MATCH REPORT | Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 Chester
Chester’s unbeaten start to the season continued as they saw off Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 at Aggborough.
Matty Hughes’ first of the season was the difference between the sides as he slotted past Cameron Gregory in the first-half.
However an absolute sitter from the on-form Ashley Chambers should have levelled proceedings as he fired wide of an open goal late on.
The result takes the Seals into the top three whilst Kidderminster drop to 14th.
Chester were unchanged from the 4-0 win over Gloucester City last weekend, though Matty Waters replaced James Jones on the bench.
The Blues looked lively in the opening exchanges with runs down the flanks from Brad Jackson and Joel Taylor a focus but it was Milan Butterfield for the visitors who launched the first effort towards goal. This was curled well over.
Jackson searched for his third goal of the season with five minutes played as he took on a George Waring knock-on. Charging forward he cut onto his left foot and too curled an effort towards goal but it was blocked.
The travelling Yellows should have taken the lead with ten minutes on the clock as a Taylor long throw caused problems as they have all season. ‘Keeper Gregory came for the ball, missed it and left Anthony Dudley with an empty corner to slot home into – but his effort went wide.
Down the other end, Ed Williams went clean through on goal but Russ Griffiths stayed big to deny him. Just a moment later Sam Austin tried an ambitious effort from 30-yards which the Chester stopper gathered easily.
Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson’s impressive free-kick routines earned the Blues plenty of deserved plaudits last season and history nearly repeated itself as Gary Roberts played his short to Hughes down the right channel. The forward went for goal, beat Gregory but not the foot of a Harriers defender who cleared it off the line tremendously.
G.Roberts had another set piece opportunity shortly afterwards but this time decided to shoot – however the ‘keeper caught with ease. His namesake Kevin flashed a problematic ball across the hosts’ goalmouth with 25 played as their dominance continued.
Then, deservedly, Jackson slid a ball in behind for Hughes on the left-side of the penalty area who slotted across and beyond Gregory to give the visitors the lead on 27 minutes. His first goal of the season and it’d been coming.
There was little to report from the remainder of the first 45 minutes. Both sides troubled but neither had a clear-cut opportunity although Kidderminster did perhaps have the better of proceedings. In the three additional minutes before the break, the home side had their brightest spell of the half as they threatened down the wings but Taylor and K.Roberts remained valiant in their defensive efforts as the Seals got through to half-time.
The hosts went close inside the first 30 seconds of the second-half as E. Williams launched a tame effort across Griffiths who was down well to gather. Gary Stopforth smashed a first-time shot from distance over the bar moments later for Chester.
As the official attendance of 1710 went up at Aggborough, with a superb 378 travelling supporters, Jackson found himself bearing down on goal and cut onto his right foot, however he dragged his effort wide of the far post.
With twenty minutes left to play, Dudley was next to have a go for Chester as he attempted a left-footed strike from the edge of the box but this crashed into the side-netting. His strike partners Waring and Hughes left the field in place for Akwasi Asante and Craig Mahon moments later.
Kidderminster, rightly so, piled on the pressure as the clock ticked down but the visitors broke away with Jackson down the right. He fed Dudley who, under immense defensive pressure, could only dribble an effort at Gregory. Then came Kidderminster’s best chance of the afternoon as Griffiths’ clearance looped backwards and into the path of Harriers top-scorer Chambers with the entire goal at his mercy. However, quite unbelievably, the forward side-footed his effort wide and the Blues were let massively off the hook.
Five additional minutes gave the home side hope but they were not rewarded for their constant pressure and the Blues picked up three points at Aggborough for the first time since 2005. A deliriously happy Chester contingent, who were loud and proud for 90 minutes, deserved to have witnessed quite an exceptional result on the road.
CHESTER: Griffiths, K. Roberts, Taylor, G. Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Jackson, Stopforth, Waring (Asante ‘75), Hughes (Mahon ‘77), Dudley (Burton ‘88).
UNUSED: Waters, Elliott.
ATTENDANCE: 1,710 (378 Chester)
Match Report by Alex Bullions.