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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:25 17th July 2013

The Hatters made it six wins in seven games at Aggborough as two second half penalties from Jake Howells sealed the Town's first away win of the campaign.

The midfielder, making his first start since the opening day of the season, put the Town in front on 70 minutes when debutante Paul Benson was fouled in the box.

And the product of the Hatters' academy doubled his and the Town's tally 10 minutes later after Andre Gray was brought down.

In truth it was no more than the Town deserved following an accomplished away performance that saw the defence keep their third successive clean sheet and make it five games unbeaten.

Showing three changes to the side that drew with Cambridge last Monday, including new signing Benson making his debut in attack and a first start for Andy Parry, the Town began brightly.

However it was the Harriers who threatened the most in the early stages. A Kyle Storer free-kick hit the Town wall on five minutes before the Hatters got lucky a minute later when a mis-hit shot from Joe Lolley took a massive deflection off of Alex Lacey but rolled, thankfully, out for a corner with Mark Tyler flat-footed.

But gradually the Hatters began to dominate. Kidderminster were holding firm against a series of Town free-kicks pinged into the box by the right-foot Luke Guttridge. The Hatters' midfielder was enjoying a fine performance playing in an attacking role in front of Parry and Jonathan Smith, and his deep set-piece on 20 minutes almost reached a Alex Lacey at the back-post.

Guttridge then went for goal himself two minutes later with a low effort that was gathered at the second attempt by Danny Lewis in the home goal. Guttridge then slipped a lovely, clever pass into the path of Gray running into the penalty area. The ball was caught in the striker's feet but he still managed to get a shot away, poking an effort at goal that Lewis again couldn't hold first time.

As the Town continued to press Howells missed a good chance to put his side ahead on 36 minutes when he flicked the ball wide of the mark from close range  after Gray had slalomed into the box tight along the right-hand touchline.

Tyler had barely had a save to make up until this point but in 39th minute he had to be alert to tip Lolley's firmly-struck shot from the edge of the box around the post for a corner.

Had that got in it would have been against the run of play and after that clearing that corner the Town should have taken the lead when Howells skewed a shot wide of the post from six yards after being found by Jonathan Smith's shot that diverted into this path.

Minutes after the break Tyler had his gloves warmed with a stinging drive from Kiddy right-back Lee Vaughan before the Town engineered a lovely move on 52 minutes when Howells raced through following a intricate move involving Benson, but neither those two or Guttridge could turn the ball home.

The Hatters continued to push forward and 10 minutes into the second half only a fine block from defender Chey Dunkley kept out Guttridge's drive from inside the box after the referee had deflected a Kidderminster pass out of defence into the midfielder's path.

Guttridge warmed the gloves of Lewis on 61 minutes with a firm shot on the turn inside the penalty area after good work between Benson and Gray before Howells then poked wide at the back-post on 66 minutes.

However the Town were rewarded for their pressure on 70 minutes when they took the lead. Dunkley's poor back-pass was mis-read by goalkeeper Lewis. Benson was first to read the situation and but was brought down the Harriers' stopper in the penalty area and Howells sent Lewis the wrong way to make it 1-0.

One, though, soon became two and it was Howells from the spot once more that doubled the lead. Gray raced into the box and upended by Josh Gowling. The referee didn't immediately give the decision, it was only when the linesman indicated the foul that the Hatters get their chance which Howells took, despite Lewis' best attempts to save it with a flailing leg.

With the game safe the Town had time to introduce Alex Wall as a late substitute and after five minutes of injury time the Hatters held onto secure all three points.

Harriers: Lewis, L. Vaughan, Gowling, Dunkley, Demetriou, Storer, Fowler, Gittings, Johnson, Lolley, Gash. Subs: N. Vaughan, Blissett, Malbon, Byrne, Jackman.

Town: Tyler; Henry, Griffiths (sub Martin 90), McNulty, Lacey; Parry, Guttridge, Smith; Howells, Gray, Benson (sub Wall 90). Subs not used: Cullen, Whalley, Justham.

Attendance: 2,866, including 821 from the Hatters.

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