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Droylsden 1 Harriers 0

Date: 26-01-08 Venue: The Butchers Arms att: 629 away fans: 120+
Clueless Harriers fail again
The only goal of the game gave struggling Droylsden three valuable points to help them escape from the clutches of relegation in this hugely important game for the Harriers today.  Important because, if we lost this following recent poor results and the exit from the FA Trophy, we would have needed to make a concerted effort to reach the play-offs if we had any hope of rescuing our season.

It would also have some bearing on the future of Mark Yates as the manager of Kidderminster Harriers FC - once a proud club.

The play-offs look more doubtful than they did yesterday and Yates' future looks even more doubtful too.

Yesterday he bought in a new left back, Alex Jeannin, in an effort to speed up a sluggish, tactic less defence and the goal came from a mistake from Jeannin backing off and letting his man through to score.  I'm not saying that Jeannin is totally responsible for today's defeat because that is down to ten others that failed to play their part too and that too is down to poor management.

Yates can either rescue the situation by making THE signing we've all be waiting for - a creative midfield general who will shake this lethargic team up - or fall on his sword.  The fans have had enough!

We started the game today without both Jeff Kenna and Russ Penn, both out through injury, and Michael McGrath on the bench in favour of Dean Bennett.  Paul Bignot came in for Sir Jeff.

The game as a whole was very drab with hardly any goal mouth action from either side.  The home side had a better first fifteen minutes than the Harriers with a couple of fine crosses into the box but without any one being able to get the touch in.  The goal came in the sixteenth minute when Jody Banim collected the ball following a poor clearance from Stuart Whitehead just inside the Harriers half and swept forward with Jeannin backing off all the way before sidestepping him and firing low into the net.

It could have been two just minutes later when Steve Daly left Paul Bignot floundering as he too went past him and only a good challenge by Mark Creighton stopped him from going on to score.  They had another chance to increase the lead again soon after when Banim saw his goal bound shot cannon off Stuart Whitehead to go out for a corner.

The first real shot on goal for the Harriers came ten minutes from the end of the half when Jeannin had a long range effort on goal end up in the Droylsden keepers arms and at last we started to play a bit.  Andy Ferrell sent a cross through the area that failed to get a touch and then sent a shot just the wrong side of the upright before Jeannin did the same following a free kick.

In the final minute of the half a shot from a suspiciously offside Banim stung Scott Bevan's hands and the Harriers trooped off with heads bowed to face another slaughtering in the dressing room.
HT: 1 - 0
In the second half the Harriers didn't look much better than in the first so it looked obvious that Mark Yates was pleased with what he had seen so far.

Creights was called on to block a shot from Ashley Burberry five minutes in then five minutes later Jamie McGuire hit a volley that Bevan did well to stop from going in but we answered that with a run from Ferrell that ended with Steve Halford getting a foot in to stop James Constable from pouncing on the inviting cross.

The first change to the team came early in the half with Michael Blackwood being removed to bring on Brian Smikle.

With our favourite referee Amy Raynor in charge you just knew that there would be a claim for a penalty turned down and that's just what happened when Constable was pushed in the back by Lee Roche and went tumbling down.  Amy waved the penalty claims away.

Simon Russell was the next to go off for us as Michael McGrath came on in his place and moved over to the left while Smikle went to the right side of the park.

The next chance of the game fell to the Harriers but it got wasted when an un-marked Whitehead headed wide in the sixty sixth minute and Yates changed the formation again to play three strikers up front by taking off Paul Bignot and bringing on Matt Barnes-Homer.

There was no real improvement and with time running out Droylsden were content to sit back with ten men behind the ball and hang on for their first victory of the year.  They could still have made sure of the win though when Banim broke free and swept down the pitch, side stepped Creighton and fired in a shot that Bevan could only push away into the path of Conal Murtagh but he failed to control the ball and the chance was gone.

So where do we go from here? No matter what Yates says he is obviously devoid of any idea how to get this team performing as it should.  Time for a new man to take us forward?
FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Droylsden: Banim 16

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Latest table and stats here  

Droylsden  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Phillips     Bevan  
Roche gif   Bignot  
Halford     Jeannin  
Cryan     Ferrell  
Murtagh     Creighton  
Mackin     Whitehead  
Murphy     Russell  
McGuire     Bennett  
Banim     Christie  
Daly     Constable  
Burberry     Blackwood  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Tayforth     Coleman  
Morris     Hurren  
Denham     Barnes-Homer  
Ellis     Smikle  
Murray     McGrath  

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