Harriers 2, Braintree 2

STRONG leadership is desperately needed to try and heal the wounds which have torn Harriers apart.

A brace for Amari Morgan-Smith ensured the Carpetmen rescued a point when they had been trailing 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining.

But the stirring fight back failed to take the heat off embattled manager Andy Thorn and the club's board of directors.

Even Mark Serrell's decision to stand down as chairman just hours after the final whistle might not be enough to assuage a section of furious fans.

As chairman, the decision to sack Steve Burr, despite being a unanimous call by all the direcors, inextricably linked Serrell to the fortunes of the new boss.

Thorn has yet to find a winning formula with just one win, two draws and three defeats in the Skrill Premier and another disappointing display only infuriated a section of the crowd.

Supporters pay a lot of money to watch Harriers and are entitled to voice their opinions but there was a damaging atmosphere inside Aggborough with the manager and directors singled out.

How much impact such criticism will have on a former member of Wimbledon's Crazy Gang is questionable.

The negativity may only affect the players, who are desperately searching for a confidence boost.

Captain Kyle Storer said:  “The game was edgy and it didn’t help with all the fans chanting.

“From my point of view if they don’t like what we’re doing, don’t bother turning up.

“It’s not helping the lads, it’s not helping in the dressing room.

“We’re 100 per cent behind the gaffer so it would be great if everyone pulls together and get behind us.”

He added: “It is not the majority of supporters it’s a minority and the boys would appreciate it if they could get behind us and support the team.”

Thorn had rang the changes, handing starts to all four new signings Josh O'Keefe, Adrian Cieslewicz, Santiago Aloi and Freddie Ladapo.

Anthony Malbon also made a welcome return to the side and after a month's absence he looked understandably rusty.

With so many alterations , Harriers looked like a team still finding their feet and Braintree, who had not played in the league since January 11 because of the wettest winter in recorded history, took control.

Matt Paine inflicted some of his own on the hosts when he punished keeper Nathan Vaughan's flap at a Kenny Davis corner to rifle home the visitors' first in the 53rd minute.

Substitute Dan Holman then applied a close range finish to convert Bernard Mensar's cross in the 67th.

But the arrival of Morgan-Smith, changed the game and he levelled in the 78th with an accurate right-footed effort.

Four minutes later, the hitman hammered home a vicious left-footed effort to salvage a point and provide a small chink of light on an otherwise bad day for the club.

More than ever a robust message must be sent out by interim chairman Ken Rae and the board. Only that will fix the rifts running through Harriers.

Harriers: N Vaughan, Demetriou, Storer, Dunkley, Malbon, Jackman, Ladapo (Morgan-Smith, 54), O'Keefe, Cieslewicz (Rowe, 81), Aloi (Byrne, 71), Gowling. Subs not used: Lewis, Grimes.

Braintree: Hamman, Peters, Habergham, Paine, Davis, Marks (Holman, 66), Massey, Mensar (Daley, 81), Wells, Mulley, Laurent (Sparks, 81)).

Subs not used: McDonald, Long.

Referee: Simon Bennett (Staffs).

Attendance: 1653 (27)