harriers-online match report
Vs oxford utd 
Second gear Harriers

The Harriers were made to look a poor second rate team tonight by an Oxford side that never really needed to get out of second gear.  As in previous games recently you were left wondering where our passing and competitive edge had gone to.

With the same starting line-up as against Bury on Saturday the only change that Ian Britton made was to drop someone called John Hodge from the bench to make way for Drewe Broughton.  Broughton was returning after the end of his four match ban.

Andy Bishop Right from the off Oxford were at us when Roy Hunter sent a long range shot just wide in the very first minute.  They spent the next twenty minutes carving paths through our defence until our first real effort on goal came from Andy Bishop whose trickery was rewarded with a shot that only just went wide of the post.

There was a bit of a scare for the Harriers when Bo Henriksen spent some time receiving treatment after being cynically head butted on the back of the neck by an Oxford defender.  He recovered but looked groggy for some time after.

Seconds later Oxford capitalised on a glaring mistake from Adie Smith to open the scoring.

With the ball having been cleared back to him he had the easy option of playing it on to Stuart Brock or square to Kenny Coleman.  Without being aware of anyone behind him he found himself suddenly under pressure from an Oxford player and then mis-hit his pass into the path of Steve Basham.
It didn't take much to easily side step the back pedalling Coleman and slide his shot past Brockie into the bottom right-hand corner.

The goal spurred the Reds into action, forcing a run of corners but without any use being made of them

Bo Henriksen had a chance to get us back on level terms but, after good work by Bishop, he completely missed a great ball from only a few yards in front of the goal.

Less than ten minutes later and Oxford had gone further in front.

We conceded a throw in and as the long throw from Hunter came in everyone seemed to bunch together around Stuart Brock.  Unable to gather the ball cleanly it dropped to the floor and in the ensuing melee Craig Hinton's sliced clearance rolled over the line for the second goal of the night.

Our best chance of the half came three minutes from half-time when Andy Bishop tricked his way past three players but his final shot was weak and was no problem for the visiting keeper.

The players trooped off the pitch for the break.  Oxford for a pat on the back from their manager and the Harriers for a well deserved rollicking from theirs.

HT. 0 - 2

The start of the second period saw a change made to the Harriers line-up with the, presumably, injured Adie Smith making way for Lee Ayres.

Right from the re-start we got our act together and the passion and passing ability that was missing in the first half had come back in abundance.  Oxford hadn't expected it and spent the next twenty minutes trying to cope with the Harriers resurgence.

The first chance of the half fell to Henriksen but again he missed from only a few yards out when it would have been easier to score.

Sam Shilton, who had been under used in the first half, now started to impose himself on the game and most of the good stuff from the Harriers was coming from him.  His accurate crosses to Bo and Bish were becoming a problem for United and it wasn't long before our goal came.

Sean Parrish Andy Bishop collected a long cross from Shilts and after jigging his way past the defence laid the ball into the path of Sean Parrish who then grabbed his second goal in two games with a shot that went under the advancing keeper.

We continued to pressure Oxford after that but you had this sneaking feeling that all Oxford need do was step up a gear and the game would be all over.  The first evidence of that came soon after.

A through ball from midfield went between Hinton and Coleman to two offside Oxford strikers, the referee and his assistant hadn't seen it, and Oxford's Andy Scott was free to force Brock into tipping the shot over for a corner.

A minute later and it was all over and again it was down to a defensive mix up.

The ball was played into the penalty area between Stuart Brock and Kenny Coleman.  Instead of leaving the ball for the on loan Wolves player, Brock inexplicably came out for it and mis-hit it to the waiting Andy Scott who scored superbly with a shot that went in from the narrowest of angles.

In an effort to rescue the game Britton sent on Broughton and Foster in place of Henriksen and Bennett.  Deano sat on the bench and Bo stormed off down the tunnel looking a bit upset.

The substitution didn't work, we had lost all our rhythm and it was back to the first half lethargy.

Again, as at Wrexham, Drewe didn't seem up for it and Foster was never in it.  Sorry Ian, I know you've been a good servant to the Harriers in the past, but the doors just down there to your left.

The crowd sensed that it was all over too and the majority had left by the time the Oxford fans had finished singing 'We can see you sneaking out'.

This was a game that we thought we should have done well in, but be to be honest we were never really in it.

Oxford never did get out of second gear.

FT. 1 - 3

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Andy Bishop

Must have impressed the watching Wolves manager, Dave Jones who had come to watch his Kenny.

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man of the match now

Harriers  subs   cards      Oxford Utd  subs   cards 
Brock     Woodman  
Coleman     McNiven  
Smith     Crosby  
Williams   Hunt
Hinton     Robinson  
Parrish     Edwards  
Bennett     Bound  
Flynn     Savage  
Bishop     Hunter  
Henriksen     Scott  
Shilton     Basham  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Danby     Louis  
Foster     Oldfield  
Ducros     Whitehead  
Ayres     Steele  
Broughton   Waterman  

Mr S Tomlin

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