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Match preview Vs Lewes

Date: 09-08-08 Venue: Aggborough Kick off: 15:00hrs
On the same weekend that the Olympics get underway in Beijing the Harriers start on a marathon of their own.  Yipee!!! it's the start of a new season and this year we're going to take it by storm.

Or not!

To say that there's not much confidence in the club, from a fan's point of view, is a bit of an under-statement.  Yet again we've seen the club wait until the last minute before finalising the new signings and even as I write there are still two that haven't signed yet.

The squad numbers have just been released and Simon Russell is down there at number 7 and Dean Bennett comes in at number 20.  All we need now is for them to sign some kind of contract before 3:00pm tomorrow or will they be signed on non-contract terms?

Apart from the last minute rushing around by Mark Yates and the dreaded players agents we look to have assembled a much better squad, and younger, than in previous seasons.  With Darryl Knights finally belonging to us we now have a creative player on the park.  Maybe not exactly in midfield as was hoped but creative non the less.

Dean Bennett At the back we now have a dedicated left back with yesterdays loan signing of Lee Baker from the Albion.  Experience may not be on his side but he is a Premiership player so must have skill of some kind.

Other new faces for this term include the England C team keeper Adam Bartlett; Luke Jones in defence signed for us from Shrewsbury after being on loan last season; Michael Bowler, Sam Foley, Dave McDermott and Martin Riley, all defenders/midfield, signed during the week as did Martin Brittain to patrol the right wing.

The only real worry is going to be where the goals are coming from?  Now that we haven't got Iyseden Christie to put away the half chance we are going to have to rely on Justin Richards and Matt Barnes-Homer.  Neither of those two are prolific at the best of times and so it proved in the recent friendlies when they could only manage one apiece.  Then again we only scored eight goals anyway!

Our opponents tomorrow are one of the new boys, Lewes.  This is their first time at this level and they'll be hoping to do better than others such as St Albans, Droylsden and Farsley who could only manage one season before dropping back down again.

Talking of St Albans it was this time two seasons ago that we got the shock of our lives after they went and inflicted an opening day defeat on us.  This must not happen again.

Looking at the Lewes website it appears that they don't really have any interest in this game.  They're more bothered about the visit of Crawley this coming Tuesday.

The only mention we get is a line or two in the 'next fixture' section.  On the message board they have a thread about the game but seem more bothered about getting wet from a bit of rain.

So, what do we know about them then?

Not much.  They're another village side like Histon, FGR and Rushden (thought I'd get that in) and, once promoted, they got rid of the manager that took them to the Championship.  He made way for an egotistic Chairman to run the club and it will remain to see how he gets on.

The first thing that the new 'manager' did was get rid of most of the team and then tried to recruit a team of local chavs and semi-retired local players.  After raiding Brighton's and Crawley's teams he just about assembled a team that includes his own son and one player worthy of signing in Danny Cullip.

We played against a Brighton side that included Cullip when we first went into the Football League: Brighton away, 28-08-00. We won 2-0 with goals from Ian Foster and Dean Bennett - aah, the memories.

So will we make the same mistake as we did two years ago or will we take Lewes apart?  Can't see us losing myself and I can't see us running riot either.  I'll go for a narrow win then.

Photo © KHFC

Harriers from:
Bartlett, Coleman, Baker, Riley, Bignot, Ferrell, Creighton, Bowler, Jones, Foley, Knights, McDermott, Bennett, McGrath, Brittain, Russell, Penn, Barnes-Homer, Smikle, Richards.

Lewes from:
France, Jordan, Banks, Williams, Robinson, Barness, Fenelon, Breach, Cullip, Wheeler, Barr, Fraser, Keehan, Geard, Koroma, Standing, Rowland, Taylor, Wallis-Taylor, Cox, Elliott, Beda.

Links to Lewes websites here
Find Hotels around Kidderminster here
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