Wonder goal sinks Harriers

First published in News

Harriers 0, Grimsby 1

GARY Whild suffered his first defeat as Harriers boss as they were edged out by play-off rivals Grimsby at Aggborough.

Alex Rodman's goal was the difference in a game where Kidderminster created a host of chances.

Amari'i Bell and Nick Wright had chances but Mariners keeper James McKeown produced a host of fine saves.

Defeat leaves Harriers seven points off the play-off with six games left.

With Callum Gittings and Kyle Storer suspended as well as  Josh Gowling and Danny Jackman injured, Whild was forced into ringing the changes.

He welcomed back Chey Dunkley into central defence after a swift recovery from knee surgery.

Josh O'Keefe was restored in midfield, while on-loan Birmingham City man Bell was switched from left-back to the flanks.

Striker Wright was also handed a first start since returning on loan.

However, after an even start Bell brought down Rodman as he surged into the box but the referee blew for a free-kick.

The hosts created the game's first real chance in the 18th minute when Amari Morgan-Smith teed up Michael Gash but the hitman failed to hit the target.

Sixty seconds later, Rodman conjured up a goal out of nothing when he spotted keeper Danny Lewis a fraction off the wide and beat him with a deft lob.

But Kidderminster hit back and forced Mariners shot-stopper McKeown into a series of saves.

The keeper rushed out to block Wright's effort with his legs after the pacey forward had sped past Aswad Thomas in the 26th minute.

Bell nearly bagged a leveller in the 33rd minute. The midfielder arrived at the far post late to meet Wright's speedy cross but his header hit post and allowed McKeown to smother the ball.

Grimsby's keeper then pushed away an effort from stand-in skipper Lee Vauaghan.

Harriers took control of the second half but found a well-organised Grimsby defence tough to break down.  O'Keefe nearly made it 1-1 in the 68th minute with a deft lofted effort which was a fraction over the bar.

Whild had already threw on Adrian Cieslewcz in the 58th minute to replace the tiring Wright and the manager decided to haul off top scorer Gash and replace him with Nathan Blissett.

Cieslewicz nearly found the leveller with a right-footed effort but Craig Disley cleared it off the line in the 81st minute.

But for all their pressure, Harriers could not make the vital breakthrough needed.

Lewis also produced a flying save to deny Rodman a second goal in time added on.

Harriers: Lewis, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Byrne, Gash (Blissett, 74), Wright (Cieslewicz, 58), Grimes, Morgan-Smith, O'Keefe, Bell (Verma, 80).

Subs not used: Malbon, N Vaughan.

Grimsby: McKeown, Hatton, Thomas, Kerr, Pearson, Disley, John-Lewis, Hannah (Jennings, 77), Rodman, McLaughlin, Boyce.

Subs not used: McDonald, Neilson, Thanoj, Tounkara.

Referee: Karl Evans (Lancashire).

Attendance: 2276 (447)

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