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Match report: Kidderminster 1, York City 1
York City are now unbeaten in nine Blue Square Bet Premier away matches after an entertaining 1-1 draw at promotion rivals Kidderminster last night.
The Minstermen also came close to claiming maximum points following Chris Smith’s second-half goal, but Harriers substitute James McQuilkin earned the hosts a deserved share of the spoils when he levelled the scores in the 84th minute.
A draw, though, leaves Gary Mills’ men still undefeated on the road in the league since September’s 3-2 defeat at Gateshead.
Adriano Moké was given his first league start for the Minstermen since September’s 2-1 defeat at Tamworth in place of the suspended Scott Brown.
City’s first XI was otherwise unchanged from the team that begun Saturday’s 3-2 home victory over Ebbsfleet, although centre-back David McGurk was back on the bench after his calf injury.
The visitors started positively with Danny Pilkington going close with a curling 20-yard effort in the third minute.
Shortly afterwards, however, Michael Ingham was called into action for the first time on the night when he was required to grab Moké’s sliced clearance under his crossbar.
Nick Wright then sent a wild 25-yard strike heading for the corner flag before City captain Smith saved his side from falling behind on 20 minutes.
A raid down the right by Tom Sharpe ended with a low cross that picked out Wright 12 yards from goal but, even though his shot beat Ingham, Smith had positioned himself on the line to kick clear.
Kiddy’s Dan Bradley did find the net on 28 minutes, but his header was ruled out by an early offside flag.
At the other end, Tony Breeden needed to make a smart reflex save when Moké’s right-wing cross flicked rapidly off Sharpe’s head.
But the hosts finished the half strongest with Bradley firing high and wide from the edge of the box and Dan Parslow coming to City’s rescue twice.
First, the former Welsh under-21 international survived strong penalty appeals for handball when he blocked Kyle Storer’s goalbound effort.
Then, he got in the way of Jamille Matt’s drive after Smith’s clearance had ricocheted off team-mate Jon Challinor and fallen dangerously to the Harriers’ top scorer.
Mills made a double substitution at the interval with Moké and Jamie Reed making way for Andre Boucaud and Matthew Blinkhorn.
The Harriers had the first opportunity of the second period when Ingham saved Wright’s header from a Mickey Demetriou free-kick, but it was Smith who broke the deadlock on 57 minutes.
Challinor played a short throw to Paddy McLaughlin then, after receiving the ball back, the 31-year-old right-back delivered a terrific cross to the far post where Smith, who had stayed up following an earlier corner, planted a perfect downward header into Breedon’s bottom left-hand corner.
Just past the hour, subdued former England midfielder Lee Hendrie volleyed across the face of Ingham’s goal.
Matty Blair’s cross was then sliced inches wide of goal by Demetriou before Ingham kept out Storer’s low shot at his near post after the home midfielder had escaped Parslow’s attentions.
Kidderminster continued to press for an equaliser and were denied by Ingham and his crossbar in quick succession.
On 79 minutes, the City ’keeper showed great agility to claw away substitute Anthony Malbon’s chip and, seconds later, Bradley’s deflected long-range effort bounced back into play off the woodwork.
The Harriers’ leveller eventually came on 84 minutes when McQuilkin’s left-wing free-kick 40 yards from goal cleared a clutch of players who went up to win the header at the far post and bounced off the turf before finding Ingham’s bottom left-hand corner.
Spirited City went closest to winning the match, however, with Blair seeing his 87th-minute drive deflected over and Smith also clearing the bar with a volley from McLaughlin’s subsequent corner.
Kidderminster 1 (McQuilkin 84), York City 1 (Smith 57)
York City: Michael Ingham 8, Jon Challinor 8, Daniel Parslow 8, Chris Smith 9, James Meredith 7, Scott Kerr 8, Patrick McLaughlin 7, Adriano Moké 6, Matty Blair 7, Jamie Reed 6, Danny Pilkington 7.
Subs: Andre Boucaud 7 (for Moké, 46), Matthew Blinkhorn 7 (for Reed, 46), Ashley Chambers (for Pilkington, 81).
Subs (not used): McGurk, Fyfield.
Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.
Star man: Smith – commanding at both ends of the pitch, clearing one off the line and scoring City’s goal.
Kidderminster: Tony Breeden, Tom Sharpe, Mike Williams, Luke Jones, Mickey Demetriou, Kyle Storer, Dan Bradley, Lee Hendrie (James McQuilkin, 71), Dave Hankin (Anthony Malbon, 66), Jamille Matt, Nick Wright.
Subs (not used): Steve Guinan, Callum Gittings, Dean Lyness, Anthony Malbon.
Booked: Meredith 46, Challinor 90, McQuilkin 90.
Sent off: None.
Shots on target: Harriers 6, City 2.
Shots off target: Harriers 4, City 4.
Corners: Harriers 5, City 8.
Fouls conceded: Harriers 18, City 12.
Offsides: Harriers 2, City 0.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).
Attendance: 2,417 (159 City fans).