Tamworth 0
Harriers 0

HARRIERS manager Steve Burr admitted he was ‘amazed’ his side didn’t take all three points at Tamworth after doing everything but score on a frustrating Tuesday night.

If the Aggborough outfit had added goals to their totally dominant display, then this would have been hailed as one of the most complete performances of the season.

Instead, they were frustrated by a glut of last-ditch clearances, a disallowed goal and one or two missed chances.

“I am quite amazed because I thought it was an excellent performance,” commented Burr.

“I’ve just said to the players goals win matches but we couldn’t have done any more the way we played and passed the ball.

“For me there was only one side who tried to win the game.

“We created enough chances to win three games.”

Harriers looked keen to build on their fine win over Braintree and with winger Marvin Johnson relishing the chance to run at former Reds right back Duane Courtney, they had a player who looked capable of slicing open the home side at will.

The 21-year-old has shown glimpses of his ability since joining from Romulus in January but he produced his most consistently excellent display in a Harriers shirt.

It was another transfer window signing who almost opened the scoring in the third minute, when Anthony Malbon raced into the box to reach Luke Jones’s thundering header and lifted a deft volley over the bar.

Johnson provided the ammunition with a series of dangerous crosses and corners which over-worked Tamworth keeper Jonathan Hedge could barely deal with. The wideman fizzed in a low shot, which the Lambs custodian turned around the post. From a typically pacey corner, Jones and Malbon had efforts blocked when it looked as though the ragged home side would be breeched.

Lightning struck twice again later in the first half from another teasing delivery from Johnson, this time Dave Hankin’s header was blocked and the alert Malbon pounced on the rebound only for another defender to get in the way on the line.

Veteran goal-getter Steve Guinan was also relishing the bullets provided by Johnson but the usually unerringly accurate striker was having an off day, shooting over from 10-yards out and then volleying a more difficult chance over the bar at the far post.

Harriers continued the demolition in the second half, with substitute Nick Wright letting fly with an arcing volley from the edge of the box, which a flailing Hedge got a hand to.

Malbon thought he’d scored only for his strike to be ruled out for offside. Wright had been met with jokey chants of ‘Tamworth reject’ by the home fans when he replaced Guinan in the 69th minute but he so nearly had the last laugh late on.

The mercurial hitman strode the length of the pitch to create a gilt-edged chance for substitute Ryan Rowe, but the former Stourbridge man’s chances of opening his account for the club in dramatic fashion disappeared when he blazed over the bar.

Amid the tsunami of Harriers pressure, defensive Tamworth did have one or two chances. Powerhouse striker Kyle Patterson hit the bar with a thundering 20-yard strike in the first half, while Jean-Paul Marna and Charlie Reece drew saves from Tony Breeden but such was the visitors control a goal would have been cruel on Harriers.

However, their woes in front of goal continue. Burr’s side have scored 11 goals in last 10 games, with four of those coming against Braintree.

Harriers: Breeden 7; Vaughan 7; Jones 7; Marshall 8; Hankin 7; Guinan 6 (Wright, 67); Byrne 7; Demetriou 7; Storer 6 (Bradley, 86); Malbon 6; JOHNSON 9 (Rowe, 76) . Unused substitutes: Williams; Lyness.

Tamworth: Hedge; Tait; Habergham (Thomas, 62); Courtney; Francis (Reece, 57); Oji; Marna (St Aimee, 86); Patterson; Green; Barrow; McKoy. Unused substitutes: McDonald; Nix.

Referee: R Merchant. Attendance: 924 (241)