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Tamworth 0 Harriers 0

Date: 20-03-07 Venue: The Lamb att: 1115 away fans: 168
Back to earth with a yawn
It was to be expected that after all the excitement of our Trophy run that we would have to come down to earth at some point.    It was also to be expected that it would come at somewhere like Tamworth and so it did.

On a bitterly cold night, not too far from Kidderminster, a fifth of the fans that went to Northwich braved the spartan surroundings of The Lamb.    A ground steeped in pre-war history and looking like it was still there.

No Scott Bevan again for the third game in a row and also no Gavin Hurren either.    Bevan was still out with a calf injury and Hurren got injured at Northwich but what the injury is no-one is saying.    Jake Sedgemore took Triggers place with Steve Taylor continuing to remain in goal.

This is going to be a short review of the game because basically it was nothing to write home about.

Gone was the teamwork and slick passing of three days previous and in it's place was a team that reverted to the bad old hoof and hope aligned with a lethargy induced by too many games in recent weeks and a feeling of 'After the Lord Mayors Show' permeating throughout the side.

Tamworth, on the otherhand, looked a bit more creative and also more up for it than us but their finishing was woeful.    Up front for them was Taiwo Atieno, the target of much un-warranted abuse from the Harriers fans, Darryl Taylor and a former target of ours, Jake Edwards.

Also appearing for the home side were two other ex Harriers in John McGrath and Simon Heslop.

The first attack on goal came from Tamworth and from all three former players too.    McGrath played in Heslop to fire a shot in that Taylor parried but only as far as Atieno who then proceeded to blast the ball over the, admittedly very low, stand to jeers all round.

Seconds later they were on the attack again and this time Mark Creighton threw himself in front of another Heslop effort to keep the ball out.

We had a Penn shot, a quarter of a hour, in that went just over the bar and then he came close again ten minutes later with a shot that was blocked by a defender.    Soon after a cross from James Constable found Michael Blackwood but his shot was straight at the keeper.

Immediately Tamworth were back on the attack and this time it was McGrath who became the target of derision when his shot flew over the corner flag.

Five minutes before the break Tamworth should have taken the lead when Edwards got on the end of a Darryl Taylor cross to send a slick header just wide of the upright.    Atieno then almost got himself booked for a foul on Creighton to cat calls again but responded with a effort that went wide to yet again more derision.
HT: 0 - 0
The second half was just as bad as the first and within a few minutes Iyseden Christie had been booked for the second game in a row.    A cross was played over to him but Kyle Storer got to it first, as they had been all night, and Christie successfully tackled him and won the ball cleanly.    Storer stayed on his feet but the ref said it was a foul and booked the burly Harriers front man.

Christie was also the only one to come close to scoring for us in this half when his header was cleared off the line by McGrath although to many of us stood behind the goal it looked to have gone over the line.    It didn't put Christie off though because he was there again minutes later with a lunging foot to connect with a Blackwood cross.    The effort whizzed just past the post.

On seventy minutes Steve Taylor pulled off a wonder save when he managed to tip a shot on the turn from Edwards that had goal written large all over it.

We then had the first of two penalty claims turned down by the referee when a Tamworth defender accidentally headed the ball back into his own penalty area and the ball was clearly hand-balled away by another defender.    With shades of the strange reason for a penalty at Northwich the ref waved away the Harriers shouts and instead awarded the defending side a free kick for an unknown push.

Iyseden Christie then almost came to blows with the home keeper, Veiga, when he had the goal at his mercy but couldn't quite get the ball onto his right foot and the keeper went down to snatch it before he could shoot.    Veiga had got the ball correctly and was shielding himself as Christie tried to regain the ball until the ref stopped play to lecture Christie.

Christie was in the thick of things again soon after when Michael Briscoe felled him in the area with what clearly looked to be a foul but again the ref waved all claims away.

After that a series of substitutions saw Russell, Constable and Christie all making way for Smikle, Hays and Reynolds and the game just fizzled away settling itself for a draw.

A points a point at the end of the day but it doesn't increase our chances of a play-off place on an evening when all other results went our way.    St Albans on Saturday and a chance to gain revenge for our opening day defeat.
FT: 0 - 0

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Tamworth  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Veiga     S Taylor  
Bains     Kenna  
Friars     Harkness  
Storer     Sedgemore  
Law     Creighton  
Briscoe     Whitehead  
J McGrath     Russell  
Edwards     Penn  
D Taylor     Christie gif
Atieno     Constable  
Heslop     Blackwood  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevenson     Reynolds  
Touhy     White  
Bampton     Smikle  
Burton     Hay  
Quistin     McGrath  

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