Blue Square Bet Premier
Kidderminster Harriers 3
Alfreton Town 1
FOR a while, Alfreton Town looked as if they were going to spoil Kidderminster Harriers’ 125th anniversary celebrations at Aggborough on Saturday, with one of their former players Drewe Broughton giving the Reds a 30th minute advantage to mark his debut from the penalty spot after 30 minutes.
Broughton slotted the spot-kick low past Harriers keeper Daniel Lewis for the Reds’ fourth successive penalty success since last scoring in open play.
Jake Moult had scooped a cross on to the roof of the net from the first of a series of long throws by Leigh Franks with just 75 seconds elapsed, then at the other end Steve Guinan fired hastily over from 12 yards.
A tame shot on the turn by Broughton was easily gathered by Lewis in the fifth minute, then four minutes later another Franks throw led to Matt Wilson’s glancing header having to be cleared off the line at the back post by Lee Vaughan.
Alfreton keeper Dan Lowson held a close-range downward header from Marc Williams, then a teasing free-kick from Moult evaded both Broughton and Paul Clayton at the far post.
Another accurate Moult free-kick on 19 minutes meant Lewis had to punch clear under pressure, then a Franks cross drifted on to the roof of the net.
There was a surreal moment three minutes after Alfreton had taken the lead when Guinan threw himself to the ground, implying that Franks had dived to win a free-kick, only to receive a caution from the unimpressed referee.
Moult headed over after Clayton had flicked on another Franks throw but Kidderminster, who had looked anything but title contenders so far, drew level through Marc Williams in the 39th minute.
The goal stemmed from a Tom Marshall free-kick that was superbly tipped over at full stretch by Lowson, with the ensuing corner leading to Kyle Storer’s cross being stabbed in virtually on the goal-line by Williams.
The first half ended in controversy with a mass brawl on the half-way line which looked certain to end with a card or two, but after several minutes and lengthy consultations with both assistants the referee settled for speaking to both captains.
Wilson headed over from six yards three minutes after the restart from a Moult free-kick, then further controversy surrounded Kidderminster’s second goal on 51 minutes that effectively killed off the contest.
Vaughan’s deep cross from the by-line appeared to swing out of play before Guinan slotted home at the back post, then in response Moult fired over from 18 yards and a Josh Law corner led to Broughton heading over.
Anton Brown had to hack clear Storer’s inswinging corner 12 minutes fom time, but the home side had to wait until the 90th minute to secure victory when Marc Williams’ cross led to James Vincent firing in off the upright amid strong appeals for a push in the process that were waved aside.
The ill-tempered game culminated in the second minute of added time with the referee brandishing yellow cards to Law and Nathan Jarman, as well as sending manager Nicky Law to the stands for alleged comments, with players from both sides again squaring up to each other.
Alfreton Town: Dan Lowson, Leigh Franks, Greg Young, Matt Wilson, Josh Law, Jake Moult (Jordan Hall 87), Theo Streete (Chris Senior, 81), Anton Brown, Connor Franklin, Paul Clayton, Drewe Broughton (Nathan Jarman, 71).
Substitutes not used: Adie Hawes, Levi Mackin.
Kidderminster Harriers - Daniel Lewis, Lee Vaughan, Luke Jones, Tom Marshall, Mike Williams, Jack Byrne, Kyle Storer, Scott Phelan (James Vincent, 68), Nick Wright, Marc Williams, Steve Guinan (Jamille Matt, 83).
Substitutes not used: Dean Lyness, Dave Hankin, Tom Sharpe.
Goals: Kidderminster Harriers - Williams (39), Steve Guinan (51), James Vincent (89). Alfreton Town - Drewe Broughton (31, penalty).
Yellow cards: Kidderminster Harriers - Storer (32, dissent); Guinan (33, dissent); Jones (48, foul on Clayton); Marc Williams (74, unsporting conduct). Alfreton Town - Franks (71, foul on Vincent), Law (90+2, unsporting conduct); Jarman (90+2, dissent).
Sent off: Alfreton Town - Nicky Law (90+2).
Man of the match: Jake Moult