Alfreton Town 0, Kidderminster Harriers 2
Alfreton Town tried their hardest against high-flying Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday, but ultimately conceded their third Blue Square Bet Premier double of the season.
High winds at the Impact Arena certainly did not help the Reds’ cause, particularly in a difficult first half when keeper Dan Lowson’s kicks scarcely reached the halfway line, but the turning point of the game was undoubtedly the red card received by Louis Moult on his home debut in first half added time.
It was a rash challenge on Kyle Storer on the halfway line that prompted the referee to interpret the tackle as dangerous, but Alfreton never let their heads drop and they deserved at the very least a draw for their endeavours and did not concede the first goal until stoppage time.
A 14th minute effort from Storer took an awkward deflection but was well held by Lowson, then Lee Hendrie’s strong drive was particularly well dealt with again by the Reds’ keeper.
Luke Jones was the next Harrier to try and take advantage of the conditions, but his 18th minute shot from 20 yards was diverted behind for a corner, then as Alfreton finally found some space Kidderminster keeper Tony Breeden hacked clear as Nathan Arnold closed in.
Another good save by Lowson thwarted Wright in the 35th minute, turning his low drive around the post, then Jamie Mullan won a corner for Alfreton after taking a swift return pass from Arnold and sprinting down the right flank.
Reduced to ten men for the second half the Reds at least had the wind at their backs and were able to make their presence felt, but Jake Moult’s 50th minute shot from 16 yards following a Connor Franklin throw was comfortably held by Breeden.
A powerful header by Michael Williams from McQuilkin’s 55th minute corner was defiantly tipped over at full stretch by Lowson when the opening goal looked inevitable, then Jamille Matt wasted a good chance by only troubling the side-netting.
Lowson easily saved Bradley’s weak 62nd minute header, then Stephen Guinan’s lob was only just over the bar from Matt’s pull-back.
Lowson held a deflected shot from Wright on 74 minutes, then a vital tackle back by Theo Streete halted Hendrie’s progress from a huge clearance by Breeden.
Bizarrely the game’s first off-side decision in the 89th minute prevented Wright from breaking the deadlock, but just as stoppage time began Kidderminster struck a deadly blow when Anthony Malbon swept Bradley’s cross past Lowson from ten yards to open the scoring on his Harriers’ debut.
Reds’ boss Nicky Law threw Paul Clayton and Anthony Wilson into the mix, but with three strikers pushing forward the inevitable counter-attack occurred in the fourth minute of added time with Callum Gittings and Guinan setting up Matt for a simple second goal.
Alfreton: Lowson; Law, Quinn, Young, Franklin, Mullan, Streete, J.Moult (A.Wilson 90+3), Arnold, (Clayton 90+3), Jarman, L.Moult. Other subs: M.Wilson, Franks, Clay.
Attendance: 990 (199 from Kidderminster).