Harriers 4, Chester 1

MARK Yates made it a winning return as Kidderminster manager as his side secured a convincing success over Chester.

Harriers came from behind to bag the points thanks to goals from Declan Weeks, Joe Ironside, Ed Williams and Ryan Johnson.

Harriers made four changes for Yates’ first game back at Aggborough as Joel Taylor, Sam Austin, Brandon Hall and academy graduate Milan Butterfield replaced Jake Weaver, Josh Heaton, Russ Penn and the departing Lee Vaughan.

The Reds shaded the opening moments and enjoyed more of the ball but neither side was able to work a chance of note in the first 15 minutes.

It took until the 20th minute mark before Joe Ironside worked a lobbed effort over Grant Shenton’s bar.

The hosts moved up a gear and nearly broke the deadlock five minutes later but Ironside couldn’t find the finishing touch to Liam McAlinden’s low ball from the left.

Still it was Harriers doing the pressing on the half hour mark as Nick Clayton-Phillips dragged another effort wide from 20 yards after good footwork and direct running from Butterfield in midfield.

However, it was Chester that took the lead with their first chance of the game on 37 minutes. Anthony Dudley’s ball found its way to Akasi Asante who rolled it beyond the outrushing Hall.

Harriers responded well to the set-back and were level within five minutes thanks to a well-worked breakaway goal.

McAlinden’s beat his man on the left before his deep cross was headed back to the edge of the box by Ash Chambers where Declan Weeks fired a half volley beyond Shenton.

The hosts then edged ahead on the stroke of half time when Ironside beat the Chester keeper to McAlinden’s corner to head home from close range.

McAlinden curled a free-kick well over bar just four minutes into the second half after Clayton-Phillips’ direct run to the edge of the box was halted.

Still Kidderminster pressed for a third at the start of the half as Butterfield fired wide and Ironside tested Shenton from range.

The game became a lot more open on the hour mark as Chester went chasing an equaliser.

But Harriers kept their neat passing going under pressure as they looked to manage their narrow advantage.

They bagged a vital third on 70 minutes as defender Johnson netted his first for the club after a quickly-taken free-kick.

The centre-back was in the right place to provide the finish from six yards after Chester keeper Shenton pushed out McAlinden’s cross following Weeks’ well-weighted ball to him in the left channel.

Chester pushed for a lifeline soon after but a goalline clearance from Butterfield kept them at bay before Gary Roberts could only blaze a free-kick well over Hall’s bar.

Kidderminster looked to end the stronger as sub Ed Williams tested Shenton from the edge of the box after a neat burst forward as the contest entered the final 10 minutes.

Williams wrapped up the victory in the 85th minute as he drove the ball home from 25 yards.

There was still time for sub Liam Truslove to have a fifth cancelled out by the linesman’s flag in the closing stages after another ball in from star man McAlinden.

Harriers: Hall, Austin, Taylor, Weeks, Horsfall (c), Johnson, Clayton-Phillips (Williams 71), Butterfield, Ironside, Chambers (Truslove 85), McAlinden (White 90).

Unused subs: Higginson, Weaver.

Chester: Shenton, Thomson, Waters, Roberts, Livesey, Howson, Dudley, Burton (c), Asante (Mooney 77), Waring (Marsh-Hughes 69), Mahon.

Unused subs: Smalley, Murray, Brown.

Att: 1,769 (323).