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Match preview Vs Grays Athletic

Date: 18-08-07 Venue: Recreation Ground Kick off: 15:00hrs
The team travel down to Essex tomorrow to take on Grays Athletic and Jonny Harkness, if he plays, will be hoping that we don't get a repeat of when we played them near to the end of last season.    In that 3-0 defeat Jonny saw his dream of playing in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in tatters after he found himself sent off for the second time in two weeks after an elbow on a Grays player and earned a punishment of a four game ban.

That moment of stupidity has cost him dearly by missing that once in a lifetime chance and also missing the opening two games of the new season.    Ironically he could make his comeback against the team that played a part in his stupidity.

Also making a possible return to the side will be Stuart Whitehead who has missed both games so far and all of the friendlies after undergoing surgery.    He was in the frame to play at Stafford on Tuesday evening but his wife gave birth to a little girl and he had to miss the game.    Some people should really get their priorities sorted.

We've missed the commanding presence of Stuart in both our games so far and with a midfield of headless chickens we really do need a wise head back in there.

Michael Blackwood didn't play on Tuesday either after reporting in with a back injury but he may be fit enough to play at Grays.    Russ Penn was limping towards the end of the game but he will more than likely be fit.

Grays have had a steady start to the new season so far with both their games ending as draws.    Their first draw came in the televised game at Torquay last Sunday and by all accounts it was a dreary affair.

The second game was at home to Woking on Wednesday evening and that had a bit more excitement but for very unusual reasons.

After an injury to a Woking player on the half-way line the referee awarded a drop ball and amazingly sporting kick back to the Grays keeper somehow ended up in the back of the net with the keeper, Flitney, waiting on the edge of the area waiting for the pass back.    The referee awarded a goal to Woking but the Woking manager, Frank Gray, ordered his players to allow a Grays player to run through, unchallenged, and score the equaliser.

With the crowd still talking about the incident a poor back pass was picked up by a Woking striker and this time the Grays keeper tried to stop him but only managing to do so illegally by bringing him down in the area.    The keeper was lucky to only get a yellow card and then pulled out a great save to stop Danny Bunce scoring the winning goal for Woking.

Grays have no real injury problems for tomorrow but Stuart Thurgood was taken off early on Wednesday after suffering a re-occurrence of a leg injury.    He may or may not play against us - the latter is preferable.

After Tuesdays promising second half we may now be starting to settle down a bit and if Whitehead plays then I feel we may be too strong for Grays and be able to claim our first ever win there.


Harriers from:
Bevan, Coleman, Harkness, Kenna, Bignot, Creighton, Whitehead, Munday, McGrath, Ferrell, Hurren, Penn, Richards, Blackwood, Barnes-Homer, Smikle, Christie, Constable.

Grays Athletic from:
Flitney, Knowles, Sambrook, Gross, Stuart, Downer, Thurgood, Oli, O'Connor, McAllister, Kedwell, Murray, Ashton, Day, Hearn, Elkholti, Bodkin, Mawer, Cooksey, Woodward, Seye, Tandon, Barnes, Baigent, Nelson, Marshall, Haverson, Lawson.

Links to Grays Athletic websites here
Directions to Grays here

Previous games against Grays Athletic
Harriers score first
2006 - 07
2 - 1
0 - 3
2005 - 06
0 - 5
0 - 1
2 - 2

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