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Harriers 1 Wrexham AFC 0

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Date: 22-11-08gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 4203gif away fans: 840
Harriers hold on for important win
The Harriers faced a second half onslaught on Adam Bartlett's goal as Wrexham battled to get a point back in this game.  A Brian Smikle goal mid-way through the first half gave us the lead, and the points, but a face injury to leading scorer Justin Richards early in the second half meant that we had no real threat up front to come back if we had given a goal away.

The luck was on our side today with three shots from Wrexham hitting the woodwork during the first half and we can also be thankful to Bartlett for saving what was a certain goal late on in the second half.  The end of the game was also marred by an altercation between the Harriers keeper and some away fans who had been throwing coins etc onto the pitch after Barts was supposed to have said something to them.

Todays game was played out in front of the biggest crowd at Aggborough since the visit of Hereford Utd just over three years ago.  The teams drew 1-1 that day in front of 3241 fans with 1031 coming over Bromyard Downs.

For the first twenty minutes we looked a bit shaky in defence and were getting exposed continually on both flanks.  Lee Baker was failing to mark his man and the first warning of what was to come came early on when Wes Baynes collected the ball from a Mike Williams crossfield pass and then unleashed a ferocious shot that beat Bartlett ends up and cannoned back off the upright.  Baker was hanging around in the middle of the park and tried to cover up for his mistake by rushing over but the ball was already on it's way back by then.

He didn't take that incident on board because it happened on at least two other occasions after that.  It wasn't until the second half that he seemed to realise that it was his job to mark players.

It took us another five minutes to come up with an answer to that close call when Martin Brittain got into the area but his shot wasn't strong enough to cause any real damage.  The game was becoming something of a midfield battle and Wrexham were starting to get on top of the game until out of the blue Brian Smikle gave us the lead and the winner.

Brittain had played Matt Barnes-Homer in on the touchline and MBH whipped over a cross that beat three Wrexham defenders to land just right for Junior to chest the ball down and volley it into the back of the net.

Apart from Baynes the visitors had another fast, direct winger that had been causing us problems and it was Nathan Woolfe that almost got them back into the game with the second shot to hit the post when he curled a shot past Bartlett again.  It was becoming our lucky day.

The game returned to being a finely balanced affair and both sides had chances to score without being convincing enough.  In the dying seconds of the half Jefferson Louis became the third Wrexham player to hit the wood when his free shot from close range almost punished the three Harriers defenders looking on without a care in the world.
HT: 1 - 0
The second half we were under the cosh for long periods and it was only some wayward shooting and fine goalkeeping from Adam Bartlett that kept us going.  Our cause wasn't helped by Justin Richards getting hit in the eye by the ball and having to go off for some major treatment after the Physio had treated him on the pitch.

Darryl Knights came on in his place and we seemed to lose what little threat we had posed although Dazzler did try to get involved but nothing seemed to be coming off for him.

The defence had now tightened up a bit too and the Wrexham manager Dean Saunders started to make major changes to his side.  New signing Patrick Suffo came on in place of a defender and with almost his first touch he had bought out the best in our keeper with a shot across the face of the goal which seemed destined to go in but somehow Barts managed to get a fingertip to it and pushed it around the post.

With just under three quarters of the game gone we had our first real attempt on goal in this half.  Darryl Knights broke through the visitors defence and fired the ball towards the goal but it took a slight deflection and went out for a corner.

It was around about then that Wrexham stepped up a gear and bought on yet another striker to try and get back into the game.  The Harriers goal was under almost constant bombardment but Bartlett was holding firm.

It was also about now that stuff was getting thrown onto the pitch and the stewards moved into place to try and quell any trouble.  As soon as the whistle blew to signal yet another victory for us the Wrexham fans started to get onto the pitch and the players were pulled away from any potential danger.

It was a disappointing end to the game and not a true reflection of the true followers of Wrexham.  Just a stupid minority that couldn't handle a defeat.

We now go back into fourth place in the League and a trip to Oxford on Tuesday night.  They were on the end of another thrashing today, this time at Histon, but I don't think we have anything to fear from them.
FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: Smikle 26


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Harriers  subs   cards      Wrexham AFC  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Ward  
Lowe     De Laet gif  
Baker     Tremarco gif
Ferrell     Westwood
Creighton     Fairhurst gif  
Riley     Mike Williams  
Brittain gif     Baynes  
Smikle     Tsiaklis  
Barnes-Homer     Louis  
Penn     Marc Williams  
Richards gif     Woolfe  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Evans  
Knights gif     Mackin gif  
Bennett     Suffo gif  
Jones gif     Edwards  
Moore     Taylor gif  

REFEREE:
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Essex




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