Cambridge Utd 1 Harriers 1
Venue: Abbey Stadium
away fans: 73
Scholesy grabs late equaliser
The Harriers came from behind tonight at Cambridge to gain a well deserved point against a Utd side that are just as bad as us. Both teams find themselves fighting it out at the bottom of the Conference just as we both were in League 2 a couple of seasons ago.
The face saving goal came from the forgotten man, Simon Russell, after he came on as a second half replacement for Jamie McClen. He picked the ball up outside the area and advanced forward past a U's defender to unleash an un-stoppable shot that went over the grasping fingers of the Cambridge keeper.
Before the start of the game the Harriers manager, Mark Yates, had found himself under extreme pressure following a dreadful defeat at home to Tamworth on Saturday - luckily missed by me - and had promised more changes yet again. Out went the two wingers, Blackwood and Smikle, Sedgemore was also dropped and Dean Sturridge didn't play because of injury. In came Michael McGrath for his first start of the season with Gavin Hurren and Jamie McClen returning to the side.
A late addition to the team was Bob Taylor, who signed non contract forms for us today and the disappointing Gavin Cowan returned from whence he came, Shrewsbury.
The first half of the game was nothing to write home about with the Harriers failing to get a shot on goal and Utd not doing much better. They had one close one from Robinson that bounced down onto the line after slamming against the underside of the crossbar and another from journeyman Marcus Richardson that was headed narrowly over the bar.
HT: 0 - 0
The second half started with Utd going full pelt at the Harriers defence and they could easily have scored in the opening few minutes when Jon Brady tricked his way into the area and sent in a shot that Scott Bevan did well to push away.
Utd were well on top now and with the game starting to slip away from us Yates decided on a few changes. Off went Christie and Reynolds to be replaced by Andy White and the old campaigner, Bob Taylor. Immediately a change came over the Harriers as we went onto the attack but then came the sucker punch as Cambridge took the lead.
They were awarded a corner with Courtney Pitt given the task of taking it. The ball was flighted to the far post where, surprise surprise, we had nobody standing guard. The ball went over the outstretched hands of Bevan and straight to the head of the smallest player on the pitch, the Hereford reject Jon Brady.
Soon after Jonny Harkness found himself booked after another Hereford reject took a dive in front of him and writhed around the floor in agony. Harkness claimed to the referee that he hadn't touched Danny Carey-Bertram but the ref wasn't listening and then ignored the fact that once he'd put his book away DC-B made an astonishing recovery.
With both sides now going for it, Cambridge to increase their lead and the Harriers to get back onto equal terms, the pace of the game moved up a gear and finally, following the introduction of Russell, we got the goal that we had waited so long for.
It could have been a second goal for the bottle blonde dynamo just minutes after he scored when his shot from twelve yards out went just wide and then Bob Taylor almost grabbed a debut goal as his header went just over the bar from a Mike McGrath corner.
The whistle finally went to bring the game to a close and also to bring to a close a barren spell for the Reds that had lasted for well over 450 minutes. A harder game will be had at York on Saturday and one can only hope for a similar result.