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Newport County 3 Harriers 0

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Date: 28-08-10gif Venue: Newport Stadiumgif att: 2026gif away fans: 149
Harriers get trashed at Newport

gif Report by Harry Taylor
For the second time in a week Kidderminster Harriers visited Wales and for the third time since the season began we lost.  This time they couldn't muster the same fight they had when they came back from two down against Wrexham at the Racecourse Tuesday night.

Today in the South of the country at Newport it was almost Harriers old boys against the Harriers new boys with four of the sixteen named for Newport having played for the Harriers in recent years.  One, Lee Baker, was missing through injury.

New-boy Aman Verma lined up in the centre of midfield for us, Lee Vaughan came in at right back to make his debut after serving a four match ban, Tom Shaw went to left midfield in the place of the injured Callum Gittