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Harriers 6 Stafford Rangers 0

Date: 04-03-08 Venue: Aggborough att: 1240 away fans: 85
Harriers slam in the Super Six
The Harriers upset their own form book tonight when they rattled in six goals against a very poor Stafford Rangers side sadly heading back to the Blue Square North after just two seasons with the big boys.  Four of our goals came in the first half as we ripped the visitors apart with some of the finest attacking football seen at Aggborough for a very long time.

Mark Yates, desperately trying to hold onto his job, made a few tweaks to the team that lost at Aldershot on Saturday by recalling Jeff Kenna and Darryl Knights to the side.  It was the masterstroke of playing Knights in the 'hole' behind Matt Barnes-Homer and Iyseden Christie that re-invigorated the side after their recent slump in form.

Right from the first minute of he game the home side were on the attack.  Simon Russell sent an angled shot across the face of the goal in the eighth minute and Barnes-Homer tried a similar tactic soon after but his more direct shot went just wide.

On fourteen minutes the avalanche started when Knights advanced on goal and, seeing a gap between the keeper and the post, he rifled home his first goal for the club.  Nice goal but the keeper could really have done better.

Christie opened his account for the night just six minutes later with a stunning header that gave Danny Alcock no chance.  The ball was played through for Barnes-Homer who then sent in a perfectly flighted cross for Issey to leap salmon like to meet and send it arrow like into the net.

Simon Russell made it 3-0 in the 25th minute when a superb cross from Knights found him lurking on the edge of the area and in a split second Russell rifled the ball home from fifteen yards out.

It wasn't long before the fourth goal arrived and Christie was involved once more.  Darryl Knights played the ball to his feet just inside the area and as the keeper came out to narrow the angle Christie tried to take the ball around him.  With little choice left to him Alcock bought Christie down and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Not being one to remember the rule book the ref allowed Alcock to stay on the pitch and didn't book him either!

Following Christie nightmare penalty miss against Salisbury recently he kindly allowed Barnes-Homer to take it and MBH duly showed him how it should have been done.

By the end of the half the Harriers are in full control of their destiny and Stafford haven't had a look in all night.
HT: 4 - 0
The second half was more of the same but with half the amount of goals.  MBH came close to adding his second goal of the evening when he connected perfectly with Russell's cross but sent the ball just wide.  Five minutes later Knights almost doubled his score too when Christie played him in but, as with Barnes-Homer, his shot too went just wide.

Stafford finally got their first shot of the game two minutes later when Kevin Street fired the ball straight at Chris MacKenzie.  Liam Hughes, on loan for Stafford from Wolves, also tested out Macca but again it was straight at him and posed no problem in stopping.

Twelve minutes into the second period and Christie completed his brace when, again, Knights supplied him with the ball after breaking away down the right hand side.  Christie slid the ball home from close range past the despondent looking Alcock.

With Stafford now completely out of it the Harriers, both, took their foot off the gas and at the same time upped the tempo!  Barnes-Homer and Christie both come close again but then Yates decided to take Knights off to exchange him with McGrath.

The play got scrappy for a while with the loss of the play maker and we looked to be happy with the existing scoreline.  Stafford forced their first corner of the game in the eighty third minute and the, frankly, poor turn out of their fans cheered at their good fortune.  It came to nothing though.

Another change to the side was made with Brian Smikle coming on for Russ Penn and straight away the tempo got raised again.  The fifth goal, and Russell's second, came on the stroke of full time with probably the best goal of the night when Christie supplied him with the ball to an acute angle on the edge of the box.  Russell had just enough time to pick his spot with a Rangers defender bearing quickly down on him and send the ball through Alcocks legs for his second goal of the night.

In the dying seconds we could have been celebrating a 7-0 scoreline and a Christie hat trick when the ball ricocheted around the area for Smikle to blast the ball goalwards only for it to rebound off a defender to Christie whose blast of a shot hit another defender, bounced up onto the underside of the cross bar, onto the goal line and booted away upfield by a Rangers defender.

With the final whistle came the applause for an entertaining nights football.  Was the result a papering over of the cracks or was it the way it's going to be from now on.  Will Yates go with this formation again on Saturday when a stiffer test in Grays come to Aggborough.

We can only wait to see.
FT: 6 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Knights 14, Christie 21, 57, Russell 25, 90, Barnes-Homer 36 (pen)

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Harriers  subs   cards      Stafford Rangers  subs   cards 
MacKenzie     Alcock  
Kenna     Sutton gif
Jeannin     Jarrett gif
Bennett     Gibson  
Creighton     Daniels  
Jones     Djoumin gif
Russell     Flynn  
Barnes-Homer     Street  
Christie     Grayson  
Penn     Hughes  
Knights gif   Draper  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Allen  
McGrath     Arnolin  
Bignot     Reid  
Harkness     Meakin-Richards  
Smikle     Shaw  

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