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Harriers 2 Altrincham 1

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Date: 12-02-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2930gif away fans: 88
Harriers grab the points in bad tempered game

gif Report by Harry Taylor
In front of a considerably larger crowd than usual, close to 3000 in fact, the Harriers ran out winners against an Altrincham side who finished the game with only nine men but still tested the Harriers throughout the second half.

The bumper crowd was due to a campaign by KHIST called 'Operation: Full House'.  It may not have been full to capacity but 3000 will be a welcome improvement on the crowds of 1200 that have been seen so often at Aggborough this season.

With the amount of fans present the early stages of the game did feel slightly like the Kettering game at the end of the 2008/2009 season: with so many fans there you felt it would be typical Harriers for them to lose and disappoint all of the fans who had turned out and don't usually.  However thanks to Jack Byrne and a moment of magic from Nick Wright this didn't occur.

Just like the aforementioned Kettering game, Kidderminster could've taken the lead within the opening minute as new loan signing Sean Canham raced onto a ball over the top of the defence and put the ball into the back of the net but was correctly adjudged to be offside.

As the half wore on the Harriers got comfortable and started to put pressure on the Robins defence in an attempt to score the opener and Keith Briggs could've scored a wonder goal as he hit a rasping drive from outside the area which went just wide of the left post.

Soon after though the Harriers had scored the opener when Chris McPhee received the ball in the box from a great cross by Nick Wright.  With his back to goal he turned and poked the ball goal-bound only to see it unluckily deflect off the far post but straight into the path of Jack Byrne who had the easiest chance of the game to tap the ball into the goal and cue great celebrations from the Town End and other area's of the ground.

The lead was doubled in the 37th minute when Jack Byrne sprayed a superb pass cross field to Nick Wright, which showed brilliant vision from the former Redditch youngster to do so, Wright controlled the ball on the left wing, cut inside and from around 20 yards out hit a great shot into the goalkeepers near post beating Craig Dootson easily to give scorer his 8th goal of the season.

It was a great goal for a player who has divided opinion so far this season at Aggborough but his overall game today was much the same.  He scored a great goal and then had an average game but to his credit, although not being a midfielder he put some great crosses into the area at times.

This goal however started off a wild eight minutes of football towards the end of the first half.  Altrincham equalised through Wes Baynes when he hit a shot from twenty yards out and, with the aid of a wicked deflection, found its way into the bottom left corner of the goal to get Altrincham back into the game.  To Danny Lewis' credit he did dive the right way and was unlucky to be beaten.

However the drama in the first half wasn't over, a long ball into the area found Wright who was off balance but got taken out completely by Carl Piergianni and the referee blew for a penalty and dismissed Piergianni as he was the last man.  Tom Shaw stepped up and struck the penalty to the left of Dootson but he made an easy save and caught the ball to stop any rebounds.
  HT: 2 - 1
The second half saw Altrincham who, despite only having ten men, seemed revitalised by the fact they weren't two goals down and had a fighting chance of getting the game back onto level terms.  Going forward their players seemed to find space that they shouldn't have found and had Harriers under pressure for the entire half.

Within the opening minutes of the half, Altrincham's Nicky Clee had a superb chance to get a goal when Damian Reeves put a ball across the box which eventually found its way to Clee who turned, and with him about five yards from the goal and Lewis out of position, proceeded to sky his shot over the bar and although there were three defenders on the line, he should've scored.

The Harriers were next to have a decent chance when Wright went on a run from the left wing and found his way into the area only to have his shot palmed away by Dootson.

Matty Blair then came on for Tom Shaw and with his first touch he could've scored as Wright put in a superb ball from the left wing. It found Matty who then lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper but Shaun Densmore got back onto the line and managed to hack the ball clear to avert the danger.

Altrincham then proceeded to put Harriers under more heavy pressure and at times their attacks saw the ball ricocheting around the area with it seeming an age until the ball was cleared to safety.  The Harriers did have a few attacks but weren't able to get the same width as they did in the first half and suffered because of it in some ways but, as the game came to its climax, there was one major incident before the final whistle.

In an off the ball confrontation between James Smith and Jamille Matt, who had come on for Nick Wright, Smith lashed out at Matt several times pushing and shoving the Harriers striker.  The referee and assistant both saw this and therefore Smith was rightly sent off with a minute to go, and even after being sent off he went for Matt again.

Disgusting behaviour in front of the children's teams in the East Stand and the fact he went for Matt again following the red card being shown typified this.

The final whistle was then blown to the relief and joy of the 2850 Harriers fans inside the ground.  Having witnessed some of this drama hopefully the fans will return for the Wrexham game in two weeks time following our away trips against Cambridge and Darlington in the next fortnight.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Byrne 24, Wright 37
 Goals for Altrincham: Baynes 43


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Chris McPhee
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Harriers  subs   cards      Altrincham  subs   cards 
Lewis     Dootson  
Vaughan   Smith
M Williams     Baynes gif  
Briscoe     Young  
Shaw gif     R Williams  
Albrighton     Densmore  
Wright gif     Lawton gif
Briggs   Piergianni
Canham gif     Wedgbury  
McPhee     Reeves gif  
Byrne     Clee  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Coburn  
Matt gif     Joseph gif
Blair gif     Twiss gif  
Sharpe     Hewson  
Gittings gif     Beesley gif  

REFEREE:
Mr R Martin
Weston super Mare




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