Town sitting pretty despite ugly scenes

The teams clash, as Jamie McGuire is grabbed from behind leading to two sendings off.
The teams clash, as Jamie McGuire is grabbed from behind leading to two sendings off.

Fleetwood Town 5 Kidderminster Harriers 2. Free-scoring Fleetwood made it 14 goals in four games to pull level with leaders Luton in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Magno Vieira scored twice for the second match running on a drama-packed night at Highbury, where both sides were reduced to ten men following a touchline fracas.

Magno Vieira for Fleetwood.

Magno Vieira for Fleetwood.

Micky Mellon recalled club captain Steve McNulty in place of Paul Linwood, who has aggravated an old knee injury, at centure-half but midfielder Jamie McGuire retained the skipper’s armband.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr made two changes from Saturday’s home win over Alfreton Town, David Hankin and James Vincent stepping up from the bench.

Town’s Gareth Seddon received one of the earliest bookings on record, his name going into Mr Harrington’s book after ten seconds when he felled Vaughan with the first challenge of the game.

The home side created the chance in the sixth minute, when Vardy nodded the ball down to Seddon but the striker’s shot was blocked.

After a tense opening, in which the teams struggled to carve out goalscoring opportunities, the game burst into life on the half-hour.

Jamie Vardy’s clumsy challenge sparked a melee on the halfway line during which Harriers’ Steve Guinan appeared to land a punch on Town’s Jamie McGuire.

Both Vardy and Guinan received straight red cards – a blow for Town as the in-form winger had netted five in the previous three games.

However, the reduction in numbers suddenly opening up space for both sides to attack.

Kidderminster looked the side more likely to take advantage, carving out two glorious chances to take the lead.

Seven minutes before the break, Junior Brown sold keeper Scott Davies short with a sloppy back- pass. Marc Williams intercepted but could only direct his shot straight at Davies.

A minute later, Brown turned saviour for Town, blocking Dave Hankin’s shot on the line.

The visitors were made to pay four minutes into added time – Shaun Beeley’s cross finding Jamie McGuire who cut the ball back for Gareth Seddon to drill the ball low into the left corner.

Fleetwood found a different gear in the second half and doubled their lead almost immediately as Vieira celebrates his 50th appearance for the club in style.

Jamie Milligan’s long pass split the Kidderminster defence, finding Viera who coolly converted his one-on-one with Daniel Lewis in the Harriers goal.

Ten minutes later, Town made it three. Viera picked up the loose ball after substitute Jack Byrne had slipped on the edge of the box. Seddon managed to keep the ball in play, cutting it back neatly for Andrew Mangan to slot home.

Vieira followed Saturday’s brace at his former club Ebbsfleet by grabbing a second on 66 minutes, after keeper Lewis failed to hold a tame shot. Substitute Richard Brodie pounced to set up the Brazilian from three yards for his fourth goal in two games.

A minute later Kidderminster reduced the deficit.

Matt Jamille found himself perfectly placed to intercept another poor pass from Brown and Lee Vaughan was judged to have been felled in the box, converting the resulting penalty himself.

Brodie scored his first for the club from a free-kick to restore Town’s four-goal advantage before Jamille grabbed a late consolation for the visitors.

Town could have had more: substitute Keith Briggs had a golden opportunity to score against his former team-mates but shot wide, then Mangan set up Brodie for a second with three minutes left but the striker ballooned his shot high.

The two managers had to be separated on the final whistle, with altercations continuing in the tunnel.

But Town boss Micky Mellon refused to let the ugly scenes mar an excellent night for his side, who are one of four teams tied on 20 points at non-league football’s summit.

Fleetwood: Davies, Beesley, McNulty, Brown (Goodall 71), Atkinson, Milligan (Briggs 60), McGuire, Vieira, Mangan, Seddon (Brodie 57), Vardy red card; not used St Louis-Hamilton, Clancy

Kidderminster: Lewis, Vaughan, Williams, Jones, Marshall, Phelan, Hankin (Wright 53), Vincent (Byrne 46), Storer, Guinan, Williams (Matt 53); not used: Lyness, Sharpe, Matt

Ref: Harrington; Att: 1,316