2 - 1Full Time
A determined second half showing earned Spennymoor a crucial three points against a Kidderminster Harriers side who began life without former manager Neil MacFarlane.
Ryan Hall’s composed finish four minutes into the second half saw Moors win for the first time at home in the league since Tuesday 30th October.
Andrew Johnson gave Moors the lead against the run of play with a minute of the first half left, sliding in from a narrow angle past Brandon Hall.
But that lead was to be wiped out instantly as a forgetful first 45 minutes was rounded off with two quickfire goals. Aaron Phillips met Joe Ironside’s cross with a firm header to level proceedings.
Despite the referee missing a stonewall handball clearance on the line from Kidderminster’s Lee Vaughan, Moors were worthy winners after a polished second half performance.
Jason Ainsley was forced to make four changes to the side beaten at Telford through a mix of injury and illness.
Key players Mark Anderson, Jake Hibbs and Jamie Chandler, who have all been regulars in the starting eleven this season, were replaced by Shaun Tuton, Callum Williams and Kris Thackray respectively.
Hall replaced Adam Boyes, with Johnson moving into the number 10 role in behind Glen Taylor.
On a cold and damp evening, the atmosphere was similarly flat, and the game produced few moments of quality in a cagey opening 43 minutes.
The visitors offered the greater goal threat and Moors were twice thankful for the reflexes of Matt Gould, denying Kane Richards two certain goals.
First, he spread himself to deny the pacy Harriers winger from close range after he connected with Declan Weeks’ free-kick, then he spurned an even clearer opening, opting to try and round Gould after a Rob Atkinson error.
Spennymoor’s alert shot stopper was agile enough to get down and gather the ball before Richards could pass into an empty net.
Despite only testing Brandon Hall via a sweetly struck Stephen Brogan free-kick it was Moors who took the lead through Johnson. Taylor collected possession inside Kiddy’s half before laying a through ball to the midfielder.
The ball had seemingly gone away from a shooting position, but Johnson managed to arrow a low strike past Hall and into the far corner to register his third goal in five games.
With the first half entering additional time it seemed unthinkable that Moors wouldn’t have the advantage at the interval, but, following good build up play, Phillips ghosted into the box before heading Ironside’s cross past a helpless Gould.
Evidently frustrated at conceding so soon after scoring, a forlorn Ainsley sent his side back out with fire in their belly, and the second half was to be a completely different contest.
Taylor saw a hooked shot well saved by Hall straight from the restart, and it was clear that Kidderminster were wary of a rejuvenated Moors outfit.
The winning goal arrived shortly after courtesy of a defensive mix up in Harriers’ defence. After Phillips and Horsfall collided going for the same ball, Hall had time to charge down on goal before calmly slotting past his namesake in the Kidderminster net.
That goal lifted a quiet Brewery Field crowd and suddenly Ainsley’s men could smell blood. Tuton had two bites at the cherry but was denied on both occasions by the impressive Hall, before Taylor had a fizzing left-footed shot tipped behind.
It may have been irrelevant given the full-time score, but Moors were denied a clear penalty twenty minutes from the end of the contest. Hall used his pace to get in down the right, and when Taylor struck a goal bound effort which was metres from crossing the line, Vaughan flung himself at the ball, using his arms to divert it out for a corner.
An angry and bemused Taylor, along with the majority of people in the ground, were baffled when the referee waved away the appeals, but it didn’t matter in the end as Moors held on with relative ease to claim a crucial three points.
Sutton United make the long trip North to face Moors in the Second Round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|8th January 2019||7:45 pm||National League North||2018/19||575|