FC Halifax Town travel to Aggborough this Saturday, April 1 to face Kidderminster Harriers in the battle of second against third (3pm). The Vanarama National League North promotion race seems about to really hot up with AFC Fylde letting the chasing pack close the gap, and sides fighting it out for play-off positioning. Kidderminster, in second, are only six points off the Coasters, who currently top the tree, but also have a game in hand meaning all is well and truly still to play for.
Town sit third, a further five points off Kidderminster having played the same amount of games, and so Billy Heath’s men are more likely to be concentrating on securing a spot for the play-offs come the end of the season. Kidderminster are unbeaten in four, picking up 10 points in a spell which has included wins over Alfreton Town, Tamworth and Harrogate Town, and a 2-2 draw on the coast against AFC Fylde themselves. Their last defeat was on March 4, 1-0 at FC United of Manchester, whom Halifax defeated 3-0 at their Broadhurst Park home on Saturday.
Here we take a look at one of the Harriers’ key players, and a man who will be tasked with stopping the Shaymen attack on Saturday. Keith Lowe has been an ever-present in the league for Kidderminster this season, appearing in every one of their 35 league matches to date.
Keith Stephen Lowe was born in Wolverhampton on September 13, 1985. A defender, Lowe started his career as a youth at hometown club Wolverhampton Wanderers. He made his first-team debut in August 2004 in a 4-2 League Cup victory over Rochdale, and signed his first professional contract three months later. However, he could not properly break in to the first team picture at Molineux and was farmed out on a number of loan deals. These included temporary stays at Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cheltenham Town, and Port Vale, all between 2005-2008. He played the full ninety minutes of the 2006 Football League Trophy Final, in the successful Swansea side who beat Carlisle United 2-1. The 2007-08 season, which he spent the entirety of with Port Vale, was less successful as he made 31 appearances for a side who would ultimately be relegated from League One.
After only 14 first team appearances for Wolves, he was released in May 2008, and signed on for the first of his two spells with Kidderminster. He made over forty appearances for the club, but spent just the one season there before joining Hereford United. Again this was for just a solitary season. Lowe had an impeccable disciplinary record for any player, let alone a defender, as he only picked up a single yellow card in his first 167 professional appearances, when playing for Swansea in 2006.
In 2010, Lowe signed for a club he had previously been on loan at in Cheltenham, and would make over 100 appearances for ‘The Robins’ between 2010-2014. He was named ‘Player of the Season’ in his first season. In his final season he spent November to January on loan at York City, before making the transfer permanent in January 2014, and subsequently winning York’s local newspaper ‘The Press’s’ ‘Player of the Year’ for that season.
The following season he was a virtual ever-present in York’s side, missing just one League Cup match, and was voted the Supporters’ ‘Clubman of the Year’. However, Lowe was to leave ‘The Minstermen’ at the end of 2015, by mutual consent, and joined Kidderminster once again in January 2016. He scored two goals in 20 appearances, but couldn’t prevent Kidderminster’s relegation, in which they were joined by the Shaymen on the last day of the season.
He has made at least thirty appearances in every division from the Championship right down to the Vanarama National League North. This season, Lowe has scored four goals in his 35 league matches for the Harriers. He played the full ninety minutes in Kidderminster’s 2-0 defeat to Halifax at the MBi Shay Stadium in early November.
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