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Harriers 2 York City 1

Date: 20-01-07 Venue: Aggborough att: 2073 away fans: 303 approx
Harriers win and the run continues
The Harriers won their sixth game in a row today in a somewhat less than thrilling game against a poor York City side with goals from James Constable and a first of the season for Michael Blackwood.    The three points gained was clouded slightly by a tenth booking of the season for Russ Penn - he will now miss two games, against Altrincham and Tamworth - and a bad looking injury to Iyseden Christie's foot that will see him almost certainly missing Tuesday nights game against Stafford.

That game could also be the last for Constable in a Harriers shirt unless Mark Yates can pull something out of the hat and keep him at Aggborough for a wee bit longer.    The talk at Walsall is that he will be re-called to Bescot for a few games at least before deciding where his future lies.

If we are without both of those influential players, and Russ Penn, for the Tamworth game then I worry about our play-off chances with Andy White and Luke Reynolds as our main strikeforce.    Sorry guys but you're not in the same league as Christie and Constable.

The game kicked off with the referee 'imposing' his authority on City right from the off as they set out their stall by clattering Christie within the first minute of the game.    Understandably with the game only a minute gone a simple talking to the York defender was the right thing to do but when the same player offended again, twice, within the next five minutes a card should have been shown.

As it was it took until ten minutes for the ref to 'get tough' and he brandished a yellow at Darren Craddock after yet another vicious tackle left Christie on the floor.    For some reason he ignored all the other fouls from York for the remainder of the half including a shoulder barge on Stuart Whitehead that should have been penalised.

We opened the scoring in the twelth minute of the game when the City keeper was spotted handling the ball outside of the area by the East Stand.    They drew the lino's attention to it and the ref awarded a free kick that was taken by Jeff Kenna.

His kick beat the wall but Constable was lurking near to the far post to turn it into the net for his ninth goal in ten games.    A remarkable scoring rate but one that should be overlooked, and ignored, by any watching Walsall scouts.

We should have been two goals to the good just minutes later when Christie spotted the keeper off his line and sent a header curving over him and onto the cross bar.

City did have some chances during the first period but Scotty Bevan was as sure as ever in the Harriers goal and kept out attempts from Emmanuel Panther and Neil Bishop.

Just before the break we had the ball in the net from a Constable header but he was narrowly offside and the referee ruled it out.    With just seconds left Christie was kicked on the foot by a York defender and he hobbled to the touchline with his game over and in tatters.
HT: 1 - 0
Luke Reynolds came on for Christie at the re-start with Martin Woolford doing likewise for Michael Maidens.

This half was memorable for just the one event really because there was not really much to write home about.    Without Christie we didn't look at all sharp and for all of Luke Reynolds running about he'll never be in the same class.

City could have equalised soon after the start but Scott Bevan was on hot form yet again and amazingly managed to get back to a ball lobbed over his head by Craig Farrell.    If Bevan had been the normal sized six foot midget he would have never got to it.

York had another break just after but, with the ball heading down towards the touchline Stuart Whitehead and Clayton Donaldson gave chase.    The Captain got to the ball first and as he turned to shepherd it away from the over rated City striker the York man lunged at him with an elbow in the back.    Whitehead went crashing to the floor and the referee instantly brandished the red card to give Donaldson an early bath.

That was the second time in the game that Donaldson had used strong arm tactics on Whitehead after he had shoulder barged him off the ball during the first half.

The Harriers increased their lead soon after that unsavoury incident with a well taken goal, a first of the season for Michael Blackwood.    Luke Reynolds collected the ball on the edge of the area and sent a cross deep into the area to the far post.    The City players watched it drift past as it fell just right for Blackie to force it into the net.

Now we had gone two goals up we then sat back and allowed ten man City to come back into the game.    Woolford had the best chance for them to equalise when he was played in by Farrells ball over the top.    He took it on towards Bevan but his shot was both weak and straight at Bev and the keeper saved it down at his feet.

The ref then booked Reynolds for a nothing tackle and City pressed a bit more without really managing to break through our solid rearguard until ten minutes from the end when they again broke free to score.    Craig Farrell collected the ball on the left side of the goal and curled a shot just inside the far post to pull a goal back for the visitors - the first league goal the Harriers have conceded in five games.

The remainder of the game was played out with City doing the most to try and score but we held on without being breached further and our un-beaten run continues.    The three points takes us closer to the play-offs but still no higher than tenth in the table.

Three more points against Stafford on Tuesday should see us start to see a difference as we start to climb those last few rungs.
FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Constable 14, Blackwood 56
 Goal for York City: Farrell 83

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Harriers  subs   cards      York City  subs   cards 
Bevan     Evans  
Kenna     Craddock gif
Harkness     Goodliffe  
Hurren     Bishop  
Creighton     McGurk  
Whitehead     Lloyd  
Russell     Maidens  
Penn gif   Panther  
Christie     Donaldson gif
Constable     Farrell  
Blackwood     Bowey  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
S Taylor     Reid  
White     McMahon  
Reynolds gif   Greenwood  
Sedgemore     Parslow  
Smikle     Woolford  

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