Report: Harriers thump Chester

Report from an impressive comeback win for Harriers over Chester…

Action from Harriers 4-1 Chester in February 2019. Pic: Paul France.

HARRIERS came from a goal down to surge to an impressive 4-1 win over Chester at Aggborough.

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The Reds controlled the early stages but found themselves behind thanks to Akwase Asante’s strike.

A fine response saw Declan Weeks net another sublime goal and Joe Ironside tuck away a header to leave the hosts in front at half time.

A fairly one-sided second half featured a first Harriers goal from Ryan Johnson and a fine effort from the returning Ed Williams to seal the success.

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The first 20 minutes was an exercise in Harriers finding their feet and rhythm under a new boss. While they dominated the play, some of the dangerous build-up just lacked a killer, final touch.

Things began to look sharper when Ironside lofted an effort over and McAlinden’s driven cross almost found the bottom corner, but Chester then went ahead against the run of play. Asante was lively on the edge of the area and followed the path of the ball on to his feet before driving it beyond Hall and into the far corner.

That blow came nine minutes before the interval but was cancelled out by a superb double-salvo from Harriers who swiftly reversed the deficit. Just five minutes after going behind, Weeks turned sumptuously on to a Chambers knock-down, volleying the ball past Shenton and into the net. That was followed five minutes later by McAlinden, who had previously played the ball on to the head of Chambers for the first goal, again supplying the ammunition. His corner was nodded home confidently by Ironside to make it 2-1.

From there, in truth, Harriers always looked like they’d go on and win the game.  Early in the second half, McAlinden tried his luck with a free-kick that glanced over, before a Nick Clayton-Phillips drive was held and a Milan Butterfield shot dragged just wide.

Ironside swivelled and shot at Shenton before the hour, with the visitors staying in the game with a brace of half chances as Dudley and Livesey both hit wide.

Harriers had their tails up and were starting to create more regularly – it’s no surprise McAlinden was involved when the third goal came on 71 minutes, his cross missed by Shenton, with Ryan Johnson on hand to side-foot the ball home from eight yards.

Butterfield was in the right place to clear a looping ball off the line as Howson met a cross for Chester but, within two minutes of coming on, Williams was busy causing issues at the other end as he teed up McAlinden to blast wide.

The fourth goal came with four minutes to play of normal time and it was a Williams effort that seemed so familiar from earlier in the season as he wriggled free and confidently took a touch before driving the ball firmly into the net to leave Shenton with no chance.

Harriers did actually have the ball in the net for a fifth time as McAlinden floated a cross towards the far post for Truslove, on as a sub, to head in – he was denied by an offside flag.

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