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Harriers 0 Tamworth 1

Date: 01-10-05 Venue: Aggborough att: 1961 away fans: 161
Relegation again is written large
The Harriers slumped, yet again, to another home defeat against Tamworth making it three home losses in a row and our second consecutive defeat against a team that are at the bottom of the table.

All aspirations that the fans had of getting back into the Football League at the first time of asking now appear to be heading to the door marked 'ex Managers this way please' because if this utter nonsense is not sorted out soon then that door will be opening for our current manager, Stuart Watkiss, to walk through.

Time and again the fans call for a change of tactics from the 'hoof it high' style and the 'think of six numbers less than five' formation that SW seems intent on persevering with instead of the passing game and sensible formations which, up until almost a year ago, we grew up with.    Even Ian Brittons shortlived side passed it about with a bit more flair and intention than this lot of moribund journeymen want to.

Stuart cannot blame the powers that be for a lack of players capable of saving us from the clear possibility of relegation and the board cannot blame the lack of funds as the reason for that lack of players.    This week six other conference clubs have signed new players to bolster their squads and Hereford, for example, have been complaining about a striker crisis and this week signed a young lad from Crewe even though they already have six recognised strikers on their books.

We have just two, Christie and Atieno and we are expected to score the majority of our goals through those two.    It's obvious to me that this so call Transfer Window is just open to abuse and unless we start to abuse it ourselves soon then we can only go one way.

It's not just our poorly supplied strikers we have to blame though, it's the defence too.    Today, for once, the defenders were on top of their game but were still guilty of by passing midfield with their high ball tactics.    There seems to be no one capable of telling them to try and keep the ball on the deck and that task comes down to the Captain, Mark Jackson.

Then again if the ball was kept on Terra Firma would the midfield be able to cope with running and ultimately passing the ball?    I think not.

It all boils down to the fact that Stuart Watkiss does not know what he's doing and has no idea of how to improve matters.    The players do not know what they are doing and have no idea of how to improve matters and the board do not know what they are doing and, again, have no idea of how to improve matters.

Onto the game.

The promised changes by Stuart Watkiss didn't really materialise with only the dropping of Wayne Evans to the bench the only positive difference.    Steve Burton stepped up in his place and didn't really do too much wrong.    The expected return of Simon Russell and Michael Blackwood to the starting line up to add width and craft to the side never happened and they spent most of the game sat on the bench.

For Tamworth the old Aggborough favourites of Adie Smith and Scott Stamps lined up along with the never so popular Graham Ward.    Up front for them were the geriatric duo - Bob Taylor and Carl Heggs.

Tamworth were the first to mount an attack when Bob Taylor had a golden opportunity to open the scoring after Adie Smith pumped the ball into the box to fall at his feet but John Danby managed to stop the close range shot getting past him.

A few minutes later we almost opened the scoring with a spectacular own goal from Adie Smith.    The ball hit him from a goal kick and ricocheted off his leg and flew over the bar.

Our first real chance of a goal came after twenty three minutes from Lee Thompson when he had a close range shot blocked by Matt Redmile but there was no real danger from the strike.

On forty minutes Tamworth had scored their one, and only, goal.    Scott Stamps sent over a corner, something he never could when he was on our books, and the ball pinged around the area until Carl Heggs got a foot to it and forced it over the line.

We had a chance of a quick reply with a Laurie Wilson free kick but, although it was dipping all the time, it went over the bar.
HT: 0 - 1
Straight from the re-start Issey Christie had a chance to get us back on level terms when the Tamworth keeper, Dormand, was forced to save at our strikers feet.    Taiwo Atieno, having a very non descript game, also had a chance to open our scoring but he hit his shot straight at Aaron Brown.

We had claims for a penalty turned down when Redmile appeared to handle the ball in the box but the referee turned any claims down.

By now Simon Russell and Michael Blackwood had come on in an effort to put some pep into the side but it was no good.    The urgency and interest had left the team along with what little skill they possess.    It was from Russell that our only decent passing move came and with it our only real clear chance of a goal.    All it needed was someone to have got onto the end of the final ball to turn it home but at least three players failed to connect properly and the chance went.

Ten minutes from the end and Adie Smith missed a golden opportunity of increasing the Lambs lead when his shot from the edge of the area went well above his target.

That was it then.    Another home defeat to a struggling side and now we will be classed as the struggling side when we welcome Morecambe to Aggborough next week.    By then we can only hope that something positive happens during the week because this state of affairs cannot go on any longer.
FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Tamworth: Heggs 40.

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Adie Smith
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Harriers  subs   cards      Tamworth  subs   cards 
Danby     Dormand  
Hatswell     Smith  
Burton     Stamps  
Wilson     Bampton  
Jackson gif   Redmile gif
Burgess     Brown  
Sheldon     Storer  
Thompson     Ward  
Christie gif   Taylor  
Atieno     Heggs  
Heslop     Francis  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Evans     Gayle  
Blackwood     Cooper  
Hurren     Turner  
Graves     Whitman  
Russell     Mansaram  

Mr D Whitestone

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