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Harriers 2 Accrington Stanley 0

Date: 29-04-06 Venue: Aggborough att: 1934 away fans: 191
Slick Harriers turn on the style
The Harriers finished their season today with a 2-0 victory over the Champions Accrington Stanley to finish the campaign in fifteenth place in the League.    When we came down from League 2 last season there were high hopes that we would finish at least somewhere near the play-offs but after failing to find any consistency, or any kind of footballing skills, we have just about ended the season with at least a little bit of pride having just about avoided the relegation spots.

That dubious honour has fallen to Tamworth and Scarborough unless Altrincham are still found guilty of the trumped up charge against them and then we'll lose a localish derby at Tamworth.    From League 2 we have the pleasure of welcoming the team that came close to coming down instead of us.    Welcome back where you belong Rushden and may your stay be a long and unfruitful one.

As Champions Accrington have taken their place but on todays showing they will struggle to make any impact on the next step up and they're going to need a massive influx of half decent players to keep their hard won place there.

Admittedly they played a weakened side against us today but then again we did too after the return of Jon Newby and Simon Rea to their clubs.    For some uncanny reason after playing some forty plus League games we decided to start passing the ball and did so to good effect.    Was it because Accy let us? In some ways yes but there's no doubting that it was a different Harriers out there today.

Within the very first opening minutes we had a chance to open the scoring with a chance falling for Daryl Burgess and then soon after Jake Sedgemore sent a free kick over the bar but it was live wire Simon Russell that was looking the most dangerous for us with some fast probing runs and a shot on the turn that would have gone in if it had been slightly more accurate.

Lee Thompson followed that up with a shot that went straight at the keeper and all that was in the first twenty minutes.    Just after Russell left the field after failing to recover from a knock that he had picked up earlier and Michael McGrath replaced him.

Terry Fleming sent in a volley that beat the keeper but landed on the roof of his net just before the end of the half.

For three parts of a hour the Harriers were much better than their opponents and the big surprise was that we went into the break all square at 0-0.
HT: 0 - 0
Just three minutes after the interval and the Harriers had taken a lead that they were not likely to give up.

A Jake Sedgemore corner went over the area and fell for Mike McGrath lurking out wide, an Accrington man tried to tackle him but with a neat flick Macca sent him the wrong way as he skipped the other.    The ball was put over hard and Lee Thompson was in just the right place to slot the ball past the Accy keeper.

A few minutes later and we had gone two up and this time Lee was the provider.

With the ball heading for the touchline Lee gave chase and just stopped it from going out, he flicked it to the near post for Luke Reynolds to slam a header against the upright.    The rebound came straight back to him and this time he made no mistake in burying it into the net via a slight deflection.

We sat back a bit but Accy still didn't capitalise on it and didn't really seemed up for it.    Gary Roberts came close with an effort that went over the top of an open goal and then the Peter Beardsley walk alike Andy Mangan sent a shot wide that really should have found the net.

With time running out Ash Walker and Tom Byrne came on for a few seconds and then the ref blew the whistle on the 2005-06 season and we all went home to wait in anticipation for next season.
FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Thompson 48, Reynolds 56

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Harriers  subs   cards      Accrington  subs   cards 
Lewis     Alcock  
Mullins     Ventre gif
Sedgemore     Tretton  
Penn     Welch gif
Hurren     Edwards  
Burgess     Jagielka  
Russell     Boyd  
Fleming     Cook  
Reynolds gif   Mangan  
Thompson     Brown  
Sheldon     Roberts  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Danby     Elliot  
McGrath     Boco  
Graves     Mullin  
Walker     Craney  
Byrne     Proctor  

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