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Harriers 2 Barrow 0

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Date: 22-01-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1232gif away fans: 104
Harriers lay Barrow voodoo to rest

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers finally broke their non-winning bogey run against Barrow as they ran out 2-0 winners in a fortuitous win, only a week after they lost 2-1 at Holker Street.  In what might be his final game for the club Chris McPhee scored the second goal late on in the game to give what could be a pleasant farewell to the Harriers fans.

A striker on the opposite side, Louis Almond - the loanee who struck twice against the Harriers last week for Barrow - started up front alongside the former Chester hitman Luke Chadwick and from the off they were causing havoc in amongst the Harriers centre-back pairing of Michael Briscoe and Mark Albrighton.  The latter was simply not able to cope with the pace, trickery and dribbling of Almond and Chadwick was a more than competent foil for him.

The duo could've helped engineer the opener for Barrow, a couple of times, with the most notable chance following a long ball that Danny Lewis could only parry towards the edge of his area.  Unable to pick the ball up he managed to get a foot in but diverted the ball towards Paul Rutherford on the right who chipped it towards goal, taking advantage of the out of place Lewis, but coming back to defend on the line was Lee Vaughan who leapt to head the ball away from goal.

Chadwick and Almond then had shots which could've easily gone into the net, forcing Lewis to make good saves on both occasions, nevertheless this caused the Harriers fans to perhaps rightly 'get onto' Albrighton and Briscoe for the severely lax marking and defending.

The Harriers were struggling to get going and couldn't create chances, nor retain possession, for any real amount of time but at least as the half progressed Barrow looked less likely to carve the Harriers open at will, as they had done early on.  Despite their shortcomings the home side were the ones who broke the deadlock in the 40th minute.

Lee Morris received the ball outside the area just to the right of the D and took a touch first with his right foot and then with his left foot curled a shot into the top left hand corner of the goal giving Clark Masters no chance of making a save and sending the Harriers in a goal up at half time.
  HT: 1 - 0
Obviously Barrow weren't content with the scoreline and attacked as soon as the whistle for the second half went.  Immediately they forced Lee Vaughan into an uncomfortable clearance, which on another day might've been put into the roof of his own net, today however it went well over the bar.  The ensuing corner was wasted by Barrow and this set the tone for the majority of the second half.

When Kidderminster got possession every action was rushed and time wasn't being taken to get comfortable with the ball and start to put Barrow under real pressure.  As a result the Harriers had to resort to mainly counter-attacking football to create their best chances in the second half, with Lee Morris somehow finding a yard of pace that he'd forgotten earlier in the season and McPhee getting into the right positions most of the time.

Matty Blair's pace and endeavour was a key asset also and this was exactly how the Harriers second and final goal of the game came about.  A ball down the left was chased by Morris and, with the player advantage being 2 on 1 in favour of the Harriers, he slipped the ball to McPhee who ran into the area and was adjudged to have been felled by Masters who wasn't having a good game at all.

Masters' actions earned himself a straight red card, which left McPhee to ponder his penalty whilst the replacement, Shaun Pearson came onto the field.  As the Harriers current longest serving player stepped up to eventually take the spot kick the fans might've wanted him to score a little more than usual.  It is quite likely that this may be McPhee's last game, at Aggborough if not for the club altogether.

He stepped up and hammered the ball down the centre of the goal to cue emotional celebrations from the former skipper along with the fans, walking towards the crowd in the North Stand and, in a poignant moment, shouted to the crowd "I want to stay" three or more times, pointing to the pitch and it was a sentiment shared by many Harriers fans and an action that will surely have struck a chord with many in attendance.

It's a sad state of affairs when a player has to be forced out of a club for financial reasons and a shame that in football the oft lost trait of loyalty may still exist in some areas but might have to be ignored on this occasion.

In the end the Harriers ran out 2-0 winners and meant they had beaten Barrow for the first time in many years.  A welcome victory nevertheless and Man of the Match was given deservedly to Lee Morris, whose running and overall game today was outstanding and exemplary.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Morris 40, McPhee 85 (pen)


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Harriers  subs   cards      Barrow  subs   cards 
Lewis     Masters
Vaughan     Spender  
Williams     M Pearson  
Briscoe     Edwards  
Albrighton     Bolland  
Byrne     Smith gif  
Blair gif   Rutherford  
Briggs     Donnelly  
Morris gif     Almond  
McPhee     Chadwick gif  
Wright gif     Owen  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     S Pearson gif  
Shaw gif     Cook gif  
Gittings gif     Goodfellow  
Matt     Grant  
Hankin gif     Jones  

REFEREE:
Mr A Hendley
West Midlands




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