The curse of the missed penalty hit yet again as Chorley failed to convert from the spot for the sixth time since the squad returned from the summer break, writes Paul Metcalfe.
After scoring a combined ten times in their opening games, a hatful of goals seemed inevitable. However, in an afternoon of end to end football, both sides failed to put away chances as they ground out a scoreless draw.
The home side enjoyed most of the chances, however the Magpies back four stood resolutely in their defence of Sam Ashton’s goal.
In our first encounter with the Harriers since the early nineties, Chorley had the brighter of the opening minutes, with stand in captain, Whitham having a shot blocked by Sam Hornby within three minutes of the start. This was followed by winding run by the former Harrier, O’Keefe, who also had his shot stopped by the man in green.
The home side were quick to reply with the imposing number 10, Elton Ngwatala dribbling the ball upfield and finding Hodgkiss, whose resulting effort screamed past Ashton’s post. However the Kidderminster number two was subbed on the quarter hour mark with a suspected injury.
The game settled down after this, with no real chances for either side. Impressive runs forwards ensued by with efforts snuffed out, as neither keeper was tested. The Chorley goal was peppered with attack after attack, however the four man defence of Challoner, Charnock, Leather and Jordan prevented shots from making their way to Ashton. A throw from Gnahoua was collected by O’Keefe, whilst a corner was dealt with comfortably by Challoner. A free kick following a Tfoul by Whitham on man of the match McQuilken was ably dealt with by Jordan.
The next attack from Chorley came from a short corner to Cottrell, however his effort fizzed over Hornby’s top bar.
An impressive move from McQuilken to Francis-Angol, to Gnahoua, back to McQuliken to substitute Williams was ably dealt with by the men in their new yellow away kits.
On the 43rd minute, a superb kick from Whitham found the head of Jordan, however his shot found itself away from the goal.
In the second half, Chorley came out the more attacking side, but Kidderminster were quick on the counter attack. An early free kick by McQuilken blazed over Ashton’s top bar. At the other end, a long range shot by captain, Whitham, was easily collected by Hornby.
Close to the hour mark, Gonzales came off the pitch to make way for Walker who quickly got involved in the action. In the middle corner of three, the forward found himself defending as he nodded the ball to safety. Later, in an impressive attacking move which also involved Walker as he blazed the ball into the box, finding the legs of Carver. However the number nine was expertly marked by two defenders, who prevented him from turning goalward.
Three quarters of the way through the game, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot following an infringement in play. Up stepped Jarvis, who fired the ball to his left. However, Hornby read the signs correctly and, falling to his right, was able to save with ease.
Despite admirable chanting from the away fans to spur the side on, the miss summed up the afternoon for Chorley and the remaining 15 minutes were played out to a stalemate in the sunshine.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Matt Challoner, Paul Jarvis, Keiran Charnock, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Jake Cottrell, Dale Whitham, Marcus Carver, Gonzales, Josh O’Keefe
Subs: Jason Walker (Gonzales), Adam Blakeman (O'Keefe), Jack Lynch, Adam Roscoe, Waqas Azam
Att: 1339 (84 from Chorley)