Harriers rue lack of cutting edge as they slip to Mariners loss

Grimsby 3,  Harriers 1

HARRIERS played their part in thrilling Skrill Premier clash but that will be cold comfort for manager Steve Burr after they suffered a third straight defeat in the league on Thursday night.

The Carpetmen more than matched their promotion rivals at Blundell  Park in general play but paid the price for a lack of cutting edge.

Michael Gash's early effort sparked hopes of Harriers continuing their excellent recent record against Town but a brace for Scott Neilson and one for Craig Disley shot them down.

The Mariners also leapt above the Aggborough outfit, who slipped to fourth in the table.

With Amari Morgan-Smith and Callum Gittings suspended, Steve Burr made several changes.

With Lee Vaughan, himself back from a ban, returning at right-back, Danny Jackman was free to move into midfield.

Anthony Malbon also stepped into the empty striker's spot.

With the cameras of BT Sport watching on, both teams set out to impress in a breathless end-to-end first half.

Danny Lewis made a regulation stop to deny Lenell John-Lewis' firm low effort.

But Kidderminster boasted a fine record at the Mariners and opened the scoring in the eighth minute.

Gash's shot took a wicked deflection off defender Shaun Pearson, looped over keeper James McKeown into the top left corner.

The hosts hit back and Lewis was called into action by Ross Hannah's first-time effort in the 11th.

Grimsby started to increase the pressure on the visitors with a series of set-pieces and then made it 1-1 in the 17th minute from a well-worked throw in.

Clayton McDonald flicked the ball on and Disley fired a close range effort past a helpless Lewis.

Livewire Joe Lolley looked dangerous for Harriers on the right flank and he rolled an effort agonisingly wide of the far post after one of his trademark runs.

But Kidderminster paid the price for backing off and went 2-1 down on the half hour mark.

The visiting defence failed to clear their lines and Neilson bent a lovely effort into the bottom corner.

Danny Jackman nearly replied almost immediately but his goal bound effort was saved by a diving McKeown.

Centre back Chey Dunkley was shown a yellow card for a foul on Alex Rodman, who was racing through.

But Harriers survived a scare in the first minute of time added on when Hannah fired in a shot from a tight angle on the right.

With Danny Lewis stranded it was a golden opportunity but the striker fired the ball into the side netting.

Neilson came close to a third for the hosts in the 48th minute bit his chip flew wide.

Anthony Malbon was presented with a difficult chance after a well-worked move by Vaughan and Lolley, but the striker's first touch was too heavy.

Vaughan was then booked for a tackle from behind on Neilson.

Kidderminster defender Josh Gowling was shown a yellow card in the 53rd minute for a foul on Rodman.

The away side were dominating possession in the second period and Malbon saw a shot scrambled behind after a low Kyle Storer corner in the 59th minute.

But with Neilson making thrusting forward runs, Grimsby looked dangerous on the break.  He doubled his tally in the 63rd, punishing a slip by Lewis to loft the ball into the back of the net.

Lolley exchanged passes with Gash in the 72nd minute but lashed a 20-yard effort over the bar as Harriers looked for a lifeline.

James Dance replaced the out of sorts Malbon in the76 minute to try and pep up Harriers' attacking options.

Lewis was called into action and had to scramble away Shaun Pearson's 35-yard effort.

The hard working Storer also called McKeown into action with a rising shot.

Harriers pushed for a second goal, and Jackman directed a 20-yard effort wide.

Lolley thought he had bagged one during injury time but McKeown made a fine point blank save.

This is the first time the Reds have lost three games in a row since their poor start to the 2012-13 campaign, when they lost five on the trot.

They will be looking to set the record straight at home to Hereford on Boxing Day (3pm ko).

Harriers: Lewis, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Storer, Dunkley, Fowler, Gash, Malbon (Dance, 76), Jackman, Lolley, Gowling.

Subs not used: Tolley, Blissett, N Vaughan, Riis.

Grimsby: McKeown, Hatton, Thomas, Kerr, Pearson, Disley, Neilson (McLaughlin, 77), McDonald, John-Lewis (Cook, 83), Hannah (Southwell, 90), Rodman.

Subs not used: Colbeck, Bignot.

Referee: B Toner.

Attendance: 3,086 (151)

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