Rock solid Harriers earn point at Silkmen

First published in Sport

Macclesfield 0, Harriers 0

HARRIERS continued their perfect defensive record at the start of the 2014-15 Vanarama Conference with a battling point at Macclesfield.

Gary Whild's side have kept a clean sheet in all four games, the first time they have done so in living memory.

Hardy Harriers have not let in a goal in over six hours of football.

But the Wyre Forest side had the best of the game and could have won the match.

Whild made one change from the side which beat Dartford. He rested Jack Byrne and drafted in the versatile defender Jamie Grimes into midfield.

During a tame first half, both sides struggled to create chances.

Harriers edged possession and looked the most dangerous when they moved the ball quickly.

The away side carved out a good move in the tenth minute, with Aman Verma and Grimes combining before left winger Marvin Johnson delivered an awkward cross for keeper Rhys Taylor to deal with.

Johnson produced some eye catching moment, with a determined charge up the length of the pitch.

Moments later he was warned by the referee after a tackle from behind on Adriano Moke.

Kidderminster created their first clear cut chance in the 36th minute, with Craig Reid racing onto Jared Hosgkiss' pass only to see his shot saved by the Silkmen's shot stopper.

At the other end, Luke Waterfall fired wide after good work by Waide Fairhurst in the 41st minute.  Verma had a sight on goal just before the break and flashed a 20-yard effort just off target as both teams went into the break on level terms.

Harriers begun the second half brightly and Reid fizzed a left-footed effort wide from a tight angle in the 53rd minute.

Nathan Blissett saw a header blocked by George Pilkington.

Johnson was then brought down by a reckless challenge from Paul Lewis, for which the Macclesfield man was booked.

A strong cross from Blissett called Taylor into action as Harriers looked for a goal.

The home side were struggling in the final third and a chance to hit Harriers on the counter was snuffed out by Josh Gowling, who made a well-timed challenge on substitute Malachi Lavelle-Moore.

With 20 minutes of the game left, Harriers took off Blissett and Reid and replaced them with Michael Gash and Reece Styche, with the hope the fresh forwards could find a goal.

Macclesfield also sensed they could win the game and Kidderminster keeper Danny Lewis rushed out to deny left-back Scott Barrow, who had made a rampaging surge into the box.

The custodian then held onto a firm right-footed effort from Fairhurst on the 80 minute mark.

Macclesfield thought they had won a penalty moments later when Arthur Gnahoua's effort had hit Kevin Nicholson on the arm but the referee ignored their pleas.

Styche then wasted a gilt edged chance to fire the away team ahead in the 83rd minute, heading a close range effort for the bar from a fine cross by Grimes.

Macclesfield hit back and Gnahoua saw an effort blocked.

But it was Harriers who pushed for a winner during four minutes of added time but for all their efforts had to settle for a battling point.

Harriers: Lewis, Hodgkiss, Storer, Dunkley, Johnson (Obeng, 63), Reid (Styche, 70), Blissett (Gash, 70), Grimes, Verma, Nicholson, Gowling.

Subs not used: Gittings, Singh.

Macclesfield: Taylor, Halls, Barrow, Waterfall, Pilkington, Turnbull, Lewis, Fairhurst, Moke, Gnahoua, Gonzalez Diaz (Lavelle-Moore, 57).

Subs not used: Cowan, Haining, Rouse, Branagan.

Referee: Ross Joyce Attendance: 1407

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