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Harriers 3 Droylsden 1

Date: 18-09-07 Venue: Aggborough att: 1305 away fans: 16
Harriers rattle in three
Gavin Hurren found himself back in the dressing room earlier than expected tonight when he was sent off for what the referee perceived as a professional foul but to many looked a clumsy fifty/fifty challenge.    He had come on in the 79th minute to replace Russell Penn and ten minutes later he was dismissed for the first time in his career.

In what was never a dirty game the idiot in the black dished out three other bookings to the Harriers for dubious reasons and gave decisions that at times baffled.    His assistant on the right was also equally guilty of ignoring obvious offsides by the one Droylsden player that stood out, the creative Chris Denham.

In goal for the Reds was Dean Coleman for the second game running after Scott Bevan was again ruled out through injury.    Stuart Whitehead was back to add much needed stability in midfield and on the bench was Simon Russell awaiting his chance after being out since pre-season with, the soon to be fashionable, IT Band injury.

After a short period of hoofball we settled down to pass the ball around and cut through the Bloods defence with ease - it was just the final ball that was letting us down again.    In the first thirty minutes we only tested the keeper once and then he saved easily from Justin Richards soft header.

The wake-up call came just before the thirty when the tubby little Jody Banim fired in a shot that looked to be going in but rebounded off the junction of crossbar and upright.    Seconds later came the repeat alarm when Gavin Salmon sent a shot just over the bar but three minutes later we had taken the lead with a superb goal from Jonny Harkness.

Michael Blackwood sent over a cross that landed perfectly for Richards but the big lad hesitated over his shot and when he did finally find the right foot to kick with the keeper was ready and pushed the ball away.    A little luckily he had inadvertently set up Harkness with the chance to send a curling shot into the net from outside the area, giving Phillips no chance of stopping.

To their credit Droylsden didn't give up and came back at us with a reply ten minutes later.    The dangerous Denham saw his chance to score but could only hit the post for Banim to tidy up and send his shot into the roof of the net.

With the halftime whistle fast approaching came the first moment of controversy that showed Mr Hooper up for the out of his depth novice that he is.

Jonny Harkness slipped the ball to James Constable just inside the area and the Harriers striker turned to make his run but two defenders converged on him and fell down on the ball.    As James tried to get at the ball between their bodies the ref ran over just as the keeper fell down with no-one near him and the ref handed James a yellow card for trying to get a ball that was being unfairly smothered by the defenders.

Maybe he should have just waited for them to stop rolling around theatrically first because that's just what the cheating keeper was doing in an attempt to get Beano sent off.    The keeper deserved all he got in the way of catcalls and jeers from the Harriers supporters.
HT: 1 - 1
Five minutes after the break we had gone back into the lead and this time Constable got his own back on Droylsden by scoring his seventh goal of the campaign.    Richards flicked on Jeff Kenna's free kick to set him up with a chance that he wasn't going to spurn and he sent it flying into the back of the net with ease.

Another five minutes later and the game was over for the Manchester side when poor defending saw the ball ping around the away goal mouth before Mark Creighton found himself unmarked to side foot the ball home past the static keeper.

Again the visitors refused to give up and it's that attitude that could see them reach safety this season even though they have just two points at this stage of the season.    There's plenty of time to go yet and if they could add a sharper striker to their books they'll be ok.

On the hour mark we scored what looked to be a legitimate fourth goal when Dean Bennett hammered home a fine volley but the ref had seen something that no-one else had and disallowed it.

We took our foot off the gas following that and slowly allowed Droylsden to come into the game more until they finally took over completely.    Halford spurned a chance to score when his header went well wide and Banim fired in a shot that Dean Coleman pushed away for a fruitless corner.

Coleman then made a mis-judgment in coming for a free kick and misses it completely to let in the unmarked, leaping Salmon to head the ball just wide of the keep net.    Mark Yates chose the moment to start bringing fresh legs on and the first to appear was Simon Russell who came on for Constable.

Gavin Hurren and Matt Barnes-Homer followed soon after and M B-H should have scored within minutes of his arrival but failed to connect to a cross goal pass cleanly and the chance of opening his scoring account was gone.    Justin Richards too should have opened his account for the evening but his powerful shot was tipped over the bar by Phillips.

With three minutes of extra time added came the sending off of 'Trigger' Hurren.    Ged Murphy and himself went for a meaningless ball on the halfway line with both of them reaching it at the same time.    Hurren caught Murphy on the ankle, as did Murphy on Hurren, who went down too easily and made a meal of the challenge.

The ref ran screaming over and immediately pulled out a red card for Hurren while behind his back Murphy was getting to his feet and jogging away for a crafty snigger to himself.

Gavin will now miss the next three games unless video evidence can be proved that shows him not guilty of any wrong doing.    Let's just hope that with him now missing for a while that we don't pick up any injuries to our midfield.

One of the games he will miss is the visit of Torquay on Saturday and with their defence equally as suspect as ours was last Saturday at Ebbsfleet, they won 5-4 at Histon tonight, and both sides scoring for fun then that game should be interesting.
FT: 3 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Harkness 33, Constable 49, Creighton 55
 Goal for Droylsden: Banim 43

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Harriers  subs   cards      Droylsden  subs   cards 
Coleman     Phillips  
Kenna     Halford  
Harkness gif   Warner  
Ferrell     Cryan  
Creighton     Burke gif
Whitehead     Morris  
Bennett gif   Murphy  
Constable gif   Lynch  
Richards     Banim  
Penn     Salmon  
Blackwood     Denham  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Hurren gif   Pritchard  
Barnes-Homer     Fearns  
Bignot     Senior  
Russell     Tandy  
McGrath     Talbot  

Mr S Hooper

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