Champions Chesterfield suffer first home defeat of season as struggling Kidderminster Harriers claim shock win

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Chesterfield suffered their first home defeat in almost a year as they deservedly lost 3-1 to relegation-threatened Kidderminster Harriers.

The visitors took the lead after just six minutes through Ash Hemmings but the Spireites drew level after half an hour when Matt Preston volleyed into his own net from Bailey Hobson’s cross.

But the Harriers scored twice before the hour-mark as Zak Brown and then Preston gave them some breathing space and the Blues never looked like rescuing a positive result after that.

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This was Town’s first defeat at the SMH since April 7 last year which means they narrowly miss out on going 12 months unbeaten at home.

Bailey Hobson in action against Kidderminster Harriers. Picture: Tina JennerBailey Hobson in action against Kidderminster Harriers. Picture: Tina Jenner
Bailey Hobson in action against Kidderminster Harriers. Picture: Tina Jenner

This is also the first time they have lost two successive matches this season. They need five more points from their remaining three games to reach 100.

Paul Cook, who started a two-match touchline ban for accumulating six yellow cards across the season, made five changes from the defeat at York City on Good Friday, including giving Miguel Freckleton his first appearance since January following a hamstring injury, which meant that captain Jamie Grimes was left out. Hobson made his first home start against the club he was on loan at earlier in the campaign.

Kidderminster arrived at the SMH desperately needing the points in their fight against relegation and they had not won any of their last six. In what was a nice touch, the visitors gave Chesterfield a guard of honour as the Spireites players walked out for kick-off.

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But that is far as the niceties went as Kidderminster took the lead after six minutes when Chesterfield failed to deal with a long throw from Christian Chamberlain and Hemmings lashed home.

The Spireites had made a sleepy start in the first 20 minutes but they came to life at the midway point, going close through Armando Dobra’s poked effort and Jeff King’s deflected free-kick.

Cook’s men got level just after half an hour when Hobson’s cross from the right was sliced into his own net by Preston.

The much-improved Blues were on top for the rest of the half and they came close to taking the lead when Dobra’s deflected shot trickled just past the post and then Mike Jones had a goal-bound shot blocked.

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But just like in the first-half, Chesterfield started the second 45 slowly and moments after Hemmings went close to finding the bottom corner, Kidderminster took the lead on 48 minutes when Brown saw his initial shot well saved by Ryan Boot but he then reacted quickest to tuck away the rebound.

And they grabbed a third 10 minutes later when another long throw from Chamberlain was not dealt with and Preston made up for his own goal by finishing low off the post.

And it could have been four had it not been for a smart save from Boot to deny Charlie Weston.

Unlike many times when they have gone behind this season, Chesterfield didn’t show any signs that they were going to get back into this clash and, with no game next weekend, they will have to wait until April 13 for their next action away at Wealdstone.

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James Berry limped off late on and, with the Blues having already made three subs, they had to finish the last five minutes with 10-men as the Town fans headed for the exits early, something that has not happened often this season.

Chesterfield: Boot; King, Palmer, Freckleton (Curtis, 75), Clements; Jones (Banks, 62), Naylor; Mandeville, Hobson (Berry, 59), Dobra; Quigley.

Unused subs: Cook, Oldaker.

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