Report: Out with a defeat

Report and reflections on Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 Guiseley…

Joe Ironside pictured in the 2-1 defeat to Guiseley [27-04-19]

HARRIERS ended their season with a tepid 2-1 defeat to Guiseley at Aggborough.

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Joe Ironside netted his 19th goal of the season from the penalty spot but, at that stage, it proved to be too little too late.

The visitors had eased themselves into a two goal lead; Andy Halls scoring a penalty of his own before the break, before Jack Dyche squeezed an effort through the grasp of Tom Palmer to double the advantage.

A frustrating and, at times, apathetic afternoon saw Harriers condemned to their sixteenth defeat of the season – comfortably more than any other of the teams making up the top ten, with only three teams outside the relegation zone losing more.

It wasn’t an afternoon bereft of any positives – Jaiden White was handed his first ever start in senior football at just 17 years and 25 days old, and performed admirably.

Butterfield, Williams and Chambers had sights of goal for Harriers in the opening half an hour, before the latter absolutely leathered a volley off target before Williams, soon after, hit the post with a curling effort.

The Reds looked to have shaded the half, but fell behind with the award of a penalty after White was adjudged to have fouled Cantrill on the edge of the area – Halls stepping up to send the ball beyond Palmer.

The first portion of the second half was a virtual non-event, with only Ironisde’s industry taking him close to a goal as he tried desperately to get on the end of deliveries from McAlinden and Austin.

Eight minutes after the hour, the game was all but over as a contest; Dyche played through in the area and chipping Palmer – the stopper looked to have the ball in his grip, but saw it squeeze through his hands and drop beyond him and into the net.

With a quarter-hour left to play, a good effort from Williams forced Dewhurt’s first real save of the day before Weeks drove wide – Ironside’s penalty then halving the deficit as he tucked the ball home from twelve yards after Richards was upended in the area.

The final whistle called time on a season to forget.

A tenth-place finish may seem half respectable in isolation, but falls far below the expectations of everyone associated with the club, not least its fans, after such a strong start. Dropped standards must now be raised higher again and kept there, ahead of what must be a better season, all around, in 2019/20.

A new manager will be in place, players will re-sign, players will leave and arrive – but everyone connected with the club will strive to ensure what comes next leaves this campaign firmly in the dust.

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