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Harriers 2 Chester City 0

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Date: 26-12-09gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1755gif away fans: 95
Harriers need a ruthless streak

gifReport by Harry Taylor
Life after Mark Yates began comfortably with a competent win over a Chester City side that are still twenty five points from safety at this midpoint of the season and appear to be doomed to relegation to the Blue Square North.  For the Harriers the stand-in manager, John Finnegan, named a squad which included some fresh blood in the form of unfancied Aaron Farrell after a good performance against Matlock in the FA Trophy.  Also in the sixteen was Nathan Hayward as Finnegan chose not to name himself in the squad.

Also missing for Harriers was Ryan Charles who wasn't even present pre-game warming up for the home side.

For Chester the squad was lacking many big name players, such as Nick Chadwick but goalkeeper John Danby got a big cheer from the home fans when he returned to Aggborough for the first time since he left Kidderminster in 2006.

The lanky Lloyd Ellams was the first player to try and score, with less than thirty seconds gone, when a mistake from Danny Andrew gifted him the ball on the edge of the area but his shot went just wide of Dean Coleman's goal.  The Harriers only had to wait five minutes until they had a brilliant chance to break the deadlock but a shot from Aaron Farrell just inside the box was tipped over the bar by John Danby for a corner which the Harriers failed to convert.

However, it was from a corner that Harriers grabbed the game's first goal ten minutes later when, in the sixteenth minute, Darryl Knights crossed the ball into the area.  Robbie Matthews was on hand to head the ball back across goal for Gavin Caines to hit home with a powerful diving header.

Soon after Ellams' drive was deflected by Caines and just saved fantastically by Coleman to keep the scores even.

For the rest of the half Harriers had virtual control, which were backed up by the possession statistics after the game, but the home side still had the time to squander chances from Matthews and Brian Smikle.
  HT: 1 - 0
The second half began again with Harriers in control but it took until five minutes after the restart for Darryl Knights to strike a superb volley after flicking the ball up for himself.  However the rebound came to nothing as striker Aaron Farrell was in an offside position.

Chances kept coming in the second half notably for Smikle and Farrell who produced a terrible header from a good cross following a free kick.

A spell of substitutions got underway with Ryan Davidson coming on for Ben Jones.  The flow of the game moved in Chesters favour with this change so Finnigan made a couple of changes himself.  First Dean Bennett made way for Nathan Hayward and then only a minute later Farrell left the field to be replaced by Damian Spencer.

Spencer found himself in some good positions but could not capitalise with the first one coming just after his introduction.  The big striker ran onto a through ball and got there just before keeper Danby but his momentum meant that his touch on the ball was far too heavy and it went into the back of the North Stand.

Following this the Harriers almost committed footballing suicide by giving away stupid, needless free kicks on the edge of the City area.  Thankfully City couldn't convert them because if they had it would have been two points thrown away by some less than ruthless finishing by us along with the fans beginning to become frustrated with their sides lack of finishing ability.

We managed to ride that spell out though and we didn't have to wait long before putting the game beyond all doubt.  Spencer's cross went across the face of goal and Duane Courtney turned and hit the ball into the back of condemned Chester's net to secure victory minutes before the final whistle.

Based on this game, life after Yates appears to be bright despite the poor opposition.  Finnigan's men made sure that Chester were restricted to shots from outside the area that only troubled Dean Coleman on one real occasion.

If the caretaker manager can produce these results in the next two games, which would surely put Harriers back into the playoff contention, then the manager's job for the rest of the season would be a definite possibility.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Caines 16, Courtney 89


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Robbie Matthews
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Harriers  subs   cards      Chester City  subs   cards 
Coleman     Danby  
Courtney     Roberts  
Andrew     Kelly  
McPhee     Ryan  
Caines     Rule  
Riley     Lea  
Smikle     Rea gif  
Bennett gif     Wilkinson  
A Farrell gif     Ellams  
Knights     Owen  
Matthews     Jones gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Singh     Murphy  
Baker     Rawlinson  
Dolman     Freeman  
Hayward gif     Davidson gif  
Spencer gif     Coulter gif  

REFEREE:
Mr I Smedley
Derbyshire





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