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Harriers 2 Forest Green Rovers 1

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Date: 13-02-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1421gif away fans: 99
Damian grabs a last minute winner

gifReport by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers overcame Forest Green Rovers today with a scrappy performance and a late goal to seal the victory.

Marc Goodfellow made his home debut in a 4-5-1 formation that often left lone striker Robbie Matthews isolated in attack for the Harriers.  Forest Green's side featured Tomi Ameobi - brother of Newcastle's Shola - and veteran striker Isaiah Rankin in a front line that on paper promised to pack a punch.

Kidderminster didn't take too much time to break the deadlock as after eleven minutes, the wide man on the right, Goodfellow put in a superbly placed cross for Brian Smikle to plant a firm header past Forest Green debutant Danny Ireland to give Harriers the lead.  Soon after Forest Green nearly grabbed an equaliser from Tomi Ameobi as the tall front man hit a shot that was closer to the corner flag than the goal and left the former Doncaster Rovers striker bemused.

Such was the scrappiness of the game that neither side forced much of a chance after this for the rest of the half, apart from Forest Greens Reece Styche getting past Gavin Caines after a mistake, and from the left side of the eighteen yard box, hit a shot across goal that just missed the far post.

Just before half time Duane Courtney had a drive that was tipped over by Ireland but the corner from Goodfellow came to nothing.  Minutes later the whistle was blown to signal the end of a first half thoroughly lacking energy and inventiveness.  Harriers hadn't threatened the Forest Green goal too much and neither had the away side threatened the home sides either.
  HT: 1 - 0
After half time Harriers took their foot off the pedal even more and were punished by Forest Green with a goal that was much like the Harriers first.  Curtis McDonald, in the fifty eigth minute, crossed the ball in for Jonathan Smith to head past Coleman who perhaps should have come out of his goal to claim the ball according to some fans.

'The Reds' then responded to the equaliser by taking off Robbie Matthews, a victim of the 4-5-1 formation that left him alone upfront on his own with nobody alongside, and brought on Damian Spencer in his place.  Dean Bennett was also taken off later after a poor performance by the Harriers stalwart and attacking midfielder Darryl Knights was brought on to play alongside Spencer to switch the formation to more of a 4-4-2.

Minutes later Gavin Caines hit a free kick from just outside the area with terrific venom but unfortunately found the back of the stand instead of the back of the net.

Then in the last ten minutes the Harriers really piled the pressure on.  A series of corners were forced as Kidderminster tried to get the winner with Knights in particular causing problems with running and trickery that confused the Forest Green defence.  In fact his temporary strike partner Spencer could've scored if it wasn't for him tripping over his own legs just when the chance was there to be taken.

He subsequently had another chance as a free kick was sent over but he controlled the ball instead of putting his foot through it and the chance was wasted as the visitors defenders got the ball away.

Now the Harriers really had the impetus to take the game and the faithful really found their voice as the pressure on Danny Ireland's goal continued to intensify   Just as the game reached stoppage time some fans could have been forgiven for thinking time had run out however this wasn't to be the case as the ball was played to out to Damian Spencer on the left side of the goal who held off his marker before hitting a perfectly placed shot into Ireland's bottom right hand corner, just hitting the post before going in.

This sealed the win and sent the Kidderminster fans into ecstatic celebrations and silenced his doubters as he had wasted numerous chances just minutes previous to the face saving goal.

Although the Harriers ran out the victors in this game, it wasn't the best of performances and the defence were made to look shaky at times as Forest Green threatened to penetrate it at will.  If this isn't improved for the FA Trophy visit to Oxford next Saturday then 'The Reds' may not be so lucky.

  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Smikle 12, Spencer 90
 Goal for Forest Green: Smith 59


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Harriers  subs   cards      Forest Green Rovers  subs   cards 
Coleman     Ireland  
Courtney     Hodgkiss  
Baker     McDonald  
Finnigan     O'Cearuill  
Caines     Preece  
Riley     Ameobi  
McPhee     Brown  
Bennett gif     Rankin gif  
Matthews gif     Styche gif  
Smikle     Platt gif  
Goodfellow     Smith  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Singh     Wilkinson  
Knights gif     Rocastle gif
Hadley     Thorne gif  
Sharpe     Stonehouse gif  
Spencer gif     Lloyd  

REFEREE:
Mr P Bankes
Liverpool




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