Rochdale wasted little time in testing the home defence with a sweeping move which resulted in Harvey Gilmour seeing his low angled shot go agonisingly wide of the far post.

The busy first half drew to a close with Caleb Richards going narrowly wide from short range for Harriers, who soon set about trying to increase their narrow lead in the second period which was only a few minutes old when Richards had a shot blocked by Moulden.

Rochdale were always a threat and a promising raid ended with Cameron John screwing the ball wide when well positioned.

Soon after Dibble was called on the pull off a diving save following a Ebanks-Landell

Dibble also saved well from Tyrese Sinclair before battling Rochdale grabbed a share of the spoils by drawing level when unchallenged Ebanks-Landell headed home a corner on 75 minutes.

Kidderminster: Dibble; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Penny, Knight-Percival, McNally, Richards; Leesley, Lambert (Brown, 76), Maguire; Hemmings (Phillips, 76), Morgan-Smith (McDonagh, 87). Subs not used: McDonagh, Lissimore, Hall.

Rochdale: Moulden, John, East, Ebanks-Landell, Sinclair, Clayton, Mitchell, Nevett, Oduroh (Keohane, 67), Gilmour, Conway (Uchegbulam, 67). Subs not used: Taylor, Ferguson, Henderson.

Referee: Paul Johnson.

Attendance: 2,507 (288 away fans)