Report: Kidderminster 1-2 Cheltenham
Aaron Downes' second half header gave Cheltenham all three points in the Boxing Day clash at Kidderminster Harriers. Kyle Howkins had earlier cancelled out Danny Wright's first half goal but Downes was the match winner and helped the Robins move seven points clear at the top of the league after other results went their way.
After a scrappy start to the game Andrija Novakovich, making his first league start for the Robins in place of Billy Waters, almost put the visitors ahead with a piece of real quality. Cutting in from the left, his placed shot beat the Kiddy goalkeeper but then hit the outside of the far post.
Cheltenham looked in control in the opening 15 minutes, with Danny Wright having a couple of good headed chances to no avail.
Luke Maxwell was booked for a late challenge on Harry Pell and was almost made to pay from the resulting free-kick. Jack Munns' ball in was met well by yet another Wright header, this time he produced a fine diving save from Dean Snedker.
Wright finally managed to get on the score sheet in the 26th minute when a deep cross from the right found the Robins' striker unmarked inside the six-yard box and the former Kidderminster player headed home to the delight of the large away following.
However the lead didn't last long with the hosts hitting back two minutes later through Kyle Howkins who scrambled home from a corner. Dillon Phillips had done brilliantly to save a first effort but could do nothing to prevent the rebound going in.
Both teams struggled to take control of the match after that, with possession hard to hold onto.
Munns very nearly put Cheltenham back ahead on the stroke of half-time. Picking up the ball 25 yards out, his driven effort cannoned off the post and away to safety as the half ended 1-1.
Gary Johnson brought Waters off the bench at half-time for Novakovich in search of a goal to calm the nerves of the travelling fans.
Around the hour mark, Cheltenham took control and were only kept at bay by an incredible series of saves from Dean Snedker. He denied headers from Harry Pell & Wright before pushing a Ryan Jennings' long ranged strike round the post. From that corner Kyle Storer's effort was cleared off the line.
The Robins did finally re-take the lead when skipper Aaron Downes rose unchallenged to power home a header from a Munns' corner in the 67th minute. The 973 away supporters went absolutely crazy behind the goal where Downes had scored.
Kidderminster made changes to try and get back into the game but never really troubled Dillon Phillips, if anything it was Cheltenham who looked the more likely to score, Waters going close on a couple of occasions. Man of the Match Dean Snedker kept the score at 2-1 as Cheltenham move seven points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League.
Kidderminster Harriers: D Snedker; M Young, K Howkins, K Langmead, L Rowe-Turner (E Ngwatala, 76), Z Francis-Angol; B Whitfield, J Hodgkiss, J Maxwelll; M Barnes-Homer (G Singh, 72), O Patrick.
Subs not used: J Jones, J Brown, J McQuilkin
Cheltenham Town: (4-4-2) D Phillips; J Barthram, A Downes, D Parslow, G McLennan; R Jennings (J Dayton 80), H Pell, K Storer, J Munns (A Hall, 86); A Novakovich (B Waters, 46), D Wright.
Subs not used: C Kitscha, J Rowe.
Referee: J Brooks
Attendance: 3,238 (973 away)