Express & Star

Kidderminster 0 Eastleigh 1 - Report

Kidderminster Harriers were relegated from the National League after losing 1-0 against Eastleigh at Aggborough.


Desperate Harriers, who were promoted to non-league’s top flight last season, were beaten by a first half goal from Paul McCallum.

Boss Phil Brown’s side will now complete their season of struggle on Saturday when they visit second-placed Barnet.

Defeat against the Spitfires left Harriers with just four home league victories during a campaign in which they lost 2-1 at Eastleigh in September.

Brown made four changes from the side which slumped to a bitterly disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to FC Halifax Town the previous Saturday with Krystian Pearce, Jack Lambert, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Regan Griffiths all returning to the starting line-up.

Both sides made a lively start with Ashley Hemmings prominent in attack in the opening few minutes.

Firstly he broke into the area before shooting into the side netting and then sent over a teasing cross which failed to reap any reward in front of goal.

Shortly afterwards on-loan Charlie Weston pulled the trigger on a fierce long distance drive which flashed just wide of the target.

Harriers forced two quick-fire corner just before the quarter of an hour mark, but both came to nothing.

Captain McCallum dragged an effort wide for the visitors before Hemmings wasted a good opportunity when he broke through and managed to get past goalkeeper Joe McDonnell before knocking the ball wide.

Eastleigh, however, forced their way into the lead in the 32nd minute with a picture book goal from hot-shot McCallum, who netted with a perfectly placed header past diving Christian Dibble following an excellent cross by Sam Vokins.

Lambert had a tame effort easily gathered by McDonnell in the early minutes of the second half before a promising move by the Spitfires led to a curling shot from Ben Reeves drifting wide.

Minutes later Lambert had a strong goalbound shot deflected for a corner which proved fruitless before Dibble came to Harriers’ rescue by sticking out a leg to divert away a shot from substitute Oscar Rutherford.

Solomon Nwabuokei fired narrowly wide for the visitors who then produced another raid which ended when Enzio Boldewijn struck an effort high and wide.

Harriers responded with a fine shot from Lambert which was expertly pushed away by McDonnell before substitute Gold Omotayo fluffed a great chance by blasting he ball over from close range.

McDonnell then pulled off a super save to deny Emmanuel-Thomas which led to Amari Morgan-Smith heading just over as Harriers tried in vain to make a breakthrough.

Kidderminster: Dibble; Pearce, Preston; Griffiths (Omotayo, 63), Lambert, Weston (Brown, 71), Richards; Robinson (Oxlaide-Chamberlain, 65), Hemmings, Emmanuel-Thomas, Morgan-Smith. Subs not used: Palmer, McNally.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Atangana, Francillette, Reeves (Rutherford, 58), McCallum, Boldewijn, Langston, Croll, Nwabuokei, Quickley (Martin, 86), Vokins. Subs not used: Maguire, Greenwood, Merry.

Referee: Callum Walchester.

Attendance: 3,189 (157 away fans).