Another late, late goal for the Fleet – courtesy of Johnny Herd – plus another fine strike from Liam Enver-Marum gave the Fleet a deserved share of the points at Aggborough this afternoon.
Liam Daish made only one change to the side he is desperate to strengthen next week when the loan window re-opens, with Alex Stavrinou replacing Lanre Azeez. Once again, Craig Stone was called into deputise in the centre of defence, with Paul McCarthy named as a substitute.
Harriers, keen to respond to their manager’s call that the Fleet should feel the full backlash of his side’s defeat at Wrexham last week, were quick to get forward in the early stages. Stavrinou, booked in the first few minutes at Stockport, repeated the feat on 3 minutes here and from the resulting free kick, Preston Edwards made a good stop from Kyle Storer.
Edwards was called into action minutes later with a superb double-stop when the dangerous Nick Wright – who caused problems all afternoon – found himself clear of the Fleet defence. Scott Phelan then smashed a shot just wide before Kidderminster were rewarded for their ascendancy on 11 minutes. Lee Vaughan was allowed space to send in a cross that hung in the air for Luke Jones and he made no mistake with a bullet header past Edwards.
Calum Willock responded with a wayward shot for the Fleet but the visitors were finding it difficult to create anything clear cut, though Willock had a better chance on 26 minutes when he outmuscled his marker to bear down on goal but keeper Daniel Lewis cleared.
But on 38 minutes, Enver-Marum upset the Harriers calm with a great strike. Played through by Tom Phipp from the halfway line, the Fleet striker powered down on goal and unleashed a wickedly swerving shot that beat Lewis all ends up.
His tail up, Enver-Marum had two more shots at goal before half-time, though Wright placed a header over the bar as Harriers continued to enjoy space down the flanks. But the Fleet came out strong in the second half, though Steve Guinan missed a good chance with a header on 48 minutes. Ricky Shakes could then have put the Fleet in front when he intercepted a lazy pass from defence and weaved into the box only to see Lewis get a hand on his shot.
Phelan and Wright were among a host of home players who placed more chances over the bar for Harriers as the Fleet stood firm. Willock headed over for the visitors and then Enver-Marum had another shot on 69 minutes that kept Lewis busy as the Fleet more than matched their opponents. But what looked like it might be the killer blow came on 74 minutes, as Fleet failed to clear their lines and Wright turned into space inside the box to shoot into the corner out of Edwards’ reach.
Shakes had a shot blocked on 77 minutes before Daish shuffled his pack, bringing three substitutes on in quick succession. And one of them, Azeez, set up the equaliser that Fleet waited until the 90th minute to convert. Phipp’s shot was diverted wide for a corner, Azeez’s ball in was hoisted clear of the box but there was Johnny Herd in the perfect position to crash home a shot from distance to win a valuable point.
Against a Harriers team in third place, and with a weakened side once again, this point was no mean feat for the Fleet and one that Liam Daish will look to build on against Fleetwood on Saturday.
TEAM: Edwards, Howe, Herd, Stone, Simpemba, Stavrinou (Fakinos 78), Marwa, Phipp, Shakes (Azeez 82), Enver-Marum, Willock (Ginty 81). Subs not used: Welch, McCarthy.
Liam Enver-Marum won man of the match v Barrow. Vote using drop-down panel above for today’s match.