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Harriers 1 Rushden & Diamonds 3    Setanta Shield 5th rd

Date: 26-02-08 Venue: Aggborough att: 739 away fans: 30 approx
Time for a change
The Harriers depressing run continued with this shambles of a defeat to Rushden and now it's serious.  Since January 31st, when our better players left, we have looked like a team lacking in confidence, in striking ability, lacking in defensive composure and worst of all not wanting to play for their manager any longer.

We, the fans, have suffered silently for too long now and the time has now come for Mark Yates to consider his future as the manager of Kidderminster Harriers FC.

After being told that Saturdays defeat against Salisbury was down to players playing for themselves, and not the team, Yates promised changes along with yet another kick up the arse.  What we saw tonight was basically a repeat of Saturday.

We dominated the first twenty odd minutes and I would have estimated the possession to be along the lines of 99% for us and 1% for Rushden.  The only problem with all that possession was that we just hadn't got a clue what to do with it!

We have gone from a team with four strikers in January to a team with one, Christie, sat on the bench.  Our other striker, Matt Barnes-Homer was, like his manager, clueless playing up front all by himself.  Yes, we'd gone with the lone striker at home idea again - well it worked at Burton remember?

The Rushden goal came out of the blue when our defence stood waiting for the offside flag to go up as two Rushden forwards sped through not believing their luck and how gullible the referee was.  The man with the ball drew MacKenzie out and then side footed it to Jon Challinor who had the simple task of tapping the ball into the empty net.

Heads dropped.  Game over!

The stats had now gone to something like 55% v 45% and we still hadn't had a decent shot on target.    Our best chance came with a wasted free kick from McGrath after he let it drift aimlessly over the wall towards the Rushden keeper and when a blatant penalty was turned down by both the referee and the linesman after a Rushden man fell on the ball in the area and then pushed the ball out of play with his hand.

Soon after we were two goals down when Creighton bought down Andy Burgess on the edge of the area and Gooding stepped up to take an identical free kick to the one taken earlier by McGrath.  This one drifted over our wall and also our keeper.

HT: 0 - 2
The second half got under way with a double substitution of Iyseden Christie for Dean Bennett and Simon Russell for McGrath.  For some uncanny reason Christie went out wide to leave MBH all alone still and still without any idea what to do.

Russell probed the Diamonds defence for a while then seemed to realise no one else was bothered and drifted out of the game for a while.  MacKenzie made a couple of good saves from the slickly clicking Rushden forwards and we just carried on aimlessly.

It wasn't until almost three quarters through the game that we came to life again.  Russell collected the ball on the edge of the area, took the ball on a bit and then fired past Dale Roberts in the visitors goal.

The goal came totally against the run of play and then for the next ten minutes we went in search of the second, equalising goal.

Forget it!  The sucker punch came ten minutes from the end when Challinor, again looking suspiciously offside, broke through the Harriers defence to slot the ball past MacKenzie for their third and final goal.

Where does that leave us?  Out of all competitions now and comparatively safe in mid table but should Mark Yates feel that his job is also safe?

Unless one, maybe two, strikers either return to the club or are bought in before the weekend then Yates should now be at home considering what to put in his resignation letter to the board.

Me? I support Kidderminster Harriers FC, NOT Mark Yates.
FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Harriers: Russell 72
 Goals for Rushden: Challinor 23, 70, Gooding 38

The Harriers Online MotM is:

Again I'll have to pass
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Harriers  subs   cards      Rushden & Diamonds  subs   cards 
MacKenzie     Roberts  
Kenna     Osano  
Bignot     Kelly  
Ferrell     Gulliver  
Creighton     Hope  
Jones     Gooding  
Knights     Challinor  
Bennett     Woodhouse  
Barnes-Homer     Brown  
Penn     El Kholti  
McGrath     Burgess  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Bastock  
Hurren     Shaw  
Russell     Bolt  
Christie     Lambley  
Bailey     Howell  

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