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Harriers 1 Barrow 2

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Date: 20-04-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1036gif away fans: 25
Thank God there's only one game left

gifReport by Harry Taylor
Tonight Kidderminster Harriers played their final home game of the season at Aggborough and they were hoping to give out a better performance than the previous Saturday where a gutless performance had seen them overcome by a good Stevenage Borough side that on the day won the League Championship.  However, this wasn't to be the case as, despite taking a one goal lead within ten minutes through an own goal, the visitors had scored two goals before half time and Barrow held this lead to take a win back up to the famous ship-building town in Cumbria.

The home side started with the usual formation with Chris McPhee taking the role of the spearhead of the Harriers attack.  Jasbir Singh also retained his place in goal as Ross Atkins had been recalled back to Derby County.  The former Shrewsbury keeper may have started anyway even if Atkins was still at the club.  Barrow started with Jason Walker in the place of ex-Chester hitman Nick Chadwick.

As the sun began to set over rural Worcestershire the Harriers kicked off and started the game the brightest which eventually after seven minutes led to them taking the lead; an early goal trait which has been common in the side since Steve Burr took the helm.  On the left side of the pitch Brian Smikle played the ball back to Lee Baker and from the halfway line he lofted a pass forward into the direction of McPhee.  The Barrow keeper, Stuart Tomlinson, came out to collect the ball but was beaten to it by McPhee who controlled the ball wonderfully with his chest and, after taking it slightly round Tomlinson, hit a curling shot which was unlucky not to go into the net on its own merit but, in a vain effort to keep the ball out of goal, Paul Edwards could only help it on its way in under the close watch of Darryl Knights.

Soon after 'The Reds' could've doubled their lead moments after was the ball was passed back to Tomlinson.  His poor control nearly led to the ball bobbling into his own net but the keeper got back just in time and cleared the ball away from the goal-line much to the travelling supporters relief.

Less than ten minutes after this chance though Kidderminster may've been rueing Barrow's good fortune as the away team equalled up the game.  The ball was played through the middle by Robin Hulbert to Jason Walker, who was racing in, in a battle of pace between him and, Harriers centre-back Martin Riley.  Walker was the victor and his initial shot was saved by Singh but the ball went under him and, unchallenged, the Barrow striker picked the ball up and was given sufficient time to dummy a shot and hit the ball straight between the two Harriers defenders into the goal to level up the game.

From then onwards Barrow took the initiative and looked to push on for another goal to give them the lead.  The Harriers mistakenly gave them time on the ball, especially in the middle of the pitch, and the time they were given to pick their attacks was at times almost criminal.

Barrow didn't profit from this and infact in the thirty fourth minute Smikle unluckily had a header hit the post and just seconds later McPhee had a shot saved by Tomlinson.

Barrow then went up the other end of the pitch and easily punished a goalkeeping howler by Jasbir Singh as the ball was headed back to him by Duane Courtney for an easy catch but he fumbled the ball and allowed Jason Walker an easy header to give Barrow the lead just before half time.

At half time the home side went into the dressing room to a partial chorus of boo's, which was perhaps deserved, after such a lacklustre first half performance outlined by the excessive usage of backpassing by defenders when infact they should've hit the ball upfield.
  HT: 1 - 2
The second half started with Barrow having the majority of the possession but never really threatening Singh in the Harriers goal infront of their twenty five travelling fans.  Kidderminster themselves offered even less of a threat to Tomlinson's goal and the first significant chance of the first half came in the sixty first minute when Jack Byrne was played through following some skillful, and perhaps lucky, touches off a few players culminated in him having a hard driven shot which tested Tomlinson to a high degree with the keeper pulling off a fine save to keep the former Redditch player off the scoresheet.  Knights subsequently had a shot from outside the area which went just over the bar.

By the seventieth minute the Harriers had used up all their three substitutions bringing on Lloyd Kerry, Robbie Matthews and James Lawrie for Finnegan, Prosser and Knights respectively.

Perhaps most surprising out of all the changes was taking Knights off.  He had been the one bright spark in the Harriers team and looked to be the player that could cause the most danger to Barrow.

Matthews started to put himself about and for once the Harriers had a player in the penalty area who looked as though he could win the ball in the air whereas before the tallest player in the area was usually Chris McPhee at a resoundingly staggering 5' 11".  However with the poor service in the first half from the wide men to McPhee its not suprising that he won little in the air with Smikle and Knights playing more centrally and less like wingers, thus leaving Baker and Dean Bennett the widest players on the left.

We then started to look slightly, and only slightly, more like scoring.  Matthews provided two good flick-ons in the final ten minutes to Lawrie and Kerry respectively, the latter having a superb chance to unfairly level up the game, but his shot was well blocked by a Barrow defender who thumped it hard into the stand.

This was the last chance of the game and the Harriers trooped off to first a chorus of booing yet again and then applause from the few fans who hadn't left before or as soon as the final whistle went.

The game itself was poor in terms of the Harriers performance; there were few chances created and only a handful of players played well.  The crowd was only 1036 tonight and was the worst league attendance since September 18th 1993 when we lost 1-0 at home to Stalybridge Celtic

It's clear to see that, with the board putting up ticket prices for next season, any floating fans who came tonight expecting to see a game to swing their opinion as to whether to buy a season ticket would be severely disappointed and wouldn't be dishing out money to come and watch twenty three games next season.

Mansfield is the final game of the season this coming Saturday and the majority of fans who were present tonight will want to see a far better performance to see off the 2009/10 Conference season and to try to avoid finishing the season in a possible fourteenth place in the league.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Harriers: Edwards (og) 7
 Goals for Barrow: Walker 18, 43


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Harriers  subs   cards      Barrow  subs   cards 
Singh     Tomlinson  
Courtney     Spender  
Baker     Edwards  
Finnigan gif     Jones
Prosser gif     Bolland  
Riley     Hulbert  
McPhee     Bond  
Bennett     Boyd gif  
Byrne     Walker gif  
Knights gif     Pearson  
Smikle     Wiles  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Deasy  
Lawrie gif     Chadwick gif  
Kerry gif     McEvilly  
Matthews gif     Rutherford  
Goodfellow     Owen gif

REFEREE:
Mr C Harwood
Manchester





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