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York City 2 Harriers 2

Date: 05-01-08 Venue: KitKat Stadium att: 2423 away fans: 116
Harriers lose early two goal lead
The Harriers went into a two goal lead in the first few minutes at York City when we scored almost straight from the kick off with a second goal of the season for Michael McGrath and one from Iyseden Christie.  York then retaliated with two goals of their own in as many minutes to put the game back to square one with only thirty five minutes gone.  It ended all honours even and both clubs continuing their respective un-beaten runs.

We started the game without four first team regulars as James Constable, Andy Ferrell, Justin Richards and Russ Penn all sat out the game through suspension.  In their places came Matt Barnes-Homer, Jeff Kenna, Iyseden Christie and Dean Bennett - just returned to us from Chester City for the remainder of the season.

Surprisingly this meant that Stuart Whitehead sat on the bench for the second game running as Mark Yates went with a 4-4-2 formation that saw Sir Jeff playing as a sweeper.  Also on the bench was Neil Howarth, the assistant manager, there to make up the numbers.

The York manager, Colin Walker, received his award for gaining the Manager of the Month accolade before the game so all it needed now was for the Harriers to rain on his parade.  They did that in the best way possible.

It took just two minutes to take the lead when City defender Dan Parslow deflected a throw in into the path of McGrath.  He needed no second prompting to go on one of his mazy runs towards the goal and then convert it into the far corner for our earliest goal of the season.

City retaliated with the impressive Manny Panther sending in a shot that Scott Bevan did well to keep out.  A minute later Bev was back in action again to stop a header from Martyn Woolford going in.

City came close again soon after when Panther, again, sent a looping header over the bar when he should really have scored the equaliser and another chance fell his way in the 20th minute but again he wasted an easy opportunity as he sent the ball wide in front of an open goal.

It didn't matter because just after that miss we made no mistake getting our second goal of the game.  Jeff Kenna broke up a City attack and played the ball across the park to Matt Barnes-Homer.  MBH took the ball forward to then put in a far post cross to allow Christie the chance to tap the ball home and put us in a commanding lead.

York were not going to lie down and roll over though and they went onto the attack straight from the restart with Craig Farrell going close on a couple of occasions with the closest going just over the bar.  The goal had to come soon and it wasn't long.

Woolford passed the ball to Onome Sodje who then surged down the wing, cut inside and fired the ball past Bevan to start their comeback.  The second goal arrived two minutes later when Nicky Wroe went down the other wing and played the ball into Farrell who needed no second invite to put his side back on level terms.

From being in the lead the Harriers now found themselves with a battle on their hands and would need to keep their wits about them not to go behind to a third goal.

For the remainder of the half it was almost one way traffic from City but luckily for us poor finishing was letting them down and good defending was keeping them out and we went in for the half time break and a chance to take a breath.
HT: 2 - 2
York came back out with guns blazing as they went in search of a third killer goal and came very close within the first minute when Panther crossed the ball into the area.  It should have been an easy catch for Scott Bevan but he dropped the ball with a City striker advancing.  Thankfully he recovered in time to make the situation safe.

We responded with a shot from Christie that went just over the bar following a fine through ball from McGrath.  This was followed at the other end with a stunning save from Bevan after he tipped a shot from Woolford over the bar.

The big keeper came to our rescue again soon after when he dived at the feet of Panther just in time to stop him getting his shot in.

With the Harriers now under relentless pressure Yates changed the team around slightly by bringing on Brian Smikle for Simon Russell, just after he picked up his first yellow card of the season, and dropping Kenna deeper into defence.  It was still one way traffic towards the Harriers goal but both teams were now getting tired and chances seemed harder to come by.

With the time running down City went in search of the winning goal with Sodje and Farrell both going close.  It was backs to the wall defending for us now but our cause wasn't helped when Creighton received an elbow in the face from the City sub, Brodie.  The referee waved away calls for Brodie to be sent off even though he had booked Creighton during the first half for merely holding a City player.  It didn't help that Creights had to leave the field for treatment to his bloodied face and then wasn't allowed to come back on by the fourth official.

We were forced to defend the draw with just ten men on the pitch until Stuart Whitehead came on to replace Creighton.  As he arrived on the pitch the referee blew for full time and a hard earned draw for the Reds.

We will be back at full strength for the trip, another away game!, to Altrincham on Tuesday where, on this form, we should manage to get all three points.
FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for York City: Sodje 31, Farrell 34
 Goals for Harriers: McGrath 2, Christie 24

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Latest table and stats here  

York City  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Evans     Bevan  
Kelly     Kenna  
Purkiss     Bignot  
Elliott gif   Hurren  
McGurk     Creighton gif
Parslow     Bennett  
Sodje     Russell gif
Panther     McGrath  
Wroe     Christie  
Farrell     Barnes-Homer  
Woolford     Blackwood  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Mimms     Coleman  
Craddock     Howarth  
Brayson     Smikle  
Brodie     Harkness  
Lloyd     Whitehead  

Mr M Brown
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