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Harriers 3 Altrincham 2

Date: 09-12-06 Venue: Aggborough att: 1455 away fans: 92
Harkness gets another
Jonny Harkness scored his third goal in two games, since being recalled to the side, to provide the Harriers with their second win in a row.    In addition to that we had James Constable and Iyseden Christie to thank for the win against an Altrincham side who were determined not to give up without a fight.

Full marks also to our visitors for showing us that they will not be a team struggling at the bottom for too long and for playing their part in providing a game full of heart stopping moments.

The Harriers manager, Mark Yates, decided to go with the same line-up that started against Gravesend last week and left out the now fit again Stuart Whitehead in favour of Harkness.    It made sense not to aggravate Whiteheads injury further by bringing him back too early.

Although this game ended with five goals hitting the back of the net we could have seen a far higher scoreline if both sides had done more with their chances.    The Harriers were probably more guilty in this department with Christie in particular missing a bag full because the ball was on his wrong foot and he couldn't exchange to the other foot quickly enough.

The first goal, going Altrinchams way, came just prior to the half hour mark and also totally against the run of play.    The ball broke from a Harriers attack and the play swept into the corner of the field where Lewis Chalmers fed Colin Little with the ball for him to advance on goal and side foot the ball past Scott Bevan in the Reds goal.

The lead wasn't going to last long because the Harriers went on the hunt for the equalising goal straight away.    Jeff Kenna sent a cross over that was flicked on by Christie for James Constable to send a looping header over Coburns head and into the back of the net.

More rip roaring action followed and that was only halted for some lengthy treatment to the injured Stephen Rose after he appeared to pull a muscle in his leg.

Minutes before the break Iyseden Christie surged past Gary Scott into the box, rode the tackle, but then kind of crashed into Peter Band and fell to the floor.    No one thought much about it but then to everyone's surprise the referee pointed to the spot.

Christie is not one to spurn a free gift and placed the ball on the spot, walked back, walked up and blasted it into the net.

We could have been further in front a minute later if Simon Russell's shot from a Constable through ball had been converted.    Coburn did well to save it though.
HT: 2 - 1
The game after the break didn't start in quite such a frenetic way as the first half had but it wasn't without it's moments of excitement.    Christie did have a couple of chances to score early on but the ball didn't seem to be running for us as before and quite a few passes were failing to find men in decent spaces.

Altrincham had obviously been doing a bit of thinking during the half time break too and both James Constable and Simon Russell were being more closely marked now.    This tactic paid dividends in the sixtieth minute when the ex York City striker, Joe O'Neill, pulled back another goal to draw his team level but that goal wasn't to last long either when we went back in front again.

Constable was bought down on the edge of the area and Harkness stepped up to perform his magic once more and send the ball soaring over the wall and into the net via Coburns fingertips.

We missed a stack more chances to increase the lead further, something we desperately needed to do because Alty were still looking dangerous, with Christie again being the chief culprit along with Constable, Penn and Russell.    Rob Davies probably missed the best chance of all though when Coburn was stranded, on the touchline of all places, but his speculative ball went well over the crossbar of the empty net.

We had a heart stopping moment near to injury time when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball finally being cleared to safety by Kenna for a fruitless corner for the Northerners.

In the end, after five minutes of injury time, we ran out winners at home for the first time in ages.    We have another home game next week but sadly there are no points at stake.    Just the glory of the FA Trophy.

That's if we can get past Vauxhall first.
FT: 3 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Constable 29, Christie 41(pen), Harkness 65
 Goals for Altrincham: Little 24, O'Neill 60.

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Harriers  subs   cards      Altrincham  subs   cards 
Bevan     Coburn  
Kenna     Rose gif
Harkness     Scott gif
Hurren     Band gif
Creighton     Chalmers gif
Davies     Bushell  
Russell     Lawton  
Penn     Owen gif
Christie     Little  
Constable     O'Neill  
Blackwood     Peyton  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
S Taylor     Acton  
White     Thornley  
Reynolds     Aspinall  
Sedgemore     Talbot  
Smikle     Thompson  

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