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Burton Albion 2 Harriers 2

Date: 25-08-08 Venue: The Pirelli Stadium att: 1798 away fans: 227
Harriers battle back against Burton
The Harriers came from behind twice at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton, today after starting with the same line-up as against Altrincham on Saturday.  You have to agree with Mark Yates on this occasion because if it works then don't change it.

There was another start for Martin Brittain and David McDermott and Darryl Knights had to be happy with a place on the bench again.

In the Burton side were three ex-Harriers and one who could have been.  Andy Corbett, Matt Bailey and John McGrath were the ex's and Greg Pearson was the could have been.

It didn't take long for Pearson to show what we had missed out on and how dangerous he could be in the box.  It was his pass that set up Jody Banim as early as the second minute but thankfully the ex Droylsden striker put his shot straight into the grateful arms of Adam Bartlett.  Marc Goodfellow and John Brayford then tried to make the breakthrough with some long range shots but the Harriers defence held firm and mopped them up easily.

We retaliated with a long range effort ourselves when Russ Penn saw an opening and took aim from twenty five yards out but it flew well wide.  Luke Jones was the next to have a go and this time he came closer with a header, from Martin Brittain's corner, that pinged off Kevin Poole's crossbar.

With the game going from end to end it wasn't going to be long before someone got the first goal and it had to be Pearson with his fourth goal in as many games.

Banim collected the ball from Corbett and took it to the edge of the area from where he picked out the poorly marked Pearson who stuck out a foot to change the direction of the ball into the net.

We weren't going to sit back and watch though and other chances came our way for Penn and Brittain although nothing positive came from them but it did from Adam Bartlett.  The fat, but deceptively quick, Banim had a shot that had goal written all over it but somehow Adam managed to flip backwards to tip a reflex save over the bar.

The half ended with a yellow card for Russ Penn after he went for a ball in penalty area that John McGrath had got covered.  Penn went 'flying' over his foot and the ref did him for diving.  Although Penn didn't argue with the ref's decision I don't think it warranted a booking.
HT: 1 - 0
After a solid first half display from the Harriers we were looking forward to an even better second half but we found it hard to get into second gear.  A well taken free kick from Brittain was the highlight of the early part of the half when his kick curled around the Burton wall and went narrowly outside the upright.

After ten minutes of further in-action the first change of the day came when Brian Smikle came on for David McDermott.  It didn't really create anything better for us but it did give us a pair of fresh legs out there because the real improvement came with the introduction of the tricky Darryl Knights.

Within minutes of getting onto the field he had set up Matt Barnes-Homers equalising goal.  He played in Justin Richards with a well aimed pass into the box and Richards then moved the ball on into the path of MBH at the far post to put it home from just a few feet out.

Cruelly Burton then regained their lead straight from the kick off when substitute Shaun Harrad poked the ball into the path of Pearson who then struck a fierce shot straight at Bartlett.  The Harriers England C keeper could only parry the ball as far as John Brayford who made no mistake sending the ball home on the rebound.

With the Harriers fans thinking that we wouldn't be able to get anything from this game and that Burton would probably go on to score a third we then went and equalised once more just four minutes later.  A Martin Brittain corner found the head of Luke Jones and as his header travelled into the net Darren Stride tried to hook it back out from behind the line.  The referee was unsighted and had to rely on his linesman to tell him that the goal should be given.

It took a second to realise the truth of the situation but we had scored and it was all square once more.

Both sides went out in search of the winner and first Brian Smikle somehow managed to lift a shot over the bar from a few yards out and then, for Burton, Ryan Austin's free kick went close but not close enough.

So it's yet another fine result for the Harriers at Burton's expense.  They must be wondering what they have to do get the better of us.
FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Burton: Pearson 31, Brayford 77
 Goals for Harriers: Barnes-Homer 76, Jones 81

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Burton Albion  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Poole     Bartlett  
Brayford     Lowe  
Webster     Baker  
Simpson     Ferrell  
Austin     Creighton  
J McGrath     Jones  
Goodfellow     Brittain  
Corbett     McDermott  
Pearson     Barnes-Homer  
Banim     Penn gif
Bailey     Richards  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Deeney     Coleman  
Stride     M McGrath  
Holmes     Knights  
Morris     Smikle  
Harrad     Bennett  

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