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The Conference Years: Kidderminster Harriers

30 May 2014

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Remembering where we once were.

While Doncaster Rovers could, arguably, have been fortunate in being relegated to the Conference at a time when the collapse of ITV Digital took place, Kidderminster Harriers were one of the sides it hit hardest.

Harriers won promotion in 2000 under the stewardship of Jan Molby, who guided them to the title ahead of Rushden & Diamonds to become the first, and only, Worcestershire based side to compete in the Football League.

Kidderminster Harriers were the first team that Rovers ever beat in the Conference, in the third game of the 98/99 season at Belle Vue – Shaun Goodwin’s 49th minute penalty enough to secure the three points for Ian Snodin’s men.

Rovers got their first taste of the quaint Aggborough Stadium in a thrilling 3-3 draw in April the following year. The hosts took the lead three times through Mark Druce and a Stuart Hadley double before Rovers responded on each occasion through Colin Sutherland, Jamie Barnwell and Scott Maxfield.

Promotion chasing Kiddie showed their class the following season when they did the double over Snodin’s men, winning 1-0 at Aggborough before scoring twice in the final four minutes of the game at Belle Vue to overturn Dave Penney’s goal on the stroke of half time.

Attendances were regularly around the 3,000 mark for Harriers when they reached the promised land of the League; however they slipped out of the league the season after meeting Rovers in the fourth tier.

In comparison with other clubs who have endured relegation from the league, Kidderminster are – from the outset – a stable club on the field, where they have remained in the Conference National and mounted the odd promotion charge from time to time.

The closest they came was in the 2012/13 season when they finished on a huge total of 93 points, but that was two shy of Mansfield Town. The play-offs served up only more heartache for Steve Burr’s team, who were knocked out at the semi final stage by Wrexham, who had finished some 13 points behind them.

*Rovers’ Ian Duerden competes for a high ball but the visitors came up short against the Conference winners in front of 2382 in September ’99 at Aggborough*

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