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In-form Kidderminster Harriers aiming to do the derby double
9:00am Tuesday 1st January 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
KIDDERMINSTER Harriers and Hereford United renew rivalries for the second time in six days when they go head-to-head for a New Year’s Day showdown at Aggborough (3pm).
Harriers won 1-0 at Edgar Street on Boxing Day to stretch their remarkable run in the Blue Square Bet Premier to seven straight victories.
Their stunning form has propelled them into the play-offs for the first time this season, having started the campaign at the bottom of the table with five defeats on the spin.
Steve Burr’s men aim for eight wins in a row today but Hereford will have revenge on their minds as they look for a first victory since the 2-0 success at Barrow last month.
Both sides will be fresh for the encounter after having Saturday off with Kidderminster’s televised trip to Forest Green and Hereford’s home game against Newport County falling foul of waterlogged pitches.
Harriers striker Jamille Matt scored the winner against the Bulls last week and aims to hit the target for the fourth league game running.
United left-back Joe Heath and winger Marley Watkins have made it to the end of December without picking up a fifth yellow card, meaning they won’t now receive a ban for another caution.
Striker Chris Sharp, signed for £3,000 from league rivals Telford could also make his debut for Martin Foyle’s side.
The 26-year-old, a prolific scorer in the Welsh Premier, made eight league appearances for the Bucks this season but admitted the lure of full-time football was too big a draw.
Sharp said: “I said when I signed for Telford that the club maybe had plans to go full-time in the not-too-distant future and I hoped it would happen for me with them.
“But the opportunity has come elsewhere and I’ve had to take it. Being on the training ground every day is what is best for my career and the chance might never come again. It will hopefully improve me as a player. Even though I’ve always been in the gym in the morning when I’ve only been training two nights a week, working with other lads on a daily basis will certainly help me regain match sharpness quicker.”
Harriers defender Josh Gowling was fit to feature against his former club Hereford despite suffering a thigh injury in the 5-1 victory over Dartford.
Burr, however, does have newcomer Sam Smith to call on as cover after drafting him in on a non-contract basis from Stourbridge.