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Harriers 0 Weymouth 1

Date: 26-08-06 Venue: Aggborough att: 1753 away fans: 171
Weymouth come for a point and the ref gives them three
Today's result was a bit of a knock back for the Harriers fans that turned up at Aggborough looking to put the opening day defeat against St Albans behind them.    Apart from a very dubious penalty awarded to visitors Weymouth it was a game in which the home team were superior in all departments except for sticking the ball into the net.

With Jeff Kenna surprisingly back in the starting line-up following his injury, displacing Gavin Hurren, Mark Yates went with the lone striker up front formation again - mistakenly so in my opinion.    I can see the benefits it can bring away from home but in front of a partisan home support the need for a more positive approach is needed.

At times throughout the game Reynolds found himself all alone and having to wait for support from his colleagues.    In that time it was easy for the Weymouth defenders to re-marshall themselves and snuff out any threat that did arise.

The shockingly poor referee wasn't helping us either with some curious decisions that including a knee jerk reaction for the penalty, a booking for Russ Penn when their keeper dived at his feet to grab the ball then feigned injury to get him booked and a tendency to ignore some blatant strong arm tactics from the visitors.

The penalty came after ten minutes of end to end entertainment from both sides with the Harriers just shading the opening period.    Weymouth broke free and Lee Elam raced with the ball to the edge of the box where an alert Stuart Whitehead saw the danger and also came racing across.    Whitehead opted for a sliding tackle to stop Elam but as the Weymouth striker fired the ball over it glanced off the hand of the falling Harriers Captain and the ref un-believably awarded them a penalty.

Chucki Eribenne stepped up to take the penalty and rolled it to Bevan's left in a way that was reminiscent of Sturridge's effort against St Albans.

The rest of the half was mainly the Harriers trying hard to battle past a resolute Weymouth defence but not quite making it due to a lack of real fire power in our ranks.    Michael Blackwood and Brian Smikle were both having excellent games for us out wide with Blackwood catching the eye throughout with some tenacious play.    His best effort came mid way through the game when he lashed a shot over the visitors goal with their keeper rooted to the spot.

Luke Reynolds and Russ Penn came close for us before the end of the half and it was an impressive Harriers side that trooped off for the break.
HT: 0 - 1
The second half saw an even more spirited display from the home side with an almost continuous onslaught on the Weymouth goal.    For them their keeper, Lee-Barrett, was keeping them in the game with some outstanding saves from Gav Cowan and Lukie boy but he was nowhere to be seen when Luke lashed in a shot that was intercepted on the line by the substitute Tony James, formerly of local rivals Hereford.

The best chance of scoring fell to Brian Smikle after the keeper crashed into his own defender and the ball ran free to Smikle who slammed the ball in from a close angle only to find that the keeper was back on his feet and was there to push the ball around the post for a goal kick!!    Well according to the Lino it was.

While this was going on the Weymouth players were trying to get Mark Creighton sent off by crying to the ref that it was he that had clattered their defender.    The ref was having none of it.

By now it was obvious that the lone striker idea was not reaping the desired results and the first change was made with Simon Russell coming on for Dwaine Lee Brian Smikle.    Not the change the fans wanted with like swapping with like.    Ten minutes later came the second change with the long wait for Dean Sturridge over when he replaced Dwaine Lee Jake Sedgemore.

That was more like it and once he came on it became a non-stop onslaught on the Weymouth goal.

Deano had two great chances to pull us back into the game but both were beaten away by the keeper and Mark Yates decided to try the last throw of a goal by taking off the, yet again, tired out Dwaine Lee Luke Reynolds and bringing on the man with lead in his boots, Andy White.

In injury time came the last throw of the dice when Russ Penn took a long range shot at goal and the ball thumped off the cross bar and into the back of the North Bank.

Overall I'd say we were very unlucky to lose this game.    Weymouth defended well, there's no taking that away from them, but on a normal day and a lesser side we would have rolled out victorious.

We should take this fire and brimstone to Woking on Monday and show the Conference that we can be a force to be reckoned with.
FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Weymouth: Eribenne 10 (pen)

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Harriers  subs   cards      Weymouth  subs   cards 
Bevan     Lee-Barrett  
Kenna     Tully  
Cowan     Vickers gif
Penn gif   Crittenden  
Creighton     Downer  
Whitehead gif   El Kholti  
Smikle     Weatherstone gif
Sedgemore     Smith  
Reynolds     Eribenne  
Lee     Nade  
Blackwood     Elam  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Taylor     Matthews  
White     Logan  
Russell     Purser  
Sturridge     Wilkinson  
Hurren     James  

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