Harriers 4 Vauxhall Motors 4
away fans: 17
Astra-ocious defending hands Vauxhall a replay
Hopes of progressing in this years FA Trophy look likely to be heading for the scrapyard faster than a seventies Vauxhall rot box after this ultimately disappointing result. With the Harriers seemingly coasting into half time with a 3-1 lead they threw it all away in a mistake strewn second half that saw Vauxhall snatch a replay in added time.
The result will now entail a trip up to the barren North Cheshire plain on Tuesday evening for a re-match that will see us going into the draw for the next round only if there is a change of attitude and a commitment from the midfield to play as a team. Something that was sadly lacking yet again today.
By that time we shall know who our, possible, next round opponents will be when the draw is made on Monday.
With the now usual shaky start for the Harriers it was Vauxhall who were to make most of the running in the opening ten minutes. Our visitors had already got the midfield won by then and popped in two shots on Bevans goal that could have seen them come close to opening the scoring.
As it was it was the Reds that grabbed the lead when James Constable, who had spurned easier chances earlier, got onto the end of a superb Simon Russell cross to send the ball looping over the keepers head. This was followed with a second goal four minutes later from Russell himself after he beat a defender on the edge of the area and, even though his shot was weak, it crept into the goal via the foot of a defender desperately trying to clear it off the line.
Just after, Rob Davies was exchanged for Jake Sedgemore after the former got injured. Sedgemore was a straight replacement for the on loan Albion player.
On the half hour mark Iyseden Christie grabbed his tenth goal of the season when he converted Michael Blackwoods excellent cross but then came the first warning that Vauxhall were not about to give up just yet.
John Lawless got behind the Harriers struggling defence to slip over a cross for Lee Furlong to send whistling past Scott Bevan.
HT: 3 - 1
We had another change to the line-up at the re-start with Christie surprisingly making way for Luke Reynolds. It emerged later that Christie had received a knock on his knee and his failure to re-appear was just a precaution considering that we were 3-1 up and looking odds on for the next round.
That soon backfired with this particular Vauxhall looking far from exhausted as they grabbed yet another goal back. This time a volley from Mike Garrity left Bevan looking helpless as the ball flew past him and into the net.
We were now starting to look a ragged disconsolate bunch and the midfield collapsed yet again when Gavin Hurren stupidly gave a way a free kick on the edge of the area. Moogan took it and it sailed over the Harriers static defence for the waiting, un-marked, McMahon to nod past the rooted Harriers keeper.
This goal seemed to spur the home side into action as they realised that the game was in danger of being lost and they started to play as a team once more. This culminated in James Constable going on a run after breaking free from his marker to feed the ball through for Luke Reynolds to whip in a shot that hit the underside of the net. Luckily for him he wasn't a foot further from goal otherwise the shot would have cleared the stand.
Again though, instead of pressing on to get a further goal to kill the game off, the Harriers sat back yet again and let their opponents get back into the game. The addition of five more minutes of extra time rang alarm bells in the Harriers fans heads because we all knew what was going to happen.
Hesitancy in both midfield and defence let the visitors back into the game yet again when Lee Furlong picked up a loose ball, advanced on goal and sent a thunderous shot into the back of the net to crush the souls of the Harriers faithful.
After all the good work of recent weeks in the League it was an embarrassment at times to watch this team of full time professionals get their come-uppance from a car manufacturers works team.
It's going to need a wholesale change of attitude on Tuesday evening to claim our passage in the next round and with the possibility of Christie being out then it's going to take a brave man to forecast a win for the Harriers.
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