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Harriers 2 Histon 2


Date: 30-04-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1496gif away fans: 12
Harriers serve up a last game damp squib

gif Report by Harry Taylor
The end of surely one of the most remarkable seasons in the Harriers history came in a fairly unremarkable fashion as Histon came close to winning their final game in the BSP after finding themselve relegated a few weeks back along with, like ourselves, a five point deduction for financial mis-reporting.  Antonio Murray put them two goals to the good with a superb long range curling effort into the top corner before Matty Blair and Keith Briggs got the side back on level terms.

Before the game the fans heard a speech from Mark Serrell thanking them for their effort this year, perhaps spoilt by the PA system breaking up at times.  The award for player of the season went to Danny Lewis with Matty Blair winning the Junior Supporters player of the year and Lewis again won the away supporters accolade.  Well deserved for the stopper who put in a superb performance today which could have seen the Harriers put to the sword if it was not for the former Redditch goalkeeper.

The Harriers side, to a certain extent, was an experimental one.  Dave Hankin returned to the starting line-up for the first time in a long while and Macclesfield loanee Matt Lowe became, for the moment, another member of the illustrious one-appearance club joining the likes of Mikael Antoine-Curier and Cayne Hanley.  In all fairness he did a decent job and didn't play too poorly.

Spearheading the 4-5-1 was Jamille Matt with Chris McPhee playing behind him.  You have to wonder after comments at the fans forum a few months ago whether McPhee played his last game for the club today.  On the bench was youth team player Dan Taylor and fringe player Robert Thompson-Brown.

The first half was a poor, flat and in all honesty a very boring affair.  A typical end-of-season game as both sides' fate in the league was decided beforehand to a certain extent and the effort shown for the majority of the game did perhaps suggest that they are 'burnt out' after a long season with a small squad.

Chances were few and far between; Hankin found himself in space outside the area on more than one occasion in the first half and one time forced a good save from Wes Foderingham.  Omar Riza, the former Cambridge striker, forced a good save from Danny Lewis soon after but he made up for that 'error' in the 40th minute when he profited from a poor Mark Albrighton back pass that bypassed Lewis.  Riza swept past both players and his side footed shot dribbled into the far corner to give 'the Stutes' the lead.

It was all that the Harriers deserved after a half carried out at walking pace against a Histon side who had conceded 88 goals previous to todays game and hardly tested their goalkeeper.

It said it all.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half started much in the same fashion as the whole of the first half with the first sign of any improvement for the Harriers coming from a brilliant drive from Keith Briggs which produced a fine save by Foderingham.  Steve Burr then decided to try to spice up the game by taking off McPhee and Hankin and replace them with Nick Wright and Callum Gittings.  The result of Wrights appearance was a huge difference between Monday's rip roaring performance and todays mediocre showing.  He ad a poor game which may very well be his last for the club.

Just after the changes Riza had another chance to double his tally but produced yet another fine save from Lewis after being one-on-one with him.  The Turkish strikers movement was causing havoc amongst the Harriers backline when he ghosted past Michael Briscoe just after and produced another fine save from Lewis.  The frustration between the Harriers centre-backs was starting to rear its head at this point.

Antonio Murray then scored a spectacular goal for doomed Histon, as the Harriers defence again failed to close a player down, and he curled a brilliant dipping shot over the head of Lewis into the top left corner of the goal.  A superb goal and the Harriers fans duly applauded a strike of such quality.

However they would still be cheering a goal of their own a minute later.

Matty Blair benefited from some cocky defending by Histon who tried to pass the ball around the back and showboat.  The winger nipped in and with the outside of his boot knocked the ball into the far corner to get the Harriers back into the game.

Literally seconds later Robert Thompson-Brown, on in place of Tom Shaw, rolled the ball to Briggs who hit a drive that took a deflection and caught Foderingham off-guard and went into the net to even up the game.  The game was starting to turn in the Harriers favour with just ten minutes to go.

Following the comebacks we've had this season you wouldn't have bet against us coming back to win.  It wasn't to be and the game ended in a tie followed by a well supported lap of honour where fans may have seen some players for the final time.

Man of the match quite rightly went to Danny Lewis who made several key saves to stop Histon getting a win on their last day in this league.  Not my choice for player of the season (see my end of season review for that – coming soon) but definitely yet another superb performance today
  FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Blair 80, Briggs 80
 Goals for Histon: Riza 40, Murray 77

The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Danny Lewis
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Harriers  subs   cards      Histon  subs   cards 
Lewis     Foderingham  
Lowe     Oyebanjo  
Williams     Mills  
Briscoe     Okay  
Shaw gif     Clerima  
Albrighton     Hawkins  
Blair     Riza  
Briggs     Okijie gif  
Matt     Murray
McPhee gif     Smith  
Hankin gif     Sparkes  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Lawton  
Gittings gif     Cox  
Taylor     Stevenson gif  
Wright gif     Asensi  
Thompson-Brown gif     Taffe  

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