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Halifax Town 1 Harriers 6

Date: 08-04-08 Venue: The Shay Stadium att: 1097 away fans: 38
Russ Penn goes quad at the Shay
The high scoring Harriers slammed in another six goals tonight and this time it was Halifax Town who were to be the victims of a side scoring goals for fun.  Russ Penn must have got all the honours going when he grabbed four of those goals as his own.  Quite possibly the best single scoring feat for the Harriers since the days of Kim Casey and Paul Davies.

Halifax, struggling near the foot of the table as were Stafford who were also on the end of a six goal cavalcade, just didn't know how to cope with us and were dead and buried within the first thirty five minutes when they went three goals down.  It took only a further three minutes for the lead to become un-assailable when Penn completed his hat trick.

The home side did pull a goal back with a fortuitous penalty on the stroke of half time but it was just a temporary respite from the goal machine.

We started with just one change to the side that drew against Altrincham on Saturday with Andy Ferrell coming in for Darryl Knights.  He went to the bench alongside Michael Wylde but not Jake Moult.  Halifax had the former Harriers loan player Simon Heslop starting for them and another former loanee, Darryl Stamp, on the bench.

It was Halifax who were to make the early running with Lewis Killeen almost connecting with a pass across the area within a minute of the start.  It was cleared to safety by the dependable Mark Creighton.

A few chances came our way but we didn't make the most of them.  Iyseden Christie going the closest with a free header that he should have done better with but he sent it well wide of Craig Mawsons upright.

The first goal came just after and it came out of the blue.

Christie had just had a shot on goal that was easily saved by the keeper and the ball was played back out to a Halifax defender but Russell Penn managed to gain possession and fired a shot back in towards goal from fully twenty five yards and into the net leaving the keeper stranded.

Seven minutes later and the same man had put us two goals up.  Christie had collected the ball from Matt Barnes-Homer and then taken it into the area looking for someone to pass to.  Penn was ready and waiting so he slipped the ball to him and Penn finished the move off by rifling the ball into the net from the edge of the box.

Halifax tried vainly to battle back and chances fell for Heslop and Jon Shaw but the Harriers held strong.  Andy Ferrell managed to block one shot from Heslop and Jeff Kenna got his head to a ball a fraction of a second before Shaw could connect himself.

Ferrell went into the referee's notebook soon after for a strong challenge on Danny Forrest just before Christie grabbed the third goal of the night for the Harriers and the sixth game in a row that the hitman has scored in.

Another wave of Red swept down the pitch and caught the Halifax defence square.  Simon Russell played the ball in and Christie simply ran onto it and chipped it over the keepers head.  Two minutes later and it was more or less game over when Penn completed his trio and we went four goals to the good.

We were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Santos Gaia fouled Christie.  Russ Penn stood waiting for the ref to sort the wall out and once ready he sent the ball over the wall and into the net.

The Harriers were now well in charge and started to break the Town defence and formation into pieces.  Their blue shirted opponents were almost static as the Harriers ripped them apart with shots from Christie, Jeannin and Barnes-Homer.

Suddenly, following an effort from Heslop that flew over the bar, Halifax were offered a way out by the referee in the final minute of the half.

Tom Kearney had a shot on goal but Ferrell threw himself at the ball travelling towards him.  He fell to the floor and at the same moment the ball hit his arm and the referee pointed to the spot.  He had already been booked earlier in the game and must have been worried in case the ref sent him off for, what was, an un-intentional handball but luckily for him the ref saw sense and just gave the spot kick.

Jon Shaw converted it easily to give Halifax false hope.
HT: 1 - 4
It was obvious that Halifax would have been the subject of a half time blasting from their manager, Chris Wilder, and that certainly looked true in the first twenty minutes of the new half.  They replaced Forrest with Matt Doughty and changed their formation around a bit.  Strangely Yates did the same with us and we went from a positive 4-3-1-2 to a defensive 4-4-2.

The half started with a knock to Creighton when he went into an aerial challenge with Shaw and came off worst.  A bit of treatment saw him back on his feet though.

With their new found lease of life Town went on the attack to try and claim another goal back.  Anthony Griffiths had a shot fly wide of Dean Colemans post and then Andy Campbell tried his luck but his shot went well wide.  He then sent the ball well over the bar a few minutes later.

Coleman then punched a corner away while under pressure from Shaw and then he dropped a cross and the ball went out for another corner.  This one ended with Gaia sending his header wide.

At last we started to get back into the game when Simon Russell should have done better when a pass from Christie found him un-marked but he could only side foot it weakly at Mawson.  Suddenly we were given the chance to really seal the game when Christie was bought down in the area by Griffiths.

The Town defender was given a yellow card and we were given a penalty.  Normally you would expect Christie to take it but this time up stepped the un-likely Andy Ferrell to take it.  No need to worry as Fez sent Mawson the wrong way and slipped the ball into the net for his first goal in a Harriers shirt.

It was all over for the home side now and it didn't take long for Penn to get the final goal of the night when he robbed Jake Wright of the ball and proceeded towards the goal, drawing Mawson out, and putting the ball into the net for his fourth goal of the night and a personal best for himself.

Soon after Michael Wylde came on for his debut for us and replaced Creighton just before MBH could and should have made it 7-1.  Christie played him in well but he wasn't alert enough and put his shot wide of the goal.

After that Russ Penn was replaced with Michael McGrath and went off to a standing ovation from both sets of fans.  Halifax bought on Darryn Stamp but it was futile and finally the referee put the home side out of their misery by blowing for full time.

Another great away win for the Harriers then and one that could spell the end for Halifax.  Deep in trouble near the bottom of the League and half way to administration.  We might have done them a favour.
FT: 1 - 6

 Goal for Halifax: Shaw 45 (pen)
 Goals for Harriers: Penn 15, 22, 38, 80, Christie 36, Ferrell 67 (pen)

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Halifax Town  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Mawson gif   Coleman  
Griffith gif   Kenna  
Gaia     Jeannin  
Ainge     Hurren  
Wright     Creighton  
Kearney     Ferrell gif
Forrest     Russell  
Heslop     Barnes-Homer  
Campbell     Christie  
Killeen     Penn  
Shaw     Bennett  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Legzdins     Smikle  
Stamp     Wylde  
Doughty     Bignot  
Atherton     McGrath  
Taylor     Knights  

Mr M Brown

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