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Saturday 03 October 2009
Blue Square Football Conference Premier

AFC Wimbledon    0 - 1    Kidderminster Harriers
    (47) Matthew Barnes-Homer
 James Pullen 1 Dean Coleman 
 Samuel Hatton 2 Duane Courtney 
 Chris Hussey 3 Lee Baker 
(sub 68)  Kennedy Adjei 4 John Finnigan 
 Alan Inns 5 Martin Riley 
 Brett Johnson 6 Christopher McPhee 
 Steven Gregory 7 Dean Bennett 
(sub 68)  Lewis Taylor 8 Matthew Barnes-Homer (sub 90) 
 Danny Kedwell 9 Darryl Knights (sub 87) 
(sub 60)  Ross Montague 10 Brian Smikle 
 Luke Moore 11 Robert Matthews 
(sub 60)  Jon Main 12 Gavin Caines (sub 90) 
 Seb Brown 13 Jasbir Singh 
(sub 68)  Derek Duncan 14 Liam Dolman (sub 87) 
(sub 68)  Jay Conroy 15 Kyle Hadley 
  16 Aaron Farrell 

Match report

After Tuesday's magnificent win against Rushden & Diamonds Terry Brown named an unchanged starting XI but illness meant that once again the Dons were only able to name four subs, with Jon Main replacing Elliott Godfrey on the bench. It was the Dons that started the brighter with Kennedy Adjei's bristling energy and no-nonsense tackling the standout elements of the opening exchanges, but neither side created a clear-cut opening in the first 15 minutes despite some enterprising attacking play. Chris Hussey could have given the Dons the lead after good work by Luke Moore but his right foot shot from the edge of the box was deflected by Riley and Coleman made a stunning save to paw the ball away,

For Kidderminster, striker Matthew Barnes-Homer and darting midfield dynamo Brian Smikle were at least living up to their reputation as constant dangers and the latter set Barnes-Homer up for two decent efforts that were both saved by the dependable James Pullen in the Dons goal. Pullen had to react smartly to keep out a Knights effort after a corner was only partially cleared and Chris Hussey blocked Matthews' attempt to net the rebound.

Hussey was the proverbial curate's egg - making some timely interventions and telling runs on the one hand, consistently failing to find a Dons team mate with a succession of corners and free kicks, but one mis-hit corner nearly saw Wimbledon take the lead but Danny Kedwell's flick on at the near post was just too deft for Alan Inns to turn in and the defender only succeeded in clearing the danger instead.

The Referee had by this stage started to regularly enrage the Dons fans, particularly those in the John Smith's stand, who were tiring of the constant string of infringements by the visitors that the match officials' were missing. Coupled with Harriers boss Mark Yates instructions to his players to "go down and stay down" in order to win free kicks and the Dons inability create anything more than half-chances from a series of promising positions there was a growing air of frustration.

With the second half just over a minute old, the frustration became tangible when Barnes-Homer controlled a Bennett pass, 20 yards out and, with his back to goal, turned and swept a sweetly-timed right foot shot into Pullen's left hand corner. Almost lazy in its execution, the shot was as accurate and well-placed as a Ricky Ponting cover drive.

Just five minutes of huffing and puffing later, Lewis Taylor was presented with a golden chance to equalise when he took Kedwell pass in his stride and evaded McPhee's tackle but from 8 yards out and with just keeper Coleman to beat he blazed horribly wide. Instead of nestling in the back of the net, the ball was bouncing around the no-man's land between the Dons and Harriers fans in the Kingston Road End.

Wimbledon kept trying to play their football and Steven Gregory was now finding his feet in midfield, but for every decent-looking move the Dons could conjure up, Kidderminster conjured up one of their own. Pullen made a smart save from Smikle before the same player curled a 20 yarder inches over the bar.

Just before the hour mark the Dons thought they had scored when Coleman spilled Hussey's cross and Ross Montague hammered the loose ball home, but the referee disallowed it for a foul on the keeper by Kedwell.

Terry Brown then brought off Taylor, Montague and Adjei and replaced them with his only three outfield subs, but although Jay Conroy and Luke Moore added a bit more vigour to the Dons right, Harriers' McPhee and Riley never really looked overly troubled and dealt with balls into the box with relative ease. Derek Duncan failed to pick out any of the five Wimbledon players in the box when he had the chance to cross and two Hussey crosses from the left were met by the magnetic forehead of Riley.

Inns's loping header from a Hatton corner was easily collected by Coleman and then the delivery of both Moore and Gregory let them down when Kedwell and Main had taken up good positions in the box.

In truth, the Dons never really looked like scoring and Kidderminster were more than happy with their win.

Neither side deserved to go home empty handed but whoever said that football was fair? If it was, none of us would have been at Kingsmeadow this afternoon...

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