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7:45pm - TuesdayTue 25th FebruaryFeb 2014
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Kidderminster Harriers
Kidderminster Harriers
2 - 0

Woking
Woking

The Cards look for back-to-back wins

Glen Harrington
11:05am, Mon 24th Feb 2014
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 25 February 2014

The Cards will play their sixth game in a little over three weeks on Tuesday, looking to end a rollercoaster month by completing what would be an impressive double, over play-off chasing Kidderminster Harriers. Woking defeated the Harriers thanks to a solitary Scott Rendell strike back in December, and will no doubt be hoping for a similar result to move them clear of the relegation zone.


WOKING

It is probably fair to say that ‘inconsistent’ would be the word to describe Woking at the moment. So far this month, an excellent 3-0 win over Hereford was followed by an, albeit unlucky 2-0 defeat at Salisbury. A hugely impressive 2-0 win at Gateshead was then followed by a 5-1 thrashing at lowly Dartford. On Saturday the Cards pitched for somewhere in between those two markers, overcoming some difficult moments to eventually emerge 3-2 winners against Macclesfield.

However, if Garry Hill’s side can make it four wins – and twelve points – from six February fixtures tomorrow night, it will undoubtedly go down as an extremely successful month – and one that would virtually ensure the club’s Skrill Premier safety.

Woking welcomed back Mike Cestor to the starting line-up on Saturday, while Brett Johnson dropped down to the bench. With Joey Jones still suspended, and with Adam Newton absent since the victory over Hereford, it seems unlikely that there will be many changes from the Macclesfield game.


KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

Aside from an excellent FA Cup run – which eventually ended in the fourth round with defeat to Premier League Sunderland – it’s been a difficult season for Kidderminster, who have so far failed to live up to their own lofty expectations.

Last weekend chairman Mark Serrell resigned from the club with immediate effect, claiming that supporters had lost faith in his leadership.
Serrell was at the heart of the surprising decision to sack Steve Burr, now with Chester, in January and replace him with former Coventry boss Andy Thorn.

Despite winning his first league game in charge, 3-0 against Salisbury, Thorn has since seen his Harriers team fail to win in five matches – losing to Dartford, Gateshead and Lincoln, and drawing with Hereford and, most recently, Braintree. His team has 47 points from 31 games, and are currently six points adrift of the top five.

Kidderminster still have an impressive squad at their disposal. Midfielder Danny Jackman and defender Josh Gowling both have Football League experience with Gillingham, while forwards Michael Gash and Anthony Malbon are renowned goal-scorers at this level. Recent arrivals include midfielder Josh O’Keefe, a big money signing from Hereford, and striker Freddie Ladapo, who of course had a loan spell with the Cards earlier this season. Star-man Joe Lolley has gone however, having been signed by Huddersfield Town.


GETTING THERE

Aggborough Stadium
Hoo Road
Kidderminster
Worcestershire
DY10 1NB

Official website: www.harriers.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust mini-coach leaves Kingfield at 3.30pm. The cost is £16 for members and £21 for non-members. Ring or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

By car
Leave M5 at junction 4 (signposted A491 Stourbridge). After approximately 5 miles, turn left onto A456 and follow towards Kidderminster. At roundabout on Kidderminster Ring Road, take first exit (signposted A451 Stourport). At next roundabout, take first exit (signposted A448 Bromsgrove), then take first turning on right into Hoo Road for the ground. There is a car park (charge £5) behind the away section of the ground (the South Stand) and also at the Stadium Close car park (free).

By train
The ground is only a very short walk from Kidderminster Station. You would need to get a train up to Birmingham New Street, via Basingstoke or travelling from Euston, and then walk across to Birmingham Moor Street to pick up a train to Kidderminster. Look up www.trainline.com or www.nationalrail.co.uk for some options. You would not be able to get back to Woking the same evening, though.
Kidderminster’s website gives the following directions from the station: “Walk down Comberton Hill towards the town centre and take the left turning just before Motorway Tyres near the bottom of the hill. Walk up Hoo Road for approximately half a mile to the Aggborough Stadium.� But there is a shortcut if you take the first turning on the left after leaving the station entrance on Comberton Hill; this leads to the public car park in Stadium Close.


ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £14
Over 60s, Under 18s & Students: £8
Under 16s: £5
Under 5s: Free (standing or sitting)

£3 extra to sit for all but Under 5s.

Away supporters can stand in the South Stand or sit in Blocks L and M in the East Stand.

Aggborough is renowned for its hearty food, so arrive with a good appetite!


LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0
10 December 2013

Garry Hill stuck with the same side that had won 4-3 at Halifax at the weekend and was rewarded with another fine win. Woking’s breakthrough came in the 64th minute when Keiran Murtagh played a great ball out to Kevin Betsy, who dribbled along the wing before cutting back for Scott Rendell to fire home. The Cards had the better of the chances in the remainder of the game but could not grab a second goal.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Mark Ricketts (Adam Newton 50), Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, John Nutter, Kevin Betsy, Keiran Murtagh, Josh Payne, Charles Banya, Jack Marriott (Brett Johnson 84), Scott Rendell

Unused subs: Aaron Howe, Giuseppe Sole, John Goddard

Goal: Scott Rendell 64

Bookings: John Nutter 56, Josh Payne 78

Kidderminster Harriers: Daniel Lewis, Lee Vaughan, Mickey Demetriou, Cheyenne Dunkley, Michael Gash (Nathan Blissett 79), Anthony Malbon (Marvin Johnson 79), Danny Jackman, Callum Gittings, Joe Lolley, Amari Morgan-Smith, Josh Gowling

Unused subs: Jamie Grimes, James Dance, Nathan Vaughan

Bookings: Amari Morgan-Smith 71, Lee Vaughan 78, Cheyenne Dunkley 80

Attendance: 1,166


NEXT GAME

The Cards are away to Barnet this Saturday, 1 March, followed by a home game, against Southport, on Saturday 8 March.


