SHUTTLE sports editor Pete McKinney takes an in-depth look at Kidderminster Harriers' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Vanarama National League.

AS one esteemed member of Harriers’ back room staff wisely stated after Saturday’s win over Boreham Wood “one swallow does not a summer make”.

The 2-0 success was only Kidderminster’s third win of the season and bucked a disastrous losing run of eight straight defeats.

Can Harriers pull off a miracle and somehow produce the greatest of great escapes? The statistics suggest the odds are against them.

Harriers are bottom of the Vanarama National League after 29 games, with just 17 points. That’s an average of 0.59 points a match.

If that trend continued then they would finish the season with approximately 26 points, matching the figure Grays Athletic finished on during the 2009-10 campaign.

In comparison, last season’s bottom team Nuneaton had 23 points after the same number of games before finishing with 36 points from 44 matches.

What do Harriers need to do to stay up?

If we assume that 45 points will be enough to ensure safety, the difficulty of Kidderminster’s task is clear and intimidating.

For Kidderminster to survive they would have to pick up 28 points from 17 games, averaging nearly 1.7 points a match to reach that total, giving themselves a chance of escaping dropping down to their lowest level in 33 years.

Of course, these rudimentary calculations don’t take into account improvements in performances and the intangible vagaries that makes football so intoxicating.

The fans are keeping their fingers crossed for a romantic against all reason old fashioned romantic charge to 20th place. 

Perhaps Harriers will be so buoyed by the win over Boreham they will go on a phenomenal run, which would make Leicester City’s miraculous survival in the Premier League last season look like a cake walk.

The matches in Kidderminster are key; they have nine games left at Aggborough and conceivably they would have to win almost all of those games to give themselves a chance.

After Eastleigh tomorrow night, the visitors to Hoo Road are all beatable and include fellow relegation battles Halifax, Chester and Altrincham.

Wins over those sides would certainly spark panic stations in those clubs hovering over the drop zone.

Away from Kidderminster, they have much tougher challenges, including title challengers Cheltenham as well Wrexham and Braintree, two sides who may still harbour faint hopes of making the play-offs.

Harriers also go to fellow bottom four sides Welling and Torquay in no doubt season defining matches.

Kidderminster’s hopes of survival are slim - the bookies have odds of 1/66 and 1/100 of escaping the drop.

One slight advantage for the Reds is that there task is clear. They need to keep winning or their fate is sealed, while the teams just above the bottom four are nervously looking over their shoulders.


Is survival possible? Yes, but it has got to the stage where there is no room error at all and is highly improbable.

The January rebuild seems to have left the squad more settled than it has been for this miserable, erratic campaign.

There have been signs of improvement and they will pick up more points but it might be too little too late. 

One swallow does not a summer make. It would take a heatwave for Harriers to bask in the warm glow of survival.