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Fleet crash to defeat as Harriers soar - Kidderminster overturn interval deficit to stun Ebbsfleet

PUBLISHED: 18:02 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 23 August 2010

EBBSFLEET suffered their third consecutive Blue Square Premier defeat on Saturday as they shipped three second-half goals at promotion hopefuls Kidderminster. At half-time, a Fleet win looked on the cards after Ricky Shakes 15th-minute strike had given

EBBSFLEET suffered their third consecutive Blue Square Premier defeat on Saturday as they shipped three second-half goals at promotion hopefuls Kidderminster.

At half-time, a Fleet win looked on the cards after Ricky Shakes' 15th-minute strike had given them the lead, but the Harriers easily cast them aside in the second period to snatch victory.

After a slow start from both sides, Shakes put the visitors in front when he took advantage of some slack defending. Jamie Hand was allowed too much space and, when he slipped the ball to Shakes, the winger slotted a low shot beyond a helpless Adam Bartlett.

The goal was no more than Ebbsfleet deserved and they looked spirited and determined in the opening exchanges as they sought to overcome their recent poor run of form.

Luke Moore then should have doubled his side's advantage, but Bartlett expertly turned his powerful shot round the post. A second at that stage would have surely inspired his side and the outcome would more than likely have been very different.

As the half progressed, the hosts came more into the game and were unlucky not to pull level as a number of teasing crosses by Martin Brittain - who was a thorn in the Fleet's side all afternoon - just missed their targets.

Harriers came out revitalised after the restart and Liam Daish's men had Lance Cronin to thank for maintaining the lead when he thwarted Neil MacKenzie's goalbound shot from the edge of the area with a fine block.

The momentum turned after 62 minutes though when Stefan Moore came off the bench for his Kidderminster debut. The defence could just not contain the talented striker and his presence alone sparked a rapid downfall.

Within two minutes, the former Aston Villa man set up MacKenzie for the equaliser and, this time, Cronin was not equal to his shot across the goal.

Five minutes later, Kidderminster took the lead when MacKenzie's powerful run down the left wing was followed by a cross which Brian Smikle dispatched with a sweeping shot past Cronin.

Ebbsfleet heads dropped and the potency of their play evaporated as Kidderminster put a stranglehold on the match. The coup de grace was applied by Matthew Barnes Homer three minutes later when he beat flimsy Fleet resistance to fire home from inside the box.

The Stonebridge Road outfit could have gone still further behind as both Brittain and Moore drew saves from England C international Cronin.

At no stage where the Fleet outclassed, and it will be a worry for Daish that his charges seemed to be losing physical battles all over the pitch.

Ebbsfleet United: Cronin, Ricketts, McCarthy, Pooley, Hawkins, Hand (Purcell 75), Barrett, Shakes, Stone, Gash (Ibe 82), Moore. Subs not used: Mott, Smith, Slatter. Att: 1,512.

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