harriers-online match preview
28th January 2005 
Cambridge Utd
At the Abbey Stadium
28/1/05    3:00pm
Down in the basement there are two sides scrapping for their lives.  Two sides that normally play decent attacking football and try hard to please their small fan base.

This week they meet up for what could well be the deciding game of this years battle to avoid the Conference.  With just seventeen games left time is quickly running out for both of us and with three points at stake a win for us can move us that bit nearer to Rushden, Shrewsbury, Chester and Notts County.  A win for Cambridge will see them leapfrog us by two points and if the other teams win then the margin will be nine points.

That's three wins needed to make up the difference again.

Can we do it?  Yes we can, but only if the defence remains tight throughout and the strikers shoot on sight and shoot accurately.  Obvious really.

To that end Stuart Watkiss has hinted that he might be starting with Chris Beardsley up front partnering either Sturrock or Birch.  Myself I think he'll be on the bench again and this 'press release' was aimed at giving Birchy a kick up the butt.  He's not set the world alight since he came to Aggborough in a blaze of publicity and is confirming just what Walsall fans told us to expect, a player who drifts in and out of a game and never puts in too much effort.

The criticism of Sturrock was, I think, to make it look as if Stuey wasn't blaming Birch for everything but it was obvious that he was.

Tom Bennett was the first choice for last weeks fiasco defending against Oxford but, after being picked out as the culprit by the Manager following the game he can't very well drop him.  He does have bags of experience after all and he'll have to put that mistake behind him and just get on with the job.

With Lee Jenkins still out serving part two of his ban Bennett will be needed and so will John McGrath.  His debut last week was promising after a bad start, a start that he can't be blamed for.  Once he was switched to his favoured side he was much better and in turn we looked much better.

He was so good that this week Watkiss let Dave Morrison go after it was obvious that he wouldn't get a look in.

Also out for us will be Chris McHale with a back problem that seems to be hanging around a bit and also Christie and Hazell.  Yesterday Watkiss made a veiled criticism of Jan Molby, and the board, for bringing them to the club in the first place.  He said that Hazell will not play for us this season and probably next season either and the contracts that both are on would keep a third world country in rice for thirty years.

Cambridge will be up for this game just as much as we are and will be no push over.  Following the appointment of Steve Thompson as the new man in charge just over a month ago they have started to pick themselves up and although they're still not winning they're looking much harder to beat.  Bit different to us then.

They drew three games in a row before losing at Yeovil last Saturday, but only following a late penalty for the League leaders.

This week they have been trying to bring some new strikers in including a former Harriers target.  Richard Walker, of Bristol Rovers, was in the frame but his wage demands were too high so now United have turned their attentions to the old warhorse, and another old target of ours, Martin Carruthers.  He's expected to sign on loan from Lincoln sometime today.

They've also been having a bit of a clearout and Stuart Wardley has re-joined Rushden with Richard Hodgson and Cedric Anselin leaving to find another club.

Out for this game will be Matt Somner.  He has been on loan to the U's for a couple of months from Brentford but he broke his nose in the 0-0 draw at Mansfield two weeks ago and will not be fit for tomorrow.  Also doubtful is defender Adam Tann, he has a hip injury and has seen a specialist this week to see if he can resume training.

As I said at the start, we've got two sides scrapping for their lives in this game and it's another one we've got to win, or else.

0 - 0 then.


Harriers from:
Danby, Lewis, Burton, Burns, Mullins, Jones, Sall, Weaver, Bennett, Hatswell, Beardsley, McGrath, Keates, Jamie Gleeson, Sturrock, Birch, Foster, Russell.

Cambridge from:
Ruddy, El Kholti, Duncan, Goodhind, Tudor, Easter, Chillingworth, Webb, Walker, Latte-Yedo, Guttridge, Turner, Quinton, Nacca, Smith, Daniels, Dan Gleeson, Lockett, Bimson, Rea, Fuller, Nicholls, Carruthers, Konte, Davies, Newey, Reed, Robbins, Johnson.
Previous games against Cambridge
Harriers score first
2004 - 05
1 - 1
2003 - 04
2 - 2
0 - 0
2002 - 03
2 - 1
2 - 0
2001 - 02
2000 - 01

links to some
cambridge websites:

official site
amber army
click below
to select your
If you came here from an external link then please click below to go to:

Site © 1999- Harriers-Online.co.uk - all rights reserved  
This site is 100% unofficial and in no way represents the views of Kidderminster Harriers FC