Harriers 1 Cambridge Utd 0
away fans: 134
Harriers pick up a win at last
The Harriers picked up their first home League win for two months tonight after beating Cambridge Utd 1-0 with a dubious goal from Iyseden Christie. A second half onslaught from the visitors made the Harriers keeper, Scott Bevan, the busiest man on the field and Utd were denied at least three certain goals.
The first half we played quite well but by the end of the game we were bereft of any new ideas in midfield and it was a relief to hear the final whistle and see the best team lose. Cambridge never should have lost this game and even a draw would have been a travesty because we were very, very poor.
With the ground soaking underfoot it was the Harriers on the attack first. Andy Ferrell sent over a corner and Mark Creighton got in first but could only plant his header against the crossbar. Ferrell had a chance of his own soon after but his shot from outside the area was cleared to safety.
Simon Russell was the next to have a go but his weak shot was easily saved by the Utd keeper.
With players slipping everywhere it was never going to be a pretty game and so it turned out. After the initial good start from the Harriers the opposition slowly came into the game and it wasn't long before they saw their first real chance of the game when Gavin Hoyle sent in a free kick that, luckily for us, was blocked by Gavin Hurren.
Stephen Reed then found his name going into the referees notebook after blocking Russell Penn on the halfway line as he attempted to make a pass. Minutes later Reed wasted a chance to make amends and open the scoring for his after he was played in out wide but then fired across the goal after going on a good run into the area.
Darryl Knights was the next to miss a great chance for Utd in the twenty fifth minute when Cambridge broke through the Harriers defence and Rob Wolleaston set him up with a chance that he put wide when he should really have opened the scoring.
The last moment of the half for the Harriers came on forty minutes when Iyseden Christie collected a pass from Russ Penn and then chipped the ball back for him only for a defender to block the ball on the line as Penn came rushing in. Two minutes later Cambridge had another chance to grab a goal when Wolleaston found space for himself in a static Harriers defence to fire in a shot that Bevan just managed to push against the post and out for a corner.
HT: 0 - 0
The Harriers manager, Mark Yates, altered the formation for the second period of the game by dropping Gavin Hurren into the left back berth and pushing Michael Blackwood further up the field. It didn't seem to work because we now looked disorganised and the midfield had no direction but we were still on top.
Cambridge had the first chance of this half when the ref waved on a foul by Russ Penn after the ball rolled away towards Wolleaston. He wasted the advantage given to him though by sending his effort wide of the post.
In the fifty ninth minute we took the lead with a dubious yet comical goal.
We were given a free kick just inside the halfway line after Paul Bignot was clattered by Knights. Russell took it and laid it on for Justin Richards who then found himself exposed by the Cambridge offside trap. Momentarily the game stopped as everyone looked at the linesman but no flag was raised and no whistle was blown.
Richards played the ball out to Christie who took his time to send the ball past Potter and the Cambridge players looked on in disbelief as the roar went up from the crowd to celebrate the goal.
As usual lately now we had scored we sat back and invited the other team onto us.
Cambridge exchanged Leo Fortune-West for Lee Boylan, just after he had a shot go over the bar, and then took over the game. Utd rained in chance after chance on Bevans goal and the giant stopper worked miracles to keep them out.
Thankfully the luck seemed to be going our way at last and Yates took the chance to act on that by removing Russell from the game and bringing on fresh legs in the form of Brian Smikle. In answer to that the Utd manager, Jimmy Quinn, took off Knights and bought on Rob Willmott.
The onslaught still didn't stop though and Bevan pulled off yet another wonder save after Boylan fired in a shot that Bev got down well to but could only push away only for Mark Peters to send back in again. Scott flew across the goal to push it away again and Bignot cleared it for a corner.
Peters had another chance to score immediately after when his overhead kick hit the crossbar with Bevan beaten.
Cambridge continued to press but the Harriers defence held firm and eventually, to the relief of the home fans, the end finally came and we could celebrate the three points. It wasn't the best ever Harriers performance and it was a dubious goal to win a game with but it's about time we had a bit of luck and that came in bucketfuls tonight.