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Stevenage Borough 2 Harriers 9

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Date: 05-12-09gif Venue: The Lamex Stadiumgif att: 1809gif away fans: 80+
The Harriers strikeforce don't strike again

gifReport by Philip Lench
For the third game in a row the Harriers have failed to hit the net and this lack of goals is becoming worrying.  The famine could be blamed on the departure of Matt Barnes-Homer to Luton Town but he has also failed to score, so far, for his new club anyway.  It could be blamed on the lack of understanding and incompatibility of Damian Spencer and Robbie Matthews or it could be just a bad spell the team are going through.

I would venture a guess that it's a mix of all three but whatever the reasons we need to get back into scoring mode very soon.

Luckily we haven't dropped down the table much because of this bad run but it won't be long if things don't improve and a big chance to get back on the scoring trail will come at Matlock Town next Saturday in the FA Trophy.

Mark Yates made two changes from the side that were held at home by Tamworth on Tuesday.  Matthews replaced Ryan Charles while Dean Bennett came back into midfield in place of John Finnigan.  Charles dropped to the bench and Finnigan was no where to be seen.

Second placed Stevenage hadn't been beaten at home for just over a year now and today was going to be no different.

We started off ok with chances coming the way of Matthews with a shot that flew over the bar and also one from Chris McPhee when he pounced on Scott Laird's poor back pass but his shot from the edge of the area went just wide of Chris Days post.

We went even closer to scoring soon after when David McDermott ran into the area and sent off a shot that had Day beaten but not the crossbar.  Ten minutes later a free kick from the livewire midfielder was placed perfectly for Damian Spencer to head goalwards but this time Day managed to get a hand to it and pushed it away to safety.

For the first twenty minutes of the game it had been all Harriers but following a header from Boro's Charlie Griffin that hit the post the home side started to regain control of the game.

From a free kick, conceded by birthday boy Martin Riley, Jon Ashton grabbed the first goal for his side.  Ronnie Henry took the kick and Ashton cleverly glanced the ball into the top corner of Dean Coleman's goal.
HT: 1 - 0
The second half was over before it had begun and so was the game.  Only thirty seconds had elapsed before Mitchell Cole beat the offside trap to burst through our complaining defence to send his powerful shot beyond the reach of Dean Coleman.

We tried to get back into the game but our heads had dropped and hearts didn't seem to be in it anymore.  Boro could sense this and they seemed happy to let the clock run down to the final whistle.

Martin Riley got himself booked for one clumsy challenge and will now miss playing at Matlock.  As usual though when a Stevenage player crudely tackled Riley from behind seconds later nothing was said by the referee.

Both sides made changes to their teams in an effort to bring the game to life.  We took off McDermott and flung Ryan Charles up front alongside Spencer and Matthews and then later on Matthews himself was taken off and Aaron Farrell came on in his place to continue the theme of three strikers.

He did better than in recent games when he has come on too late in the game to change things but he's still not the answer to our striking problems.  I would rather see Yates persevere with playing Charles alongside Matthews for at least three games.

At least we have another rest from League action next week and instead we can see how far we manage to progress in this seasons FA Trophy
FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Stevenage: Ashton 37, Cole 46


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Stevenage Borough  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Day     Coleman  
Henry     Courtney gif  
Laird     Andrew  
Bridges gif     McPhee  
Ashton     Caines  
Albrighton     Riley
Murphy     Smikle  
Drury     Bennett  
Griffin     Spencer  
Beardsley gif     McDermott gif  
Cole gif     Matthews gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Bayes     Baker  
Odhiambo gif     Farrell gif  
Boylan     Hayward  
Byrom gif     Knights gif  
Vincenti gif     Charles gif  

REFEREE:
Mr B Malone
Wiltshire





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