Harriers earn a point on opening day

First published in News

Lincoln 0, Harriers 0

HARRIERS earned a handy point at Sincil Bank in a game of two halves.

The Aggborough outfit produced a solid defensive display to keep the dominant hosts at bay in the first period.

Kidderminster found more attacking thrust after the break and created several chances but neither side could find the back of the net.

Manager Gary Whild handed starts to summer signings Jared Hodgkiss, Ahmed Obeng and Craig Reid, as well as Kevin Nicholson, who joined the club on a non-contract basis.

He also kept faith with towering hitman Nathan Blissett, who had looked sharpe in pre-season.

But they suffered a set back when Jack Byrne pulled out with a knock and was replaced by Aman Verma.

They faced an Imps side who also featured a host of new additions such as Jack Caprice, Hamza Bencherif, Tony Diagne and Jordan Burrows.

And it was the hosts who enjoyed the best of the first half.

Harriers seemed happy to try and soak up the pressure, which they did effectively, but struggled to find their attacking prowess.

City midfielder Bencherif wasted a host of chances to put the home side ahead.

As early as the third minute, he breached Harriers' defence and met Sean Newton's cross but directed his close range header into the arms of keeper Danny Lewis.

Bencherif saw another chance go begging in the 16th minute when under close pressure from former Lincoln man Gowling he headed over the bar.

The visitors struggled to find their attacking cohesion but a well-taken Nicholson free-kick forced Diagne to head over his own bar in the 20th minute.

But Gowling continued to frustrate the hosts in the 24th minute.  A mazy run and cross from left-back Caprice had carved open the away team and Bencherif looked as though he would head home at the far post, only for the Harriers first team skipper to clear off the line.

Kidderminster nearly went into the break with a surprise lead when in the 36th  minute he turned smartly and lashed in a shot which flew which after taking a small deflection.

Harriers made a change in the 51st minute when Marvin Johnson replaced Obeng.

Reid nearly found the opening goal 60 seconds later when his 30-yard effort was tipped over the City by keeper Nick Townsend.

Johnson added pace and menace going forward and it was his jinking run in the 59th minute that earned a free-kick. A well worked moved saw Chey Dunkley denied by Townsend.

At the other end, Hodgkiss made a well-timed challenge to deny City danger man Tomlinson as he tried to latch onto Bencherif's pass in the 62nd minute.

Reid was then replaced by last season's top scorer Michael Gash in the 63rd minute as Harriers looked to take the game to the home side.

Blissett then did well to chase down a long ball and tee up Johnson, who directed an effort over the bar.

Kidderminster looked better and Dunkley saw a 72nd minute header fly just off target.

Harriers created another chance to put pressure on City's goal in the 84h minute when Gash found fellow substitute Styche but the striker went for glory and hammered a wayward shot high over the bar.  But the hosts had their chances to win the game in the 90th minute. The ball fell to Marcus Marshall but he steered his effort across the face of goal.

But in the end, both teams settled for a point on the opening day of Vanarama Conference.

Harriers: Lewis, Hodgkiss, Gowling, Dunkley, Nicholson, Verma, Storer, Gittings, Obeng (Johnson, 51), Blissett (Styche, 74), Reid (Gash, 63).

Subs not used: Grimes, Singh.

Lincoln: Townsend, Caprice, Diagne, Brown, Newton, Bencherif, Nolan, Power (Mendy, 66), Marshall, Burrow, Tomlinson.

Subs not used: Kabba, Ledsham, Robinson, Farman.

Referee: Karl Evans Attendance: 2,598 (177)

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