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Grays Athletic 1 Harriers 3

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Date: 22-08-09gif Venue: Recreation Groundgif att: 754gif away fans: 89
Harriers win at Grays for the first time ever

gifReport by Philip Lench
It took a long time arriving but today, after four previous attempts, we finally came home with all three points and so killed the myth of never winning at Grays.  With it coming in on the back of a dearth of goals in recent weeks was just a bit more of a bonus.

There were a couple of changes to the side that lost at home to Kettering on Tuesday evening with John Finnigan and Kyle Hadley making their first game starts at the expense of Darryl Knights and Robbie Matthews.  Matthews was not being risked after picking up a slight groin pull the other night.

From the start the Harriers went out in search of an early goal and following a corner and a couple of half chances it arrived in the thirteenth minute.

Brian Smikle tore down the right side of the pitch, avoided a challenge from Kenny Davis, crossed the ball low into the area.  As it went across the edge of the box Dean Bennett was in just the right place to whip the ball into the back of Preston Edwards' net.

A minute later Smikle tried to get on the score sheet himself when he fired just over after he was played in by Matt Barnes-Homer  MBH wasn't going to miss out and he was the next to have a try but just as he was about to take aim the Grays defender,Gavin Hoyte, came in and robbed him of the ball.

Grays weren't going to let the Harriers have it all their own way.  From a corner, conceded by Martin Riley, Hoyte thumped a header straight at Dean Coleman.

We extended our lead soon after and in the process doubling the amount of goals scored by us so far this season.  Seconds earlier Brian Smikle had been warned to calm down by the referee after tussling on the touchline with three Grays players.  From the throw-in we broke away as Kyle Hadley took the ball down towards the Grays goal and struck the ball towards the Grays keeper.  Edwards blocked his shot but only as far as Smikle who had the easiest of tasks to sweep the ball into the net.

A minute later Smikle could have scored again but this time his effort following a corner went wide.

We had numerous more chances to grab a third, killing, goal but Dean Bennett, John Finnigan and Gavin Caines just couldn't get that vital finish on the ball and the half ended with the Reds leading by an emphatic two goals.
HT: 0 - 2
Grays made a change to their lineup before the start of the second period with Tommy Black coming on in place of Richard Graham.  That change was to reap a temporary benefit for the home side because within a few minutes they had pulled a goal back.

A long ball was sent over the top of the static Harriers defence as Daniel Charge evaded a weak challenge from Martin Riley to carry on towards the goal and fire the ball past the equally static Dean Coleman.  It was a goal that that couldn't have come at a worse time for us and it gave Grays renewed hope.

Mark Yates counteracted the goal by bringing off Kyle Hadley and sending on David McDermott to strengthen up our midfield.

The game went into a quiet period as Grays struggled to make any more headway against us and a raft of further substitutions took place with Serge Makofo replacing Craig Braham-Barrett and Sam Long on for the injured Ronnie Bull.  For us Darryl Knights took over from Dean Bennett and then soon after that John Finnigan left the field to be replaced by Liam Dolman.

That left just five more minutes, plus injury time, of the game to be played and us to be given the chance to finish Grays off.

That we did in the last few seconds of normal time when, following a drive that went just wide from Smikle, McDermott delivered the final goal of the afternoon.  Matt Barnes-Homer set Smikle on his way into the area and his cross found Diddy David waiting at the far post to stab the ball home and seal our first ever win at Grays.

Those three goals have certainly buried the notion that we cannot score in a brothel and in truth we could easily have doubled that tally.  Maybe Altrincham, our visitors next Saturday, will be the ones to suffer too.
FT: 1 - 3

 Goals for Grays: Charge 51
 Goals for Harriers: Bennett 12, Smikle 28, McDermott 90


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Grays Athletic  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Edwards     Coleman  
Bull gif     Courtney  
Davis     Baker  
Beavan     Finnigan gif  
Hoyte     Caines  
Mawer     Riley  
Graham gif     McPhee  
Harvey     Bennett gif  
Braham-Barrett gif     Barnes-Homer  
Charge     Smikle  
Slabber     Hadley gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lumley     Singh  
Long gif     Knights gif  
Taylor     McDermott gif  
Black gif     Sharpe  
Makofo gif     Dolman gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Drysdale
Lincolnshire




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