Harriers 1, Boston 2

KIDDERMINSTER’S poor run of form continued as they slipped to defeat against Boston.

Harriers suffered back-to-back defeats since chairman Colin Gordon replaced Neil MacFarlane in the dugout as a disputed penalty at the end of the first half separated the two sides during a bad tempered affair at Aggborough.

Joe Ironside had quickly cancelled out Max Wright’s early opener for Boston before a disputed penalty edged the visitors ahead before the break.

Harriers never found a way back and eventually ended the clash with 10-men as sub Kane Richards saw red as his protests at having a late penalty shout turned down went too far at the end of a frustrating afternoon in front of the lowest league crowd of the season.

The hosts made one change to the side that lost at Spennymoor as Dan Bradley returned to the starting line-up in place of Kane Richards. He dropped to the bench where new loan arrival Nick Clayton-Phillips also took his place.

Boston started brightly at Aggborough and it was the visitors that worked the first effort as forward Gavin Allott’s left-footed strike was gathered by Brandon Hall.

Harriers created an opening of their own just moments later as Sam Austin, again deployed in a more advanced role on the left, dragged a shot wide of George Willis’ far post.

It was Boston who went ahead after just six minutes when Max Wright fired beyond Hall from the edge of the area after the visitors had seized on a loose ball from Declan Weeks.

The Reds struggled to gather momentum in the early stages as wayward passing stifled their progress up field.

Harriers did start to string more passes together after 20 minutes, however, and finally worked a second effort at goal when Joe Ironside glanced Aaron Phillips’ cross from the left past the post.

They nearly levelled matters from a Weeks corner on the half hour mark but Fraser Horsfall’s header was tipped onto the bar by Willis.

Harriers only had to wait two minutes before they did bag the equaliser as Joe Ironside slid in to convert Bradley’s low cross after Austin had played him in down the right flank.

However, just as Harriers looked to be getting a foothold in the contest they suffered another set-back as they conceded a hotely-contested 39th-minute penalty.

Heaton looked to clear the ball from inside the area as Allott closed down. The two players came together and referee James Bell was quick to point to the spot to the disbelief of the Harriers players.

Ben Davies converted the spot kick via the underside of the bar as Boston took a narrow lead in at the break.

Harriers were quickly onto the front foot in the second half and kept Boston pegged back with a host of corners. They still struggled to work Willis except for when the stopper gathered one far post header from Heaton.

Despite that pressure, it was the visitors who were handed the best chance of the game when Jay Rollins found himself racing clear on 63 minutes with just Hall to beat.

The forward looked offside as Allott flicked the ball on but it didn’t end up costing them as he could only drag his shot wide.

Harriers continued to work the ball into the final third but still couldn’t find a way of troubling Willis heading into the final 15 minutes.

The clash soon became a disjointed affair approaching the closing stages as a host of late challenges and player melees prevented any sustained pressure.

Sub Clayton-Phillips fired over from the edge of the area as time ran out but still Willis remained untroubled.

Harriers ended the game with 10 men as Richard saw a straight red as he surrounded the ref after having a handball shout turned down in the sixth minute of added time.

Harriers: Hall, Vaughan, Phillips (Baxendale 83), Weeks, Heaton, Horsfall, Austin (Clayton-Phillips 59), Penn, Ironside, Chambers (c) (Richards 72), Bradley.

Unused subs: Butterfield, Higginson.

Boston: Willis (c), Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Gibbens, Qualter, Wafula, Abbott (Slew 90), Allot, Rollins (Harris 80), Wright (Chettle 90).

Unused subs: Malkowski, Walker.

Att: 1,249 (54).