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Harriers 0 Grays Athletic 5

Date: 28-03-06 Venue: Aggborough att: 1220 away fans: 40
Harriers annihilated yet again
For the second home game in a row the long suffering Harriers fans stood open mouthed watching a display of such ineptness that it makes you wonder how much longer we can put up with it.    We booed and jeered at them as they left the field after losing 4-1 to Aldershot but tonight we just stood in silence and acceptance as we watched them getting stuffed by a side that can pass the ball and also work for each other.

That was shown as early as the sixth minute when John Danby - who must surely be dropped for his own mental wellbeing - kicked the ball straight at Aaron McLean and then stood gesticulating at all and sundry as Dennis Oli cruised in to roll the ball towards an empty net.

Danby was expecting McLean to be flagged offside, which he was originally but the referee overruled his assistant, and Daryl Burgess gave up in his attempt to stop the ball going in.

That was just the start of another nightmare for our keeper as he made more errors again later on to allow Grays to rack up our biggest defeat since we lost 5-0 at Forest Green in March 1999.    The second goal for Grays, scored by Kightly, cannot be pinned on Danby after the unmarked player was given acres of space by Harkness to lash in the ball but the others can.    The third goal, a free kick on the edge of the area, found Danby arranging his wall incorrectly and the fourth was a needless penalty given after he caught substitute DeBolla on the edge of his area and forced DeBolla into a dive worthy of mention by Sir Alex.

The game had disaster written large even before it started when the team line-ups were broadcast and we were told that Luke Reynolds wouldn't be playing.    The only reason that can be assumed from that was that he had three previous bookings from his time at AFC Telford and his second booking for us at Hereford on Saturday bought him up to a total of five.

That meant that again we had no recognised strikers up front and Jon Newby would again be played out of position alongside Gareth Sheldon whose best position would be back in the dressing room for all the good he is.

Again, besides the two first half goals, we looked a class apart from Grays and Craig Hinton, who was watching the game, must have felt sick comparing the side he was in two years ago to the one that showed itself now.    I should think he's glad that he spends most of his time bench warming at Bristol Rovers in preference to actually playing for us.

Our best chance of the half, our only chance of the half, fell to Newby.    He capitalised on a rare mistake by Grays to square the ball to Sheldon but Sheldon didn't want it and the ball ended up aimlessly in the side netting.

For the final ten minutes of the first half we actually improved and tried to play the ball around following the replacement of Burgess with Gavin Hurren but the Grays keeper, Ashley Bayes, was on top form and we couldn't find a way past him.
HT: 0 - 2
It only took a few minutes from the re-start for Grays to end the game from our perspective when they got their third goal.    Johnny Mullins bought down Dennis Oli on the edge of the area and after spending some time arranging the wall Danby then went and stood in the blindspot and again left the far side of the goal open for Poole to curl the ball into the net.    Why we can't put someone on the line alongside Danby defeats me - it all smacks of naivety from both players and the coaching staff.

The fourth goal was the aforementioned penalty and the game was wrapped up in the dying minutes of the game when Gary Hooper drew Danby off his line to lob the ball over his head and so complete a disastrous evening for every one except the Londoners.

We'll be welcoming Stevenage to Aggborough this weekend, April 1st, and unless we want to be made fools of again we need to see some, yet again, drastic action from all of those players expecting a new contract for next season because on tonight's form not one of them deserve one.

Any more rubbish like this and there will be even less than tonight's 1,220 at Aggie in future.
FT: 0 - 5

 Goals for Grays Athletic: Oli 6, Kightly 32, Poole 47, Thurgood 72 (pen), Hooper 89.

The Harriers Online MotM is:

Pass
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Harriers  subs   cards      Grays Athletic  subs   cards 
Danby gif   Bayes  
Harkness     Sambrook  
Mullins gif   Hanson  
Penn     Stuart  
Rea     Nutter  
Burgess     Kightly  
Fleming     Thurgood  
Sheldon     Poole  
Newby     Oli  
Russell     McLean gif
Blackwood     Olayinka  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lewis     Eyre  
Thompson     Williamson  
Sedgemore     Hooper  
Hurren gif   Bruce  
McGrath     DeBolla  

REFEREE:
Mr K Evans
Manchester




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