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  Sturrock 29
A cracking first half saw us on top but the second half.  Oh dear!
The annoying thing is that Rovers didn't even up their game.
Bristol Rovers
  Agogo 53
  harriers-online match report
Tuesday 22nd February 2005  
Seven points. Is it now impossible!

At half time in this ultra important game we were leading by the single goal following an excellent attacking display by the lads.  A very poor Rovers were there for the taking and we just knew that we could go on to take all three points with a couple more goals.

Then Dave Niblett read out the half time scores and we couldn't believe what he said.  Rushden were beating Bury 3-0.

I had that gut feeling then that we were about to throw this all away and so we did.

Somebody must have said something in the dressing room about the scoreline at Nene Park and the players must have realised that we now had to go all out to make sure of the points in the second half.  So why did we switch off and allow Rovers the freedom of the park to grab an equaliser?

I don't think we can begin to understand how a footballers mind works.  Cruz, for Gods sake!

After Saturdays awful defensive display at Shrewsbury Stuart Watkiss elected to provide more of the same with a more or less unchanged line-up.  Dean Keates came back in to replace Ian Foster who went and sat on the bench.  Despite all the hoo-hah about Hatswell and Bennetts' poor performances the other day he continued with them in the hope that they might suddenly come good.

They were better but not brilliant.

The first half started in a similar fashion as our last game but we didn't make the mistake of racing into a two goal lead this time and then throwing it all away.  We slowly broke them down and Blair got his first sight of goal early on when he forced Kevin Miller into a decent save.

John McGrath was the next to try his luck with a turn and shoot at Miller but the ball was aimed straight at him and ended up giving the Rovers keeper no trouble.  Dean Keates then took a free kick on the edge of the area and then after a bit of delay while he fetched a step ladder so he could see over the wall he put the ball on the roof of the net.

Bertie Cozic then tested the keeper with a shot that he had to get down low to.

The traffic was all one way and it came as no surprise when Blair Sturrock put us into the lead with a superbly executed goal.

Cozic played the ball between the Rovers rearguard and Blair swiftly ran round them, onto the ball, and clipped it over the keepers head.  Blair got a booking though for an illegal type of celebration.

Almost immediately Rovers had a change round and bought on Disley in place of a defender.  It looked like their manager, Ian Atkins was going for a quick reply but nothing happened apart from us continuing to attack.

Chris Beardsley saw his shot blocked on the line and then Dean Keates, for once not the smallest player on the field - that honour went to Rovers Ryan Williams - sent a strong shot just over the bar and then Beardsley again headed just wide from a Harriers corner.

With the half running down Rovers had probably their best spell of the game so far but apart from a shot from Agogo that went over they didn't do much with it.

post script: that away kit of Rovers is possibly the worst I have ever seen.

HT. 1 - 0

The second half.  Well what can you say.  Was that the same team that came out for us?

Right from the off Agogo had a shot that was well saved by John Danby and then ten minutes later they were level.  A bit of Atkins route one strategy saw Elliot launch the ball forward for, a former target of ours, Richard Walker to push on through for Mr Disco Agogo to shoot straight through Danbys legs for the equaliser.

To their credit our heads didn't drop but then again we didn't up our game either.  The passing got a bit wayward and Rovers had cottoned onto the way that Beardsley and Sturrock play and they had now become ineffective.  It would have been a good time to bring on Simon Russell but we never saw him.

New player number 40, Mark Jackson, got a bang in the face and had to go off a couple of times for treatment when just the once would have sufficed and Johnny Mullins got a knock and was replaced by Lee Jenkins.  Still we didn't raise our game and almost got punished for a second time when Agogo hit the post with a stunning shot that should have gone in.

The game fizzled out with a lack of urgency from us and a realisation that, more so than the Shrewsbury result, this game was one that we really did throw away.  Shrewsbury played us off the park to come from behind.  Rovers didn't seem to care if they won, drew or lost.

We didn't seem to care either.

FT. 1 - 1

The Harriers-Online
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John McGrath

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Harriers  subs   cards      Bristol Rovers  subs   cards 
Danby     Miller  
Mullins     Hinton  
Hatswell     Ryan  
Bennett     Anderson  
Jackson     Edwards  
Weaver     Elliott  
Beardsley     Hunt  
Keates     Lescott  
Sturrock   Agogo  
Cozic     Walker  
McGrath     Williams  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lewis     Forrester  
Jenkins     Haldane  
Jones     Disley  
Foster     Shakes  
Russell     Trollope  

Mr A Kayes

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