Come on, you Cards!

Early Goal Syndrome Still Haunts Cards

Alan Barnes
7:11pm, Wed 26th Feb 2014
Kidderminster Harriers 2 Woking 0
The Skrill Premier
25th February 2014
 
Woking visited Aggborough having won three times in their last five outings. Hopes would have been high, therefore, for a good result given that their hosts had not won in the league for five matches and there was also the backdrop of recent board upheaval at the Worcestershire club.

Woking made one change from Saturday's victory at home to Macclesfield Town with Aaron Howe coming in in goal for Sam Beasant, who dropped to the bench.

Given the team's propensity this season for leaking early goals, it was of paramount importance to start the match with good concentration levels. Regrettably, however, the Cards found themselves a goal behind within a minute of the kick-off. A well-worked four pass move down the right saw Adrian Cieslewicz put a good low cross into the six yard area. With the Woking defence still getting into position, Amari Morgan-Smith shot firmly home.

Matters got worse for the visitors after ten minutes when Mike Cestor threw his pads to the ground in frustration as he suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problem and was replaced by Giuseppe Sole. This resulted in captain Mark Ricketts (pictured) moving to the centre of the defence, John Goddard moving to right back and Sole operating in midfield.

Notwithstanding the setback of the early goal and the loss of Cestor and consequent reshuffle, the Cards more than held their own during the first half without managing to cause goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan any serious problems. A good example of this came after only fifteen minutes with, arguably, the Cards' best chance of the night. On this occasion, Jack Marriott found himself completely clear and lobbed the advancing Vaughan, only for his effort to drop the wrong side of the left post.

Despite his unfamiliar position, John Goodard was managing to get forward regularly and when he flashed a cross across the six yard area, there was no one to get on the end of it. Another half-chance then fell to Scott Rendell who, expecting the offside flag to go up, pulled his shot wide when well-placed.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0
 
The pattern of the match, in which both sides were guilty of slack passing, continued after the break.

The hosts were the first to look dangerous with Mickey Demetriou making a good run forward to the edge of the Cards' penalty area, but his shot was wide.

The pace of the Harriers breaks was now starting to tell and often caused problems for the visitors as they stole in behind their defence on a number of occasions.

With just over twenty minutes remaining, Woking were still very much in the game but then proceeded to concede a second goal. A needless free kick was given away twenty yards out when Josh Gowling was pushed in the back. Kyle Storer took the kick and placed it low inside the right-hand post somehow avoiding the wall.

This setback proved too much for the visitors although they did have the ball in the net in the later stages, but Marriott was judged offside.

As time ticked away, it was clear to the travelling fans that it was not going to be their night. Josh Payne had a firm shot that went wide late on but there was still time for Howe to make a fine double save with the goal gaping.

Aggborough is always a difficult place for away teams to prosper at but there is no doubt that Garry Hill and Steve Thompson would have been confident of leaving with a positive result. This defeat still leaves the team above the relegation places but the games don't get any easier with a tough away trip to high-flying Barnet next up this coming Saturday.
 
Woking: Aaron Howe, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter, Joe Mcnerny (Adam Brice85), Mike Cestor (Giuseppe Sole 10, replaced by Reece Beckles 74),Josh Payne, John Goddard, Kieron Murtagh, Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott, Kevin Betsy.

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, Anthony McNamee

Cautions: Kieran Murtagh 58, Jack Marriott 83
 
Kidderminster Harriers: Nathan Vaughan, MickeyDemetriou, Kyle Storer, Cheyenne Dunkley, Jack Byrne, (Callum Gittings 81), Anthony Malbon, Danny Jackman, Amari Morgan-Smith, Josh O'Keefe, Adrian Cieslewicz, Josh Gowling

Unused subs: Daniel Lewis, Jamie Grimes, Ryan Rowe, Santiago Aloi

Goals: Amari Morgan-Smith 1, Kyle Storer 69

Caution: Josh Gowling 40
               
My Man of The Match; John Goddard/Mark Ricketts, both for playing well out of position for 80 minutes.
 
ATTENDANCE 1,448
Kidderminster Harriers LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Aaron Howe
4Mark Ricketts
3John Nutter
5Joe McNerney ('85)
15Mike Cestor ('10)
20Josh Payne
26Keiran Murtagh
11Kevin Betsy
22John Goddard
21Scott Rendell
25Jack Marriott
BENCH
18Sam Beasant
19Adam Brice ('85)
14Anthony McNamee
10Giuseppe Sole ('10) ('74)
34Reece Beckles ('74)

Steve Thompson Interview from Kidderminster

Nick Shaw
10:19pm, Tue 25th Feb 2014
John Moore speaks to Steve Thompson after the Cards lose 2 - 0 away to Kidderminster Harriers.

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