Harriers play-off dream finally ended

First published in News

Harriers 0, Nuneaton 0

HARRIERS saw their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs finally ended after being frustrated by Nuneaton and results elsewhere not going their way on Bank Holiday Monday.

Kidderminster can no longer finish in the Skrill Premier top five after Grimsby defeated Hyde 1-0 and Gateshead won 2-0 at Macclesfield.

Even a win over Nuneaton wouldn't have been enough because of Kidderminster's miserly goal-difference, which was inferior to their promotion rivals.

But it was a frustrating end to Kidderminster's home campaign, which for most of what started out as a season of such hope had been keeping their Football League dreams alive and kicking.

Before the game, the Aggborough outfit held their end of season awards, with Lee Vaughan named fans' player of the season.

Michael Gash was named junior supporters' player of the year, while the away fans' vote went to defensive lynch pin Josh Gowling.

Harriers started impressively and could have easily been ahead during a dominant 20 minute period.

Callum Gittings nearly scored straight from the kick-off, flicking the ball a fraction wide.

The midfielder then saw a long range effort fly just over the bar.

Harriers continued to press and in the sixth minute, Chey Dunkley headed wide at the far post from a corner.

From a Jack Byrne free-kick, Nathan Blissett headed just off target in the 12th minute.

The home side's best chances fell to midfielder Josh O'Keefe, who saw a first time effort which looked destined for the back of the net blocked by Delroy Gordon.

Nuneaton though battled back into the game and created a good opportunity in the 26th minute but Connor Taylor mis-cued from Adam Walker's cross.

Striker Gash then glanced a header towards his own goal trying to defend an Adam Sleath free-kick and was thankful keeper Danny Lewis made a fine save.

Gash limped off in the first minute of time added on with a suspected muscle injury and was replaced by Amari Morgan-Smith.

Harriers were in control of the second half and manager Gary Whild threw on winger Adrian Cieslewicz for Gittings in the 54h minute.

Nuneaton came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 59th minute when Sleath's free-kick snaked through a crowded box and ricocheted off the bar.

But midfielder Byrne nearly bagged a superb individual effort in the 61st minute when his 30-yard volley was tipped over the bar by keeper Dale Eve.

Dunkley came close in the 68th minute but headed a fraction off target following a spot of head tennis in Nuneaton's box.

Mickey Demetriou nearly found the back of the net after a fine run by Cieslewicz but Nuneaton skipper Gareth Dean stretched out a long leg to divert his goalbound effort.

O'Keefe fired over from the edge of the box late on but Harriers could not complete their home fixtures win three points, although they stretched their unbeaten record to five games.

Harriers: Lewis, L Vaughan, Dunkley, Byrne, Gash (Morgan-Smith, 45+1), Blissett, Grimes, Gittings (Cieslewicz,54) , O'Keefe, Bell (Storer, 76).

Subs not used: Wright, N Vaughan, Cieslewicz.

Nuneaton: Eve, Streete, Gordon, Dean, Taylor (York, 81), Cranston, Walker, Trainer, Sleath, Brown, Pearson (Moult, 76).

Subs not used: Belshaw.

Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria) Attendance: 144

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