Danny Andrew made his debut today for the Harriers at Cambridge and watched as we suffered yet another defeat on the road. He was also able to see us fail to score yet again and along with the fans he must be wondering when the goals are going to come and where they're going to come from.
In a first half that we were lucky to find ourselves only two goals behind the second half was much improved but an improvement is no good without an end result. We tried with chances falling to Brian Smikle, Martin Riley, Darryl Knights and Matt Barnes-Homer but, apart from a disallowed goal from Smikle, we just hadn't got our shooting boots on again.
The only thing we do seem to be getting plenty of lately is cards. No red ones this week but we somehow managed to collect five in a game that could never be classed as dirty. At least none of them totalled up to five individually and so we shouldn't be facing yet another suspension.
Mark Yates makes three changes from the side that got knocked out of the FA Cup by Fleetwood. Lee Baker started his three match suspension with Andrew coming in place of him, John Finnigan found himself preferred to David McDermott in midfield and Robbie Matthews returned to the side after being suspended for three games.
For Cambridge the former Harriers favourite Wayne Hatswell started. Courtney Pitt was out injured and Daniel Gleeson came back from suspension.
Dean Coleman was called into action early in the game when he made a regulation save from a Chris Holroyd header and minutes later he made a more convincing save when Andy Parkinson stormed into the box to fire a powerful shot in but Dean saved well to push it out for a corner.
The Harriers first chance of the game fell to Barnes-Homer after Smikle played him in with a slide rule pass but his shot went across the face of the goal and out somewhere near the corner flag. Just seconds after that close miss the home side took the lead through Holroyd.
Jai Reason ran free to the byeline and, without any Harriers defender prepared to close him down, delivered a fine cross to Holroyd's head that the lethal striker converted easily for the opening goal.
It took a while for us to muster a response to the goal but after another ten minutes we had started to get back into the game and a chance to score came the way of Brian Smikle when Darryl Knights corner fell just right for him to head goalwards but the Cambridge keeper, Danny Potter, somehow managed to flip back to fingertip it over the bar. Straight after Dean Bennett tried his luck from twenty five yards out but the ball went well over the crossbar.
Just as we were starting to get back into the game came the killer blow of a second goal. A free kick was given Cambridge's way and taken by Robbie Willmott to the head of the un-marked Wayne Hatswell and from there into the back of the net to put the Harriers two goals behind.
United were now in the ascendancy and they could easily have made it 3-0 with a long range shot being well saved by Coleman and a volley from Andy Parkinson that flew into the side-netting. In the closing stages of the half Gavin Caines picked up the first of our five yellow cards for a foul.