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Harriers 2 Histon 0


Date: 27-01-09gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1277gif away fans: 33
Harriers back on track
The Reds recorded their first win over Histon and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Recent games have seen us go off the boil and struggling to get any semblance of a win in our sights but tonight was different.  It could have been just tactical nous that told Mark Yates to start the game with both Darryl Knights and David McDermott or it could have been necessity because of the injuries to Russ Penn on Saturday and then prior to the game tonight a hamstring injury for Mark Creighton.

I'd say it was a mixture of both and thankfully it worked.  For once we actually did pass the ball around and not have Yates telling us we did when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.  The change in tactics was entirely down to having two ball playing midfielders in the side and not the usual hoofers.

To some extent it was Histon who could be classed as the hoofers but we already knew that and, fair play to them, they do it well.  They are also a very fast side, something that must be needed for the long ball game, and close down extremely quickly.

That could have been our only failing tonight with Knights, McDermott and Barnes-Homer all getting knocked off the ball too easily.

Histon started the game the stronger and their 100mph football was causing us some problems at the back.  As early as the second minute a defensive error let in a Histon man but in the one on one against Bartlett he swept the ball way over the bar.  A very lucky escape for us.

Slowly but surely the Harriers started to get themselves into the game but Histon were still a threat on the break and went close to opening the scoring on three occasions when Antonio Murray, Jack Midson and Josh Simpson all had good efforts stopped by equally good shot stopping from Bartlett.
On eighteen minutes the game turned with the first goal of the game, thankfully going our way.  A superb passing move started by McDermott saw a header from Dean Bennett came back off the bar and fall just right for Matt Barnes-Homer to crash back into the net.

The goal rocked Histon back for a while as the Harriers went in search of another goal.  We could never get a really close sight of goal though and that was down to some solid Histon defending.  Justin Richards should have scored five minutes before the end of the half but when McDermott sent a tantalising ball across the face of the goal for some reason Richards stepped over it to give someone else a chance to score.  Problem was there was nobody there!

The half ended with us narrowly in front but only just.
HT: 1 - 0
The second period started much as the first one did.  Histon again came out and started to play the high power game and again we were struggling to cope with it.

The pressure was really being applied to our goal and only desperate defending was keeping them out.  The corner tally was also getting too high for comfort and they must have had five consecutive corners in the space of two minutes.

Calls for a penalty were turned down on the hour mark when the Histon keeper Danny Naisbitt appeared to handle the ball outside the area but the referee decreed that he had used his chest and not his hand.  Then again he also thought that the Histon number four continually barging into players was acceptable.

We were still struggling to make any headway in the game and our first real chance of the half fell for McDermott but his long range strike was never going to cause any trouble as it went the wrong side of the post.  Histon did almost cause us some trouble though when Danny Wright was allowed to make his way through towards goal but then, with only Bartlett to beat, he sent his gift of a chance way over the bar.

With the Harriers struggling to get out of their own half Mark Yates made a change to the team by sending on Brian Smikle for Darryl Knights.  The difference wasn't too obvious and it looked like a case of just sending some fresh legs on.

Time was now starting to run down and it was just a matter of holding out for the narrow win by keeping Histon away from the goal.  Problem was that silly back passes and mis-judged clearances were letting the visitors in all too easily.  Finally, in the four minutes of added time gleaned by the referee from God knows where, Matt Barnes-Homer grabbed his second goal of the night and the goal that clinched the game for us.

Histon were caught on the break by Richards and finally a through pass worked with the Histon defenders too far up the pitch in search of the equaliser.  MBH read the move and swept the ball in beyond the reach of the keeper to crown a hard won battle for us and a result that sends us back into the play-off zone.

Credit is due to both sides for turning what could have been a cautious stalemate of a game into one of the best games seen at Aggborough all season.  It's Trophy action against York City this Saturday and if we can stick to this line-up for that game then we should progress into the next round without any problems.
FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Barnes-Homer 18, 90

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Harriers  subs   cards      Histon  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Naisbitt  
Lowe     Oyebanjo  
Armstrong     Gwillim  
Ferrell     Mitchell-King  
Riley     Langston  
Jones     Bygrave  
McDermott gif     Simpson  
Knights gif     Knight-Percival  
Barnes-Homer     Midson  
Bennett     Murray
Richards     Wright  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Bignot gif     Welch  
Smikle gif     Pope  
Moore     Kennedy  
Brittain     Andrews  
Baker     Barker  

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