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Harriers 1 York City 1  FA Trophy 3rd rd

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Date: 31-01-09gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1115gif away fans: 153
Harriers fail against a poor City side
The Harriers failed to take advantage of being at home to a poor York City side in this FA Trophy game and will now have to trek North on Tuesday evening for an un-wanted replay instead of heading South for a Blue Square game at Woking.  This one will still be winnable though and we should have Mark Creighton back by then following his quick recovery from injury and making it to the bench today.

We started with almost the same side that gave value for money against Histon in mid-week but sadly couldn't give us the same kind of result.  The only difference was Lee Baker getting re-called to the side in place of the cup tied Craig Armstrong and on the bench Paul Bignot made way for Creights.

A messy opening period of the game saw City slightly on top as we started in our usual way; slowly.  Baker came to our rescue in only the fifth minute of the game with an excellent tackle in dispossessing Daniel McBreen just as the City striker had broken the Harriers off side trap and was about to make his way, alone, into the area.

Our first chance on goal came just over five minutes later when Justin Richards fired a low shot towards the City goal after Matt Barnes-Homer played him in with a fine ball.  Michael Ingham, in goal for York, saved it easily enough though.

Slowly but surely we were starting to get into the game and had chances fall the way of Darryl Knights on three different occasions but each one was weakly struck and gave the keeper no trouble in saving them.  Then just as it looked like we were getting the upper hand some poor defensive work let in City to score.

We had just seen a great shot from McDermott that had been blocked by Mark Robinson with the ball being cleared away up the pitch.  It was then played on to Adam Boyes on the edge of the box and, with defenders backing off him, he struck the ball well to send it curling past Bartlett and into the net.

We tried our best to regain the equality with a shot from Richards that was put onto the bar and bounced back for Andy Ferrell to return with interest but, as with most financial institutions today, the interest was worthless.

With five minutes of the half left the City keeper provided the afternoons comedy spot when he went down under an innocuous challenge from MBH and proceeded to make the most of it.  After a few minutes of treatment the physio walked away thinking his job was done then stood watching from the other end of the goalmouth as Ingham pretended to do up his laces.  He then put his gloves on and then moved the ball about a couple of times before actually taking the kick and all the while the referee stood by doing nothing while the Harriers fans hurled derision the keepers way.

The ref, to his credit, did add three minutes extra time to the half and a further four minutes at the end of the game.

HT: 0 - 1
City started the half the stronger side again without really bothering the Harriers back line too much.  They had obviously had a talking to from Mark Yates about the way City had been allowed to score and it seemed that we had toughened up a bit now.

We had the first chance of the half when Richards sent a diving header over the bar and then just after he forced Ingham to save well when he fired in a shot that was heading for the back of the net.  For once Yates opted for an early substitution and took Dean Bennett off to bring Martin Brittain on.

He was to pick up a yellow card soon after when he collided with Andy McWilliams and the referee deemed it to have been a foul.  Barnes-Homer had also been booked a few minutes earlier in similar circumstances when he went for a fifty-fifty ball with Ingham and the keeper dropped like a stone to the ground.  The ref was definitely giving the impression that he favoured York City more that he did us.

City had their first real chance of the half in the sixty ninth minute when Richard Brodie - the thin, awkward striker with a face almost as red as the referees that they could have been called father and son - got beyond the defence to test Bartlett with a shot that Barts somehow saved with his legs.

Brian Smikle was the next change for us and he came on to replace Darryl Knights who had been slightly less effective in this half of the game.  Just after that change we grabbed the equalising goal, the one that would take us to a replay back in York.

Martin Brittain picked up the ball on the edge of the area and this time it was the City defence that backed off to allow Britt to squeeze a low shot just inside the post.

Following that strike it was all Harriers as we went in search of the winning goal.  Lee Baker sent a shot over the bar and then MBH should have scored the winner but his shot, after he ran onto a ball sent over the top of the City defence, came back off the upright when it should really have been buried out of sight.

With the four minutes now added on the tempo was upped but we just couldn't find a way through and so the game ended all square and a mid-week trip to York booked.

It's still a winnable game and we still have a good chance of going through to the next round if only we can keep it tight at the back and Justin Richards re-finds his scoring touch.  We might also have a former Premiership player in the ranks if the rumours are anything to go by.
FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Brittain 76
 Goal for York City: Boyes 25


The Harriers Online MotM is:

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Harriers  subs   cards      York City  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Ingham  
Lowe     Purkiss  
Baker     Robinson  
Ferrell     McWilliams
Riley     Mackin  
Jones     Parslow  
McDermott     Rusk  
Knights gif     Critchell  
Barnes-Homer   McBreen  
Bennett gif     Brodie  
Richards     Boyes  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Mimms  
Moore     Sodje  
Creighton     Radcliffe  
Smikle gif     Russell  
Brittain gif   Wilkinson  

REFEREE:
Mr S Cummins
Cheshire





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