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Kettering 0-2 Kidderminster

Matthew Barnes Homer
England C international Barnes-Homer grabbed his ninth goal of the season

Goals from Kidderminster's Duane Courtney and Matt Barnes-Homer ensured Lee Harper suffered a defeat in his first game in charge of Kettering.

Kettering were reduced to 10 men when Simon Heslop was shown a second yellow card following a foul on Martin Riley.

Right-back Courtney then put Harriers ahead, firing a low shot past keeper Harper from just inside the box.

Barnes-Homer doubled the lead by ending a counter-attacking move with a smart finish from the edge of the area.

Harper, who was named player-manager until the end of the season, following the departure of Mark Cooper to Peterborough, has targeted a title challenge for his Kettering side this season.

Despite the defeat, the Poppies remain third in the Blue Square Premier but they are now eight points behind leaders Oxford, who Harriers beat 3-1 last week.

Kettering had hit the woodwork twice before they were reduced to 10 men, with Heslop seeing his shot rebound back off the post before half-time and Danny Thomas having similar bad luck after the break from 12 yards.

The sending off of Heslop proved to be the major turning point in the match, as Harriers successfully used their numerical advantage to break the deadlock just three minutes later when Courtney grabbed his first ever goal for Mark Yates's side.

Harriers' top scorer Barnes-Homer secured the victory with his ninth league goal of the season.

Kettering Town player-manager Lee Harper tells BBC Radio Northampton:

"It's been an extremely frustrating day for everybody. We had our chances in the first half, we could have gone in 2-0 up at half time.

"At home, you've got to be in the opponents' faces from the off. We didn't start either half particularly well.

"I'm new into the job, and have had a pretty difficult week. But I thought we were unfortunate today, and we've got to pick ourselves up for Hayes and Yeading on Tuesday."

Harriers defender Duane Courtney told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"To win 2-0 and grab three points was excellent. I think in our heads we know we can do anything this season.

"It's just getting that level of consistency and I think we're finding that now, we're improving in training, we're seeing it in games. Everyone's buzzing around us and the lads are enjoying it.

"I score so many in training it's unbelievable. There was one thing I was going to do in my head and that was to shoot and I got my first goal for the Harriers so I'm delighted."

Kettering: Harper, Dempster, Geohaghon, Roper, Taylor (Fowler 79), Green (Marna 28), Noubissie, Heslop, Thomas, Ashikodi (Spencer 64), Elding.
Subs Not Used: Niall Cooper, Boucaud.

Sent Off: Heslop (67).

Booked: Heslop, Thomas.

Kidderminster: Coleman, Courtney, Riley, Caines, Andrew, McPhee, Bennett (Hayward 90), Smikle, Knights (McDermott 48), Barnes-Homer (Farrell 90), Matthews.
Subs Not Used: Singh, Dolman.

Booked: Courtney.

Goals: Courtney 70, Barnes-Homer 82.

Att: 1,348

Ref: M Brown (Hull).

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