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Aggborough news
Date: 19-07-05 Walsall inflict first defeat
Walsall gave the Harriers their first taste of a pre-season defeat at Aggborough tonight when we went down by a 2-1 scoreline after a heroic first half that would surely give us confidence for the forthcoming Conference campaign.

The main plus points from a thrilling first half was the strong defensive showing from our new look defence and a promising performance from the latest triallist to arrive here, Lee Thompson.  Thompson looks a lot like the recently departed Dean Keates and has even got the same locker as him because he's wearing his old shorts.

The game kicked off in front of a smaller than expected gate of just short of a thousand and straight from the off we started to pass the ball about and find players with ease.  Christie was looking more of a handful against a hesitant Walsall defence in which Westwood stood out.  A couple of times Christie tested their keeper without really troubling him too much.

In the 42nd minute we did give him a bit of trouble when we got him to pick the ball out of the net.   Terry Fleming latched onto a near post after diving between two Walsall defenders to bury the ball past the rooted keeper.

A few minutes later and the opposition were back on level terms.  Chris Westwood, who I believe once had a trial for us, managed to get the highest to a cross and power his header past Lewis and also the goal line guard, Fleming.

The second half started with just the one change for us with Simon Russell coming on for Martin O'Connor.

With a multitude of changes it was never going to be the same game for us in this half and add in a slight injury for Christie and a worse looking one for Mark Jackson and it was Walsall that took control of the game without really threatening us.

They wrapped up the 'points' towards the end with a mixture of a shot from Kris Taylor and a fumble by Lewis that rolled under the keepers body to give us our first taste of defeat in these pre-season games.

Final score: Harriers 1 Walsall 2 (Fleming.

Lewis, Evans (Hurran 52), Burton, O'Connor (Russell 45), Jackson (Penn 62), Burgess (Hatswell 56), Sheldon (Wilson 59), Fleming, Christie (Moss 62), Thompson, Blackwood.

Oakes, Gerrard, Fox, Westwood, Bennett, Osborne (Kinsella 73), Wrack, Wright (Ateino 70), Taylor, Standing (Bradley 79), Dario Larossa (Leitao 59).

Attendance: 989

On the way out I was told that our assistant manager, Gary Barnett, had been deemed surplus to requirements and his role as coach was to be taken over by Martin O'Connor.

He'll never get a chance to play for us now.  Good luck to him and I'm sure it won't be long before he gets snapped up for a management position for a lower pyramid club.

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