harriers-online match report
Vs Hartlepool Utd 
Reds turn it on for 2nd half.

The Harriers came back at half time with an ear bashing from Jan to produce one of the greatest turnarounds seen in a long time when, after finding themselves 1-0 down after five minutes and lucky not to be five down, they stormed back with a second half display of awesome quality.

A great goal from Dean Bennett minutes from the end put paid to a valiant effort from a Hartlepool side that had come for the win and tried to acheive that right up till the final whistle.

It all started so badly though with the Reds unable to play their usual fluent game simply because they seemed unable to string a bloody pass together.
Scott Stamps was having an absolute howler, Danny Williams looked far from match fit and Ian Clarkson was backing off so far he could have been stood in Wolverhampton City centre.

It was this inability to close men down that lead to Pools first goal after only five minutes.

Ex Sheffield Wednesday striker, Richie Humphreys, played a neat one-two with Mark Tinkler and, with the Harriers defence rooted to the spot, smashed the ball past Stuart Brock in the Harriers goal.

They came close to adding to the score again a few seconds later when Henderson fired just over from outside the area and then Coppinger narrowly failed to connect with a cross from Paul Smith with the defence no where.

Hartlepool were playing some very attractive football and although we were trying to do likewise it just wasn't working out that way.

Every time we had the possession we gave it away again. Every ball seemed to end up with a Hartlepool player.

It got worse after thirty minutes when Stampsie went down injured, he continued the rest of half in some pain and was kept in the dressing room after the break.

Hartlepool continued to press forward in search of another goal through Humphreys and Tinkler but we held out and eventually went off to booing from the North Bank.

HT. 0-1

Broughton came on for Stamps at the start of the second half and Henriksen dropped back into his new position in midfield while Adie occupied the vacancy at left back.

Straight away the difference was obvious. We looked slicker and sharper. We were back to what we should be.

Smithy was the first to test the keeper with a shot that took a deflection. Lucky for Hartlepool the keeper changed direction and made a brilliant one handed save.

Seconds after he again had to make a save, this time from a cross shot from Ian Foster but he had no chance on 58 minutes when Abdou Sall soared high above the floodlights to power in a header from Fozzies corner.

Immediately Pools made a double substitution when they bought on Clarke and leading scorer Gordon Watson.

They never got a chance to make an impression though because we had taken the lead through Colin Larkin five minutes after.

Dean Bennett came storming down the left leaving defenders in his wake and then crossed for Larkin who for once made no mistake and slipped the ball underneath the advancing Williams in goal.

It could have been three just after when Drewe Broughton, giving another good performance, collected the ball at chest height and tried a volley from 30yds out but the ball went just wide.

The Reds continued to pressure the other team and it was amazing that we hadn't added another goal when, against the run of play, they went and scored.

Again our defensive frailties let us down. A poor back pass from Craig Hinton let in Watson who played a peach of a ball for Tinkler who went round Brockie to tap the ball into the empty net.

It was back to square one and with both teams now looking so evenly matched and time running out the fans were resigned to a draw being the only result.

It took a bit of Sall and Deano magic to change our minds.

Sall chipped the ball over the defence and Dean was there storming in to fire a shot across Williams into the bottom right corner and hand Harriers all three points.

To their credit Hartlepool didn't give up and continued to press for another equaliser right up until the last blast on the referees whistle.

FT. 3-2

Harriers-Online Man of the Match is :

Abdou Sall

He had a poor first half, but then again so did ten others.

In the second half it was all different. Nothing got past Sall and when he disposesses a player he makes it all look so easy.

A cracking goal and a great assist makes him my Man of the Match.

vote for your
man of the match now


Brock, Clarkson, Sall, Hinton, Stamps, Williams, Smith, Bennett, Henriksen, Foster, Larkin.

Subs;   Danby, Shilton, Ayres, Bird, Broughton

Hartlepool Utd.
Williams, Westwood, Lee, Barron, Smith, Stephenson, Tinkler, Robinson, Humphreys, Henderson, Coppinger.

Subs;   Hollund, Arnison, Easter, Watson, Clarke.

Yellow. Harriers 1. Sall
Yellow. Hartlepool Utd 0.

Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Hartlepool Utd 0.

Mr.P Richards. (Preston)

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