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Harriers 1 Salisbury City 2

Date: 23-02-08 Venue: Aggborough att: 1497 away fans: 102
Utter, utter rubbish!!
For the past few weeks I have been getting evermore fed up with the Harriers.  Our season is over prematurely and we're stuck with a manager that can't see what we can see - rubbish week in week out!

Today was no exception and apart from a spell five minutes in that lasted all of twenty minutes we looked second rate throughout the remainder of the game against a side that, apart from Liam Feeney and Aaron Cook, were no great shakes themselves.

Both sides started poorly with the ball spending more time either up in the air or in the seats than it did on the grass.  It didn't bode well for a great game of football but once a Harriers player managed to actually find another player with a pinpoint pass then it started to improve.

It was Andy Ferrell that picked up on the good pass and a quick spate of passing ended up at the feet of Russ Penn who then burst into the box only to be stopped in his tracks by Cook just inside the penalty area.  Both referee and his linesman signalled a penalty and the fans got ready to applaud the first goal.

Not to be though.  Iyseden Christie volunteered - no he didn't, he told any one else interested to piss off! - and then lamely side-footed it to the former Harriers keeper Ryan Clarke's right and he easily stopped it from going in.  An absolute waste of a penalty by Christie and it's not the first time either.

Thankfully Russ Penn wasn't prepared to see a good chance go to waste again and five minutes later he made sure not to give Christie the ball and went solo.  He picked the ball up in the middle of the park, went past a couple of City players, cut inside and then delivered a curling shot that went past the outstretched hand of Clarke to put the Harriers in the driving seat.

With the grip between their teeth the Harriers piled on the pressure and Darryl Knights had a shot blocked on the line and Alex Jeannin tried his luck from the corner of the box but Clarke got his hand to it and pushed it away.

Then the wheels came off the steamroller.

From looking so poor, considering they were on a ten game un-defeated run, Salisbury suddenly remembered what they had come here for and we realised that we weren't supposed to pass the ball around and hoof it everywhere instead.

The City opener came through shocking defending along with equally shocking goal keeping.  Our defence, Jeannin, Kenna and Creighton, had been caught out once more too far up the field and leaving no cover for the suspect MacKenzie.  The very fast Feeney ran onto a ball over the top of where our defence was supposed to be and then collided with MacKenzie who had come out to met him.  Feeney got up to put the ball into the empty net and MacKenzie stayed on the floor injured.

Two minutes later and it was game over.  This time Feeney turned provider, after looking suspiciously offside, and passed the ball inside towards Rob Matthews.  Both Creighton and Luke Jones failed to make a move for it and he easily sent the ball past our 'very experienced and dependable' keeper.

Salisbury continued to test MacKenzie for the remainder of the half and were unlucky not to go into the break at least 3-1 up.  Andy Sandell had a shot saved from just outside the box and Feeney caught Macca off his line yet again but this time his shot struck the side netting.

By now our lumbering defence were being breached time and time again and we had failed to get another shot on target since our good spell earlier in the game.  Russ Penn had vanished along with Matt Bailey and Darryl Knights to leave Christie up front alone on his own.

I remember when we had three strikers at this club.

HT: 1 - 2
Just before the start of the second half Ian Foster bought the team out early for some light training, so light it was over in a flash.  I don't know what the aim of it was.  Was it to sharpen them up? or was it just to show the fans that they had got a rollicking in the dressing room at half time?  I go with the latter.

It took ten minutes of dire football before Mark Yates bought some subs on.  Mike McGrath for Andy Ferrell and Barnes-Homer for Matt Bailey.  Ten minutes later Simon Russell came on to replace Knights and to be honest I still couldn't see any improvement.

City seemed content to sit on their lead knowing that we couldn't score in a month of Sundays and they were right.  Plenty of passing around the box, Christie trying to do it all by himself and the ball being launched skyward at every opportunity.

People are paying good money for this crap!

Up until the seventy fifth minute Russ Penn hadn't really been involved in the game once he had scored.  Then he seemed to wake up and it was from his shot from the edge of the box that the fans saw our first real attempt on goal since he had scored.  Say's a lot doesn't it?

We seemed to realise that we were losing and started to look a little more purposeful but the City rearguard held firm and our strikers were just not good enough.

The game ended with the Harriers losing at home once more, the fans streaming out silently, maybe never to return, and Mark Yates making more pathetic excuses for his naivety once again.
FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Harriers: Penn 11
 Goals for Salisbury: Feeney 25, Matthews 29

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Harriers  subs   cards      Salisbury City  subs   cards 
MacKenzie     R Clarke  
Kenna     Bass  
Jeannin gif   Robinson  
Ferrell     Cook gif
Creighton     Asafu-Adjaye  
Jones     Sinclair  
Bennett     Turk  
Bailey     Bartlett  
Christie     Matthews  
Penn gif   Feeney  
Knights     Sandell gif
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Bittner  
Barnes-Homer     D Clarke  
Russell     Bond  
McGrath     Herring  
Hurren     Brown  

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