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Harriers 2 Ebbsfleet Utd 2

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Date: 02-03-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1163gif away fans: 20
I hope that wasn't the curse taking hold

gifReport by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers unlikely march towards the Blue Square playoffs took a slight blow tonight at home to Ebbsfleet Utd when they were held to a 2-2 draw after taking an early lead through Darryl Knights.  Before the game the Harriers manager Steve Burr was handed the Blue Square Manager of the Month award by his Chairman, Barry Norgrove, but after this result he'll be wishing Barry had kept it in his office under lock and key.

Following our failure to improve on Darryls goal the Kent side came back into the game with their only two attempts on goal and scored.  Thankfully Brian Smikle managed to grab an equaliser fifteen minutes from the end otherwise that curse really would have struck.

Making his debut for the Harriers was Scunthorpe loanee Adam Boyes, formerly of York City, otherwise this was the same team that lined up on Saturday with the heavily criticised Robbie Matthews retaining his place upfront for the home side.  For struggling Ebbsfleet their side boasted the likes of ex-Watford and West Ham striker Moses Ashikodi and England C goalkeeper Lance Cronin.

It didn't take long for Kidderminster to get off the mark as they continued their run of scoring early in games.  In under five minutes Harriers had grabbed themselves the opener when winger Brian Smikle played in a fine ball to Darryl Knights who scored his second goal in two games with a fine placed header past Cronin after losing his marker.  Soon after burly target man Matthews had a superb opportunity to score with a one on one chance with Cronin, however he wasted his chance shooting straight at the goalkeeper.

The Harriers were playing some fine football with John Finnigan once again pulling the strings in midfield and playing passes wide to enable us to break with speed and expose the poor Ebbsfleet defence.  In an effort to stop this the Utd manager, Liam Daish, made an early substitution and replaced Magno Viera with Scott Ginty.

It seemed to work somewhat because as the half progressed the Harriers started to back off Ebbsfleet and in the thirty fifth minute Peter Holmes crossed a ball in to a questionably offside Moses Ashikodi who didn't waste his chance with a superb scissor kick which beat Atkins all ends up in the Harriers goal to even up the game and provide the fans at Aggborough with a possible goal of the season candidate.

The Harriers really started to lose the plot following that goal and the passing wasn't as slick as it had been fifteen minutes earlier but the last chance of the half did fall to us when a short corner was played into Finnigan who then hit a curling drive straight at Cronin.
  HT: 1 - 1
The second half started in the Harriers favour with Lee Baker's free kick from twenty five yards out failing to really test Cronin.  Ten minutes later Harriers worked another chance after a run by Marc Goodfellow, who had come on in place of Finnigan, slid the ball to Dean Bennett whose long range shot went wide of the far post.

Kidderminster were then made to rue their missed chances with a spectacular goal from Ebbsfleet.  Scott Ginty picked the ball up in midfield and proceeded towards goal and, with the home defence again backing off, allowed Ginty to unleash a superb curling, driven shot into the bottom hand corner giving Atkins little chance of saving it and rivalling his team-mates first half goal for goal of the season.

Panic and frustration started to set in amongst some Harriers fans, however they needn't have worried as less than ten minutes later the Reds were level.  Adam Boyes, who had been brought on for his debut in place of Robbie Matthews, leapt like a salmon to produce a deft flick on for the rapidly sprinting Brian Smikle who appeared to take a touch too many in front of Cronin then placed the ball into the bottom corner to send the Harriers fans into raptures.

This helped to give an exciting last ten minutes as Kidderminster attacked with gusto to try and secure a win.  Smikle had two chances in this period with the most remarkable a run into the area with a bouncing ball and a shot which went over and wide from the goal scoring winger.

The best chances came in the five minutes of stoppage time though when Marc Goodfellow had a shot which was unlucky not to go in.  Boyes put the rebound back in towards goal but just as it looked set to be ending up in the Ebbsfleet goal to secure a Harriers win it was cleared off the line by Dean Pooley right under the nose of Smikle who was ready to tap in any clearance.

From the resulting corner Harriers had a fierce, downward header from McPhee superbly saved by Cronin and soon after the game was over with the score ending at 2-2.

The result itself will be more important for the away side and their plight to survive relegation to the Blue Square South.  However the home team may feel aggrieved not to have got the win after a number of key chances late on which could've snatched victory from the clutches of Daishs men.

Next up is Eastbourne away and, after a 6-0 thrashing at home tonight to Stevenage, one has to wonder if the Harriers will suffer any backlash from that drubbing or will they actually try to achieve a similar result and bang in the goals that we threaten too but never seem to do.
  FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Knights 5, Smikle 77
 Goals for Ebbsfleet: Ashikodi 36, Ginty 69


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Harriers  subs   cards      Ebbsfleet Utd  subs   cards 
Atkins     Cronin
Courtney     Crooks gif  
Baker     Collins  
Finnigan gif     Charles  
Caines     Pooley
Riley     Holmes  
McPhee     Bailey  
Bennett     Stavrinou gif  
Matthews gif     Ashikodi  
Knights     Shakes  
Smikle     Viera gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Singh     Heeroo gif  
Sharpe     Ginty gif  
Goodfellow gif     Salmon gif  
Bignot     Wills  
Boyes gif   Welsh  

REFEREE:
Mr A Madley
West Yorkshire





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