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Kettering 1 Harriers 1

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Date: 16-10-10gif Venue: Elgoods Brewery Arenagif att: 1611gif away fans: 162
The ref tried his best to ruin it

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Refereeing, love it or hate it, once again it was the talking point of yet another game as Steve Cook faced the wrath of the Harriers travelling support when he dismissed Aaron Griffiths on his first start for the Harriers and then was oblivious to perhaps the most obvious handball outside the area you may ever see at a football ground.  The same did happen to Seb Brown of AFC Wimbledon at Aggborough a few weeks back but that was subtle compared to today's incident.  How different things could've been.

The 1-1 result was Harriers making as they were behind after only four minutes when a poor, low corner across goal was weakly fired in by Jean-Paul Marna.  The ball went across the area between three Harriers defenders who could not decide who was going to kick the ball away and left it for Brett Solkhon to fire it into the top corner from inside the six-yard box.

So yet again an early goal in a Harriers game but this time against us and to their credit Kidderminster tried to respond with Nick Wright who started but unfortunately being played out of position.  It's no secret that as a striker I 'rate' him but when he's played on the left-wing he's hardly going to be effective.

This didn't discourage him when he ran in from the left and got hauled down just outside the area.  The ensuing free kick was struck against the wall by Keith Briggs.  Have we got a free-kick over the wall this season?  Doesn't feel like it.

Harriers had another chance before the half was out with Lee Morris rising at the near post to connect with Matty Blair's cross but his header went over the bar.

Halftime saw Kettering taking a deserved lead into the dressing room and the Harriers weren't even at the races so far.  If Kettering had created more chances then they might've won the game before the second half had even kicked off.
  HT: 1 - 0
Three minutes into the second half, as the queue at the refreshments bar was still waiting to be served, one of the turning points in the game occurred with the dismissal of Aaron Griffiths for a challenge on Marna.  The rookie left-back went in on Marna, taking the ball cleanly but catching the player, and immediately the whistle was blew almost to the shock of the Harriers players and fans as Cook raced over and held the red card in the air for all to see.  Things were beginning to boil over.

The response by Steve Burr and Gary Whild was to bring off Nick Wright, who had trouble getting into the game out on the left, and replace him with Tom Shaw who slotted in at left back.  From this point on the defence looked far more composed and it was a welcome sight to see Shaw on the pitch.  He has played well when he's got the chance but often finds himself marooned on the bench.

However going forward little had changed and chances to get back into the game weren't being created so in an effort to spice things up Callum Gittings and Marc Williams were introduced for Keith Briggs and Lee Morris respectively.  Immediately Gittings got Harriers first shot on target hitting a shot on the turn causing Jack to make a save.

This had seemed to give the Harriers a reason to believe and they began to surge forward.  The support had picked back up after a brief lull in the early parts of the second half and the Harriers were firing on all cylinders to get a goal to bring the game back with Chris McPhee getting in good positions twice but both times trying to cut the ball back to a non-existent player instead of having a shot on goal.

This didn't stop him bagging the equaliser though as Gittings ran in with the ball from the left and cut the ball back to McPhee who had all the time in the world to let the ball roll onto his right foot before unleashing a drive into the top right hand corner sending the wronged Harriers fans into delirium.

The momentum was with the Harriers now and they should've had a free-kick and a Kettering man sent off when the ball was sent over the top by Lee Vaughan to Marc Williams who got to the ball before the on-rushing goalkeeper.  Williams attempted to lob the ball towards goal but Jack stuck his hands up to stop the ball - outside the area!!

A clear red card you'd think?  Not to the inept and useless officials, the linesman not noticing along with the referee.  The former was in line with play and had a clear sight on the shot so why did he not call it when it was obvious to the travelling contingent?  The fans and players were incensed at the decision, which saw Blair booked for dissent.

It says something about the rules when a player gets booked for pointing out where the officials are going wrong and they're doing nothing about a clear handball outside the area.

There were nearly more worries on the fans minds as Danny Lewis had to make a late save from Makofo to ensure that the Harriers walked away with a point.

Overall the Harriers didn't deserve a win based on the play but at the end of the day its based on goals scored and we should've had one if it wasn't for Jack and the referee.  We need to start being consistent throughout the halves though because once again it was a Jeckyl and Hyde first and second half.
  FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Kettering: Solkhon 4
 Goal for Harriers: McPhee 84


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Kettering  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Jack     Lewis  
Graham     Vaughan
Noubissie     Griffiths
Taylor     Briscoe
McKoy   Albrighton  
Dempster     Byrne  
Solkhon gif     Blair
Boucaud     Briggs gif  
Makofo     Morris gif  
Marna     McPhee
Dance     Wright gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Cooper     Stevens  
Davis     Marc Williams gif  
Roper     Shaw gif  
Furlong     Thorne  
Kelly gif     Gittings gif

REFEREE:
Mr S Cook
Surrey




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