Cambridge Utd 0 Harriers 2
Venue: Abbey Stadium
away fans: 204
Tai scores then gets injured
The Harriers continued with their great record at the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge, today when they added a 2-0 win to last seasons thrilling 3-1 victory. Second half goals from Taiwo Atieno and Gareth Sheldon clinched the three hard earned points and sent us up to eighth place in the table, just one point behind local rivals Hereford Utd.
With Stuart Watkiss answering the fans calls for two strikers up front he played Christie and Atieno right from the start. Ironically it wasn't until Christie went off with cramp that we opened the scoring. There was also a first start for the new signing, Simon Heslop, with Gareth Sheldon dropping to the bench to accommodate him and Laurie Wilson making way for Atieno.
The first half was a total non event in terms of excitement but the shape of the game was being dictated by Cambridge who were looking to make it three home wins in a row for them. Their front pairing of Duffy and Onibuje were having a bit of an off day, thankfully, and were being contained easily by our more experienced defenders.
Christie earned himself the only booking of the game when he fouled Harkness and then failed to retreat the full ten yards for the free kick. The U's also had two fruitless calls for penalties turned down and the half drew to a close all square with just one shot on target, from Simon Russell, for us.
HT: 0 - 0
At the start of the second half the Cambridge manager, Rob Newman, replaced Duffy with John Turner in an effort to bolster their attack. We carried on soaking up anything that they could throw at us. Danby saved at Onibuje's feet and then Mark Jackson robbed the same player of the ball just as he was about to shoot shortly after.
Utd were now in command of the game and more shots went in on the Harriers goal from Bridges and Turner but then we retaliated with a shot from Heslop that hit the side netting. Just after Christie was taken off with cramp and replaced with Gareth Sheldon.
With the absence of Christie things looked grim for us but suddenly from out of the blue up popped Taiwo Atieno to score his third goal of the season for us. A left sided cross from Wayne Hatswell landed just perfectly for Tai, in acres of space, to plant another stunning header past a stranded keeper.
Sadly for the Harriers, and the man himself, seconds after the re-start he was in a clash with Daniel Gleeson and came off worse. With the Walsall loanee clutching his ankle the stretcher was immediately sent on and Lee Thompson warmed up ready to replace him. At the same time Cambridge made some swaps of their own with Daniels coming on for Angel and Nolan replacing Duncan.
With the Harriers now in the driving seat we had another shot from Heslop that went just wide and then another substitution in the shape of Wilson for a tiring O'Connor just before we scored a glorious winning goal.
With memories of that controversial goal from the 1966 World Cup now distant it took a replica effort from Gareth Sheldon to re-awaken history. A mistake from Harkness let in Terry Fleming to cross the ball for Sheldon on the edge of the area and with a venom he unleashed a shot that hit the underside of the bar, bounced down onto the line and out.
The stadium went quiet, the ref looked at his assistant. The assistant signalled a goal.
With the game now beyond doubt it was a simple enough task for the Harriers to keep possession until the final whistle blew.