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Harriers 2 Gateshead 1

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Date: 05-10-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 937gif away fans: 14
Harriers overcome Tynesiders

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers bounced back from two straight defeats away with a battling home win tonight against Gateshead who brought with them former Kidderminster players Martin Brittain, Craig Nelthorpe and Andy Ferrell.  For the home side Dave Hankin was dropped from the sixteen altogether with Matty Blair starting in his place along with Marc Williams who replaced Lee Morris who only made the bench.

The Harriers faithful had been calling for the two players to start after making a great impact when brought on as substitutes in recent weeks.

With only six minutes gone the away team took the lead via a dubious penalty after a throw in on the main stand side was thrown to Michael Briscoe.  He attempted to volley the ball clear but scuffed the clearance high up into the air until it eventually returned to ground inside the Harriers area where Ollie Thorne misjudged his header away.  Jon Shaw headed it back to Kris Gate who in turn attempted to go past Thorne but was tripped by the centre half and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Despite the fact it wasn't an intentional trip it was a penalty nevertheless and if it was in our favour and hadn't been given then our fans would've been up in arms completely.  As soon as it was given Martin Brittain picked up the ball with purpose and there was only going to be one outcome as he slotted the ball confidently past Danny Lewis into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.  Brittain didn't celebrate the goal, which was nice to see, especially when you consider the likes of James Constable gesturing towards the fans after scoring.  It's nice to see a bit of respect – which was duly awarded when he was later taken off with a standing ovation by the majority of the Harriers fans.

For much of the first half the Harriers were overpowered, outfought and outpassed completely by an efficient and slick Gateshead side.  The former Halifax man Jon Shaw looked threatening and with his midfield behind him cut Harriers to shreds at times.  The away side had chances to double their lead but were lacking that final ball.

The Harriers looked completely opposite, bereft of any ideas to cut open the 'Heed' defence with shots from Keith Briggs and Jack Byrne going miles over the crossbar that would've been more befitting of the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford last Saturday.  If the Harriers were to prevent a third successive defeat things would need to change in the second half.
  HT: 0 - 1
With four minutes of the second half gone Gateshead were nearly two goals to the good as Jon Shaw picked the ball up in the middle of the Harriers half and, with nobody within 10 feet of him, he let a superb shot go with his right foot that was arrowing towards the right hand top corner but just struck the post and came back out to deny him and the Gateshead fans a fantastic goal.

The Kidderminster fans weren't complaining though as three minutes later the 923 Harriers fans had something to cheer about.  As the temperature tumbled down on a October autumn night Keith Briggs put a ball through to Byrne who slipped it past Tim Deasy in the Gateshead goal to the bottom right hand corner to level the game up.

The game then went into a lull for twenty minutes as little seemed to happen.  The only thing to keep the fans warm was the half hearted shouts for offsides that maybe weren't and the occasional long range drive such as the one by Keith Briggs in the 73rd minute which, despite having a wicked spin on the ball, was gathered easily by Deasy.

By this stage Nick Wright had been brought on in place of Marc Williams who, due to the nature of the hoofball football that Harriers had been playing in the first half, had seen little of the ball.  He did have a penalty shout in the second half but appeared to go down easily under the challenge of Ben Curtis.

Briggs, who created the first, then created the second in the 74th minute after getting free of the Gateshead centre back and running in to the right of Deasy's goal.  He then hit a cross-come-shot across the face of goal which was met by the incoming Matty Blair who provided the simplest of touches to put the ball into the back of the net and completely turn the game around in the Harriers favour.

This was then almost added to minutes later as Wright raced through on goal and despite taking a arguably heavy touch in front of the goalkeeper chipped the ball over him.  The shot didn't have the desired pace on it and Michael Kay got back in the knick of time to save his side from conceding a third goal.

The former Tamworth man wasn't done yet though as he ran through on goal from the left hand side and hit his shot wide of the right hand side of the goal.  Two chances that he could've scored from.  He was getting into the right positions though and chasing everything down – something one of the other strikers that started wasn't doing tonight.

The final big chance of the game fell to Callum Gittings when he almost got on the end of a superb ball from Jack Byrne when he played a wonderful cross to the far post which was met by the onrushing Gittings.  After this little else occurred and Harriers walked away with the three points.

Whilst we got the win we cannot afford to have a half like the first one tonight again.  On Sunday against Grimsby it would be suicidal but with three points separating both sides in the league it could be an interesting clash.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Byrne 53, Blair 75
 Goal for Gateshead: Brittain 7 (pen)


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Jack Byrne
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Harriers  subs   cards      Gateshead  subs   cards 
Lewis     Deasy  
Vaughan     Kay  
Mike Williams     Heckingbottom  
Briscoe     Gates  
Thorne gif   Curtis
Byrne     Clark  
Blair     Brittain gif  
Briggs     Turnbull  
Marc Williams gif     J Shaw
McPhee     Mulligan gif  
Gittings gif     Nelthorpe gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Cook  
Albrighton gif     Ferrell gif  
Wright gif     Baxter  
T Shaw gif     Marwood gif  
Morris     Fisher gif  

REFEREE:
Mr P Graham
Manchester




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