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Extra info
  Keates 29
  Bennett 47
Harriers win their second home game in a row and also gain their first double of the season.
Both Deans, Keates & Bennett, get the goals in a convincing win.
  Hargreaves 56
 harriers-online match report
Tuesday 2nd March 2004 
Harriers give Cobblers the boot

The Harriers found their true form tonight when they ripped the Northampton defence to shreds in a second half display of power and passion.  Two goals from Dean Keates and Dean Bennett were enough to see off the Cobblers but with a bit of luck it could have been a repeat of the score at Doncaster last week, but in our favour.

There was a return to the side for Wayne Hatswell who had been hospitalised after Friday nights game but after a miracle recovery, or was it double bluff on Jans' part, he returned to the side looking non the worse for his bang on the head.

Making his debut for us at the back was Adrian Viveash who has come in on loan from Swindon for a month.  So dominating was his presence that the usually shaky defence looked as solid as a rock for 89 minutes of the full 90.  Only once did they make a wrong move and that was when Northampton scored.

The Reds were the first to show their intentions when an Adam Murray shot from the edge of the box tested the Cobblers keeper, Harper.  The same player repeated the move just minutes later with the same result.  Josh low did likewise for Northampton.

Any Northampton attacks were being ably dealt with by the new midfield pairing of Hatswell and Viveash.

After 25 minutes came yet another booking for Scott Stamps when he needlessly clattered into a Northampton player on the touchline.  This is Scotts eleventh booking of the season now and he only needs four more before receiving a hefty punishment from the FA.

A few minutes later and we had gone one up with the first goal for Dean Keates since he joined us from Hull City.  He was played in by a battling John Williams and, seeing a gap in the Northampton rearguard, sent in a screamer from 25yds out.

Northampton came back at us straight away but with our confidence now brimming we had got the bit between our teeth and we weren't going to let go. A free kick for them saw Hargreaves go close with a header that Brockie saw late but luckily for him was going the wrong side of the post anyway.

It was Willo again who provided the ball for our next attempt on goal when he played in Dean Bennett this time but Bennies shot flashed across the face of the goal and away to safety the wrong side of the upright.

With the seconds ticking down to halftime, and the queues for a hot drink building up, John Williams came as close to scoring as he ever will when he picked up an excellent through pass from Mark Yates.  He took it on and went past the keeper, but, seeing an empty net, failed to give his shot the extra impetus needed and could only watch in agony as the Northampton defender, Sampson, cleared the ball away just inches from the goal line.

HT. 1 - 0

There was a dream start to the second half for us when, within two minutes, we scored our second goal of the night.

Ian Foster ran onto Adam Murray's superb through ball and taking the ball almost to the touchline left two defenders for dead as he sent in a beautiful cross to the edge of the area.  Suddenly, with the ball at head height, Dean Bennett left the ground and executed what can only be described as a 'sideways mid air scissor kick' to send an un-stoppable ball into the back of the Cobblers net.

We thought that we were home and dry but again our poor defending at set pieces let us down.  Northampton were awarded a corner after Hinton put the ball out even though Stuart Brock would have been in no danger if he had been allowed to collect the ball.  Martin Smith took the corner and the ex Hereford man, Hargreaves, was there to head the ball in from close range to give the Cobblers a bit of hope.

Thats all it was, hope, because after that the traffic was all one way and for the remainder of the game we turned on a display that was out of this world.  We could so easily have gone on to score a bag full of goals but sod's law seemed to be on the side of the visitors.

First Viveash came close to scoring on his debut when his header forced Harper into a last minute save.  His new best friend, Hatswell, had a similar chance just seconds later but his header went just wide of the post.  Then came a moment of quality from Dean Bennett.

He had been tormenting the Northampton rearguard all night and again he left his man for dead as he jinked first one way and then the other.  Making space for himself he saw the keeper off his line and lobbed the ball over his head.  With the ball behind him, and out of reach, the keeper could only look on as it took a wicked bounce off the semi-frozen pitch to just skim the face of the crossbar and end up back at the feet of a defender to be cleared to safety.

Our midfield was finding so much space now and the passes were being freely sprayed around for us to inflict more damage.  John Williams and Adam Murray should really have had the game wrapped up after they combined to miss an easy chance when Harper pushed Willo's shot away only to see it fall just right for Murray.  The weak return was easily gathered up by the keeper.

With time running out the Harriers decided to play the risky game of corner flag football but thankfully for us Northampton failed to get the ball off us and the game ended with another three points in the safety bag for us.

Every one of our team played their part tonight and if we were to get relegated after a display as good as this it would be a crime.  Merit marks for this win have to go to Dean Bennett, who gave one of his mercurial displays, and to Adrian Viveash who gave us a much more solid feel at the back.  So much so that we looked indestructible.

The full quota of points against York City on Saturday would make our day.

FT. 2 - 1

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Dean Bennett

He had one of those games that made you wonder why he can't do it every week.  All he needs is that bit of confidence that will come when Jan gets off his back.

vote for your
man of the match now

Harriers  subs   cards      Northampton  subs   cards 
Brock     Harper  
Viveash     Lyttle  
Stamps   Sampson  
Keates     Reid  
Hinton   Willmott  
Hatswell     Ullathorne  
Bennett     Hargreaves  
Murray     Trollope  
J Williams     Richards
Yates     Low
Foster     M Smith  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Danby     Thompson  
Parrish     Chambers  
Christiansen     Youngs  
Sall     Asamoah  
Ward     M Vieira  

Mr E Ilderton
Tyne & Wear

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