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Aldershot Town 2 Harriers 1



Date: 01-03-08 Venue: Recreation Ground att: 2835 away fans: 88
Barnes-Homer goal not enough
The Harriers slipped to their lowest table placing since August today when they lost at the Champions in waiting, Aldershot Town.  An early third minute goal from Matt Barnes-Homer gave the Harriers fans a boost but sadly the lead wasn't to last long when a goal from Danny Hylton pulled the Shots back into the game just two minutes later.

Despite a late rally, and a much improved display than in recent weeks, we couldn't regain the lead and eventually the home side grabbed the winning goal mid way through the second half.

Following that nightmare against Rushden during the week the Harriers manager, Mark Yates, sent two of that side to the bench - Darryl Knights, Jeff Kenna and one out of the side completely - Matt Bailey.

Alex Jeannin and Brian Smikle came back into the side while Matt Barnes-Homer kept his place.  Gavin Hurren was out injured.

Aldershot had their latest signing, Junior Mendes, on the bench while leading scorer John Grant was out injured.  They would also have been pleased to hear that their closest rivals for the Championship, Torquay Utd, had lost 2-0 at Grays at lunchtime.

The game had only been going just over two minutes when the Harriers went into a surprise lead.  A pass back to the Shots keeper from Anthony Charles was too weak and MBH needed no prompting to run onto it and chip it over Nicky Bull, the Shots keeper.  The lead only lasted a couple of minutes before Aldershot quickly pulled one back.

Charles again played a part in the goal when he played the ball into the area but Chris MacKenzie managed to push it out but only towards three opposing players rushing in with Danny Hylton getting the lucky touch to bundle the ball into the net.

The game settled down for a while then with the Harriers coming close to scoring again when Barnes-Homer got onto the end of a corner but sent his header flashing wide.  Fifteen minutes into the game and Russ Penn picked up a yellow card for a strong challenge on Rob Gier and was lucky not to receive a further yellow soon after when he challenged Chalmers too heavily but somehow got away with it.

Not so for Aldershot though because they picked up four bookings during the game from the over officious referee.

In between Mackenzie pulled off a great save to keep the Harriers in the game when he dived well to stop a strong header from Joel Grant from entering the net and Michael McGrath went close to beating Bull when he latched onto a stepover by Smikle and sent in a low shot that got saved.

Aldershot had chances of their own to score but they never really got a clear site of goal and when they did then MacKenzie was equal to them.  We went into half time looking a far better side than in recent weeks but could we hold on for a further forty five minutes.
HT: 1 - 1
McGrath came close to re-opening the scoring for us just minutes into the start of the second half when he sent a volley over the bar but then Aldershot retaliated with a Joel Grant effort from a free kick that went just over the bar.

Grant went close again soon after when his shot took a deflection off Luke Jones but MacKenzie just managed to get a fingertip to it to push it around the post.

With his team going nowhere the Shots manager, Gary Waddock, made a triple substitution by bringing on Junior Mendes, Louie Soares and Scott Davies for Rob Elvins, Kirk Hudson and Rob Gier.

The home team started to pile on the pressure and more good keeping kept them out when Hylton and Grant came rushing in for a loose ball.  MacKenzie pounced on it, fumbled it, but then managed to get hold of it again to keep us in the game.

Not for long though because in the 66th minute the table toppers went into the lead.  Joel Grant slipped the ball through to Ben Harding on the edge of the box and his shot into the right hand corner gave MacKenzie no chance of saving.

Following the goal Yates took off Andy Ferrell and bought on Iyseden Christie in his place to go from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2.  A few moments later he made a further change with a straight swap of Brian Smikle for Simon Russell.

Scholesys first move was to take a corner that Christie got onto but his shot was hurried and he failed to connect properly. Aldershot answered that with a shot from the new signing, Mendes, that got blocked by Mark Creighton and another chance minutes later but McGrath intervened at the death to deny him a goal scoring chance.

With the time running down Darryl Knights came on in place of McGrath and the Harriers increased their attacking options by going with three up front.

The Harriers launched a full assault on the goal in an effort to gain at least a draw.  In the second minute of injury time we could have done so if Christies shot had gone in but Nicky Bull somehow managed to get a hand to it from point blank range and flip the ball away.

After such a poor spell it was about time the fans had something to cheer.  OK they lost but they lost valiantly.
FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Aldershot: Hylton 5, Harding 66
 Goal for Harriers: Barnes-Homer 3


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Latest table and stats here  

Aldershot Town  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Bull     MacKenzie  
Gier     Jeannin  
Straker gif   Bignot  
Harding     Ferrell  
Day gif   Creighton  
Charles gif   Jones  
Joel Grant     Smikle  
Chalmers gif   Bennett  
Hylton     Barnes-Homer  
Elvins     Penn gif
Hudson     McGrath  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Jaimez-Ruiz     Coleman  
Soares     Christie  
Mendes     Kenna  
Davies     Russell  
Winfield     Knights  

REFEREE:
Mr I Cooper
Kent




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