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Harriers 2 Grays Athletic 1

Date: 07-10-06 Venue: Aggborough att: 1316 away fans: 28
Reid grabs debut goal
Just in time for the League leaders, Oxford's, visit on Tuesday night the Harriers pulled a white rabbit out of the hat with this hard won victory over a high flying Grays Athletic.    Admittedly Grays don't seem to be the force they were last season but they are still well placed for the play offs and will no doubt still be near to them come the end of the season.

That will all depend on whether they can hold on to their star striker Aaron McClean.    Aggborough was full to the bulwarks with scouts and managers today with Ian Atkins and Keith Alexander both there to watch either him or our own Russell Penn.    Marcus Bignot was there too to see his little brother making his debut for us and he was no doubt just as impressed with Pauls' contribution as we were.

Also making his debut today was Reuben Reid, on loan from Plymouth.    He capped an equally fine display with a well taken goal that got the crowd up on their feet.

Reuben took the place of the ill starred Andy White while Bignot Jnr forced Jake Sedgemore onto the bench.    Michael Blackwood resumed his berth at the left back position he took over at Halifax on Tuesday and poor Jonny dropped off the map.    The rest of the team was standard stuff.

With memories of the 5-0 thrashing given to us by Grays last season the home fans were expecting more of the same and that looked like it would be the case when Grays had a Michael Kightly free kick pushed round the post by Scott Bevan.    Gav Hurren replied with a long range effort that flew well wide of Ashley Bayes post.

A bit of midfield sparring followed for a while before, on fifteen minutes, the Harriers took the lead through the 18yr old Reid.    The goal came via a pinpoint pass from Bignot after he was, in turn, supplied a gem of a ball by Iyseden Christie that Reid took past Jay Smith before rifling it through the legs of Bayes.

We could have gone further in front just minutes later when Simon Russell fired in a long range shot only to see it palmed away by the Grays keeper.

Our lead only lasted a few minutes longer though and it was that man McClean that fooled the Harriers defence to get behind Mark Creighton before lobbing a shot over Bevans head to send it bouncing into an empty net.    There was a hint of off side about it but it stood all the same.

Grays put the pressure on after that but still didn't really manage to worry Bevan too much apart from a header that was glanced wide by the former Canvey striker Lee Boylan.

By the end of the first forty five minutes we had managed to weather the storm and the half ended all square.
HT: 1 - 1
The second half was seven minutes old when McClean tried to add to his tally when he got free in the area and sent in a low shot which hit Bevan and took a curve towards the goal only to see it headed off the line by Michael Blackwood.

On fifty nine minutes the Harriers were awarded a penalty when Bignot attempted to send a cross over to Reid.    The ball was pushed away by the hand of Andy Sambrook who then crashed into Reid and accidentally knocked the youngsters forehead with his elbow.

The referee immediately pointed to the spot only to find himself surrounded by Grays players and totally ignoring a head injury in the process - not one to get his priorities right then.    Eventually the penalty was ready to be taken and up stepped Christie to send a soft shot straight at the keeper.

At first the ref gave it but his attention was caught by the linesman who informed him that Bayes had moved forwards off his line.    A re-take was ordered and Bayes started to protest about it along with his team mates and Glenn Poole was booked for his part in the argument.

All the while Christie stood by coolly while Bayes was losing his rag with the home supporters.    This time he got sent the keeper the wrong way as the ball crashed into the top corner of the net to put us 2-1 up.

Grays heads dropped a bit after that and they failed to trouble us further.    Brian Smikle, on for McGrath, could have increased our lead further but after receiving another excellent pass from Christie he shot weakly and Bayes had no trouble in collecting the ball.

Andy White came on for Reid with the new boy still feeling the effects of the bang to his head and with Whites first touch he found himself booked for supposedly time wasting.    Yet another mysterious decision by the poor referee.

The game ended with out any further high spots and the win sets us up nicely for the visit of Oxford on Tuesday.    Remember them - the team that their fans said would never play us again.
FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Reid 15, Christie 63 (pen)
 Goal for Grays: McClean 27

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Harriers  subs   cards      Grays Athletic  subs   cards 
Bevan     Bayes  
Bignot     Sambrook  
Blackwood     Smith  
Hurren gif   Stuart  
Creighton     Poole gif
Whitehead     Nicholls  
Russell     Kightly  
Penn     Williamson  
Christie     Boylan  
Reid gif   McClean  
McGrath     Slabber  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
S Taylor     Knowles  
White gif   Turner  
Reynolds     Green  
Smikle     Martin  
Sedgemore     Sangare  

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