harriers-online preview
4th january 2002 


  • Torquay Utd (away ko 3:00pm)

    The Harriers kick off the New Year in almost the same way as last season with a visit to Torquay Utd, although that game was on New Years Day.

    Lets hope that it doesn't end the same way as that game though.

    We were 1-0 up through a John Durnin goal and were cruelly robbed of all three points when up popped 17yr old Simon Lyons, on his debut, in the 90th minute to give the Gulls a share of the spoils.

    Luckily Lyons doesn't seem to figure in the first team anymore.

    We meet Torquay at a good time for us
    a) because we are playing well and raking in the points and
    b) because Torquay are crap.

    They have only gained three points from a possible 27 since the start of November, although they are showing a slight improvement of late.

    The Gulls had drawn three games in a row over Christmas including a creditable draw at Plymouth in front of the divisions largest crowd so far, 13677.

    Their good run came to an end on New Years Day when they went down 1-0 at home to an equally poor Cheltenham.

    This was the only game played in Division Three that day and by all accounts it should never have been played due to the frozen pitch.

    They have a couple of injury worries.

    Steve Woods has a hamstring problem and Alex Russell suffered a dead-leg on Tuesday so he may find himself rested.

    This morning the Torquay manager, Roy McFarland, wielded the iron rod when he sacked a number of players and fined others who had been caught drinking on New Years Eve in a breach of club rules.

    The club only named two of the players, both first teamers, as Martin McNeil and Christian Hanson.

    McNeil admitted that he was drinking on New Years Eve and that he returned to his hotel at 2.30am with Hanson.

    Hanson played in the defeat against Cheltenham but not McNeil.

    Three other un-named players were fined for their mis-demeanours.

    Torquay (from):
    Dearden, Tully, Woods, Hankin, Fowler, A Russell, Preece, Logan, Graham, Goodridge, Northmore, Hill, E Williams, Rees, Lyons, Holmes, L Russell, Bedeau, Douglin, Canoville.

    It's a different matter for us though, we'll be missing one of our most influential players with the absence of Abdou Sall with a groin strain.
    He's expected to be missing for at least three weeks.

    Lee Ayres, who would have been the obvious replacement for him, is almost ready to make his comeback after injury but lacks match practice so it's going to be a choice between Danny Williams and Mark Shail.

    After Danny's sterling performance against Hull when he replaced Sall in the quick re-shuffle it looks odds on that Jan will continue with him there and Lee will be on the bench.

    Harriers (from):
    Brock, Danby, Joy, Stamps, Clarkson, Shail, Ayres, Hinton, Blake, Williams, Davies, Bennett, Shilton, Appleby, Doyle, Larkin, Ducros, Broughton, Henriksen, Foster, Bird.



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