harriers-online match report
Vs rushden & diamonds 
It's only a Mickey Mouse cup anyway

The Harriers went whimpering out of the FA Cup tonight in a game that saw the reversal of their modus operandi of recent weeks.

Much to Ian Brittons despair we got rid of the idea that we had to have a poor first 45 minutes before we started to play at anything like our capabilities.  It was in the 2nd 45 minutes that we played that way.

For some unknown reason we were slick in the first half with some superb passing that was cutting through the Rushden defence with ease but played like strangers in the second.  If we had put away our first half chances we could have gone into the break with a comfortable lead.

The team that was chosen to start saw the inclusion of Dean Bennett and Adie Smith with Ian Foster dropping to the bench and Sean Flynn missing the game due to suspension.  It was the loss of Flynn that hurt most because if the game on Saturday had not been postponed due to the weather then he would have played tonight.

With the Harriers playing towards their own fans it was us who had the first real chance of the game and it was the one that proved a point of much debate in recent weeks.  Drewe Broughton is NOT a striker!

A threatening cross came to the edge of the area and for some insane reason the Rushden keeper Turley went outside of his box to collect it.  Bo Henriksen and Drewe were both there and it was Bo who robbed the incompetent Turley of the ball.
With a quick turn and flick he laid the ball off for Broughton who, with Turley on the floor and no Rushden defender in sight, saw the open goal in front of him and promptly ballooned it over the bar and into the crowd.

Drewe Broughton is NOT a striker!  A forward, yes.  He'd make a good midfield man, the way he holds up the ball and lays it off is superb, but he just hasn't got a strikers instinct.  A striker would have buried that.

When I get a spare hour I'll try and work out how many open goals he's missed in relation to how many he's scored.

A few minutes later we could easily have gone one down when a bad error by Kenny Coleman let in Rob Duffy, scorer of both Rushdens goals in the original cup match between the sides.  Luckily he managed to poke the ball across the area with only Brock to beat.

Dean Bennett was the next to come close for the Reds when he got on the end of a well won pass from Adie Smith but Deans shot was heading for Turley all the way and he had no real problem collecting it.

Sam Shilton Drewe tried to improve on his earlier error when he volleyed the ball from 20yds out but again Turley was never in any danger.

With Sam Shilton and Dean Bennett finding acres of space down the wings it seemed only a matter of time before we would open the scoring.  Rushden were being run ragged so it was a surprise, and a disappointment when they took the lead.  Again it was the impressive Duffy who scored.

With a feeling of deja vu a left wing cross from Paul Underwood went across the face of the goal and found Duffy lurking unmarked.  With a strikers instinct Duffy ran forward to plant the ball firmly into the net.

We stepped up the pressure then and it was hard to believe that it was Rushden that had just scored.  We were all over them.

Within two minutes Turley had to scramble to his post to push away a hooked 20yd effort from Sean Parrish and then an acrobatic overhead kick by Bo Henriksen forced Turley into another save just before half time.

For all the Harriers pressure we should have gone into the break with a comfortable lead but now we had gotten the first half hoodoo out of our system we looked all set for a second half comeback.

HT. 1 - 0


We hadn't got rid of the hoodoo, we had just swapped it round a bit.

To say we started the second half poorly was an understatement.  Our ability to pass had disappeared and Rushden, with the half-time introduction of Onandi 'Nancy' Lowe, looked more threatening with a big man up front.

It was Lowe who came up with a glaring miss of his own.  Paul Hall, who found space inside the penalty box, went around Stuart Brock but his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Lee Ayres.  It then fell at the feet of Lowe who, with a goal beckoning, smashed the ball against the crossbar.  There you go Drewe, you're not alone.

Lee Ayres was having treatment from Jimmy Conway when Rushden almost scored again.  Rushden were making the most of the space now available and it was Stuart Wardley who forced Brockie into a save at the foot of the post.

The inevitable came on 67 minutes when former Harrier's favourite, Marcus Bignot, pushed through a defence splitting pass to Wardley who was looking suspiciously offside.  With the Harriers players looking for a flag an unmarked Wardley made no mistake from just a few yards out.  Questions should be asked as to why the defence had gone AWOL yet again.

Ian Britton decided it was time to ring the changes and bought on Ian Foster for Dean Bennett in an effort to liven up our attack.  With time running out for us it was Drewe Broughton who salvaged a bit of pride for us, and himself, when he pulled a goal back.

Coleman sent over a long cross from the right and Broughton leapt high above the Diamonds defence to guide a header into Turley's bottom left hand corner.

For the next 15 minutes it was all Harriers again with the best chance going to Bo Henriksen when he forced the Rushden keeper into a save after good work by Sam Shilton.

Shilton was lucky to still be in the game after being chopped down by Lowe earlier.  Lowe was lucky to still be on the field!

Craig Hinton. Birthday Boy. Craig Hinton was next into the book after a tackle on Duffy, but this was a bit unfair seeing that Duffy had already stumbled before Hinton tried to rob him of the ball.  He would have gone down anyway.  Cries of 'Cheat' came from the Harriers faithful.

Rushden came close to getting a third goal on 83 minutes when Paul Hall's cross from the right found Lowe but his header went way over from just yards out.  Maybe I was wrong about Drewe!

With the time ticking away now would have been a good time to bring on Abdou Sall if he'd been on the bench.  Someone to give Rushden the kind of problems they could do without.

Daire Doyle came on for Danny Williams? and minutes later Ian Joy for Sam Shilton?

I know we'd got injury problems but we could try and be a bit more pro-active here!

With four minutes of added time to play a bit more timewasting was played by Rushden.  Two minutes of that was wasted on throw-ins.

Eventually the referee booked Duffy for encroaching at a free-kick and then booked Bo for unsporting conduct at the other end.  Bo will miss a game soon now he's racked up 5 yellows.

It's now Rushden who go through to the next round with a mouthwatering tie at Exeter City.  As for us? well we're still in the LDV and we can now concentrate on the league.
Who needs the FA Cup.  It's only a Mickey Mouse cup anyway.  Grrrr.

FT. 2 - 1

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Sam Shilton

Again another defence shredding performance from the born again Sam.

Best for them:  Robert Duffy.  The only Rushden player with any real future.

vote for your
man of the match now

Rushden  subs   cards  xxxxxxxxxx Harriers  subs   cards 
Turley     Brock  
Bignot     Coleman  
Peters     Ayres  
Hunter     Williams  
Underwood     Hinton
Hall     Smith  
Gray     Bennett  
Wardley     Parrish  
Mills     Broughton  
Darby     Henriksen
Duffy   Shilton  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Sollitt     Danby  
Bell     Joy  
Talbot     Foster  
Dempster     Doyle  
Lowe   Khela  

Mr C Penton

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