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Harriers 0 Barrow AFC 1



Date: 04-10-08 Venue: Aggborough att: 1686 away fans: 106
Harriers lose the chance to go top
The Harriers must have been kicking themselves after this poorly executed defeat to Barrow.  When the days results came through at five o'clock we saw that we could have gone joint top with Crawley following their defeat at Burton.  With Mansfield, Rushden, Ebbsfleet, Salisbury losing and Cambridge drawing at York it would have been easy to pull away from the chasing pack a bit.

As it was we lost our unbeaten home record and that to a team that had come to Aggborough with the intention of defending for a point but ended up taking all three back to the middle of nowhere.

We went with an unchanged line-up once again and kicked the game off in decidedly wintery conditions that seemed alien to us but probably made the visiting Barrow fans think how pleasant it was.  We also started off by going close to opening the scoring in the first few seconds of the game.

Justin Richards had done well to beat a couple of Barrow defenders to the ball then beat the same defenders again to put over a short cross for Brian Smikle but the ball fell slightly behind him and his hooked shot went narrowly over the bar.

For the following few minutes the Harriers continued to look good with some neat passing but then disaster struck when Barrow were awarded a free kick well outside the area after Luke Jones fouled Lee Hunt.  Mark Boyd took it and from fully thirty yards it went through our weak wall and then bounced and went over Adam Bartletts dive.

Adam made up for his error straight away after when Barrow threatened to score again through Ashley Winn but managed to push his shot over the bar for a corner.

Once we had got over the goal we started to put some pressure on the visitors through some good play from Martin Brittain but Barrow got wise to him and started to mark him slightly too zealously.  That went over the top when Carlos Logan clattered him two footedly on the halfway line and got away with just a yellow card.

To put the icing on it soon after Britt was himself booked after kicking the ball on when the ref had blown for a throw in to Barrow.  The demon winger obviously hadn't realised that the ball had gone out and was going to get into position to make a killer cross.

Minutes later the ref targeted him again when Logan tried to get past him but stumbled while doing so.  Britt had his arms outstretched as Logan went tumbling past him and the ref, thinking that Britt had fouled him - he hadn't - called over Mark Creighton to tell him that the next time Brittain 'committed a foul' he'd be off.

With Brittain now walking on eggshells all the decent crosses to Barnes-Homer and Richards had more or less dried up.  The visitors seemed to sense that they were in with a chance and changed from a defensive formation to using two strikers up front.

We were also giving away too much possession and Hunt capitalised on that with a header over the bar following a good cross from Logan.

With time running down for half time we had our best spell in ages when we won four corners in a row but failed to convert any of them and the team went into the break looking beaten already.
HT: 0 - 1
The result of the half time inquest resulted in two subs being made.  Brittain, as expected, was off for his own safety because the referee was giving him none and Brian Smikle was off following a poor first half.  Neil Mackenzie and Darryl Knights came on for the pair of them.

It didn't seem to be working though and Barrow gave us another wake-up call when they got the ball into the net but luckily for us it was ruled out for offside.  Mackenzie responded with a cross for Richards to get on the end of but his header was way off target.

Again Mackenzie was the provider minutes later when his free kick hit the Barrow wall and comes back to him.  He played it on for MBH who then did likewise to Luke Jones but his shot was well covered by Alan Martin.

The Harriers were at last starting to take control of the game once more and the Barrow management made their first substitution of the day by taking off Lee Hunt and bringing on Nick Rogan in his place.

Hunt took his time going off and that raised the ire of the Harriers fans who could clearly see that Barrow were now using time wasting tactics to win the game.

Our next chance of a goal came from an unlikely source when Keith Lowe took the ball into the area after swapping passes with Richards.  Once in sight of goal his shot was weak and also went the wrong side of the upright.

Another unlikely striker, Andy Ferrell, tried to get in on the act too with a shot that went over the bar but he failed to add to his tally of one for the season.  With time now running down and the Harriers still not looking like scoring we took off Lee Baker and bought on 'Diddy' David McDermott.

It was now all Harriers but still the goals weren't coming.  Instead Barrow increased their time wasting tactics with the keeper now joining in the fun and taking ages over goal kicks.  The referee booked Andy Bond and then David Brown for time wasting before booking Allen late on in the game.

With just over ten minutes left we came the closest to scoring so far when Richards hit a screamer against the crossbar.  We had been given a free kick after Darryl Knights was fouled on the edge of the area and Richards took the kick that came so close to ending up in the net.

We must have had at least five more chances to get a point from the game and the referee played his part too by adding on another five minutes of playing time but it was to no avail.  The goal was destined never to come and we ended our winning streak with our first home defeat since last February.

It's bottom club Northwich away on Tuesday night and a good as any chance to get back into winning ways once more.
FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Barrow: Boyd 5


The Harriers Online MotM is:

Neil Mackenzie
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Harriers  subs   cards      Barrow AFC  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Martin gif
Lowe     Pearson  
Baker     Winn  
Ferrell     P Jones  
Creighton gif   McNulty  
L Jones     Henney  
Smikle     Bond gif
Brittain gif   Boyd  
Barnes-Homer     D Brown gif
Penn     Hunt  
Richards     Logan gif
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     P Brown  
Knights     Sheridan  
McDermott     Black  
Bennett     Rogan  
Mackenzie     Tait  

REFEREE:
Mr S Cummins
Cheshire





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