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Oxford Utd 0 Harriers 0

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Date: 06-02-10gif Venue: Kassam Stadiumgif att: 5802gif away fans: 167
Harriers hold Oxford to a draw

gifReport by Morgan Nock
An overcast day in Oxfordshire saw a tense, controversial, but ultimately poor game end in a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium.  Former Harriers, James Constable and Ryan Clarke lined up for the home side, with our former captain Mark Creighton an unused substitute.

The referee was a certain Mr David Coote whom we may remember from our game away at Forest Green last year in which he sent off two Harriers players and the then manager Mark Yates, proved an extremely controversial figure once again.  Time and time again he left both sets of supporters angry and totally bemused by his decisions.

The game started and right from the off Oxford wanted to set a precedent.  Immediately from kick off the ball found Jamie Cook who cut inside Gavin Caines and let fire after just eight seconds but the shot was never troubling Dean Coleman's goal.

Unfortunately for the home side Steve Burr jumped up from his seat and screamed his side into action and minutes later Marc Goodfellow broke with the ball and Harriers found themselves with three attackers against just one defender.  Goodfellow sadly dallied on the ball and played a truly awful ball which 'keeper Clarke collected easily.

Kidderminster had another good chance after twenty minutes when some good work from Brian Smikle saw the ball fall to Robbie Matthews in the middle of the box but, under pressure, he scuffed his effort over.  Oxford, who had dominated proceedings in the first half an hour then had a penalty appeal turned down when Constable dived (a sign of the player he is) and had his frantic protests dismissed by the man in black.

Moments before half time, after another unsuccessful penalty appeal, Constable lashed out with what appeared to be an elbow which connected with Lee Baker's face.  Baker had to change his shirt because he had got blood on his original, but Constable received just a yellow card - which turns out to be his tenth of the season, prompting yet another ban.
  HT: 0 - 0
Right at the start of the second half Sam Deering made inroads down the right hand side in front of the away fans and played the ball in to the still angry Constable who lined up his shot.  Luckily for us he was foiled at the perfect moment by Duane Courtney who stopped an almost certain goal.

Just before the hour mark Oxford made a double change to add some much needed pace to a side that had been kept at bay on the whole by Harriers, Matthew Green and Chris Hargreaves replaced Jamie Cook and Alfie Potter.

Twenty minutes into a so far drab second half Sam Deering again found himself in behind the Harriers back line, but didn't catch it right, shooting straight at keeper Coleman who made a uniform save to keep his sheet clean.  Shortly afterwards another controversial decision from the ref resulted in a dangerous free kick to the home side.  What looked like a cross from Simon Clist almost crept in at the far post but Coleman was once again on form to keep it out.

It was then Kidderminsters turn to make a change.  A slow Robbie Matthews made way (very slowly) for Damian Spencer who gave the Harriers a bit more going forwards.  Aaron Farrell was absent today suggesting he may have been released after his contract expired last week.

For the home side a final substitution came in the form of Jack Midson, who replaced Simon Clist, to give them more options up top.  Right away he was involved but his snap shot was easily stopped by Dean Coleman who barely had to move.

A mix up at the back between Coleman and Martin Riley, who'd already picked up a head injury needing four stitches, let Midson through but Riley did just enough to put him off and the shot went wide.  Farcically, the referee decided to award a corner, even though Riley clearly hadn't touched the ball.

At the other end, following the introduction of Darryl Knights who had replaced Goodfellow, it was the away side who were now pushing for a winner and Brian Smikle played in Damian Spencer who used his time and space well to place a shot low to Clarke's left but the keeper was equal to it.

The final opportunity of the match fell to Chris McPhee 25 yards out and his shot looked perfectly goalbound but, much to the disappointment of the 167 Harriers fans, it flew wide.  0-0 was a fair result as both sides had chances they didn't take but for most of the game they cancelled each other out.

At least we now know that we could easily achieve the same kind of result in the FA Trophy game in two weeks time and with a bit more firepower could even end up winning it first time.
  FT: 0 - 0



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gif Dean Coleman
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Oxford Utd  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Clarke     Coleman  
Batt     Courtney  
Day     Baker  
Bulman   Finnigan
Wright   Caines  
Tonkin     Riley  
Potter gif     Goodfellow gif  
Cook gif     Bennett  
Constable   Matthews gif  
Deering     McPhee
Clist gif     Smikle  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Turley     Singh  
Hargreaves gif     Spencer gif
Creighton     Knights gif  
M Green gif     Sharpe  
Midson gif     Hadley  

REFEREE:
Mr D Coote
Nottinghamshire




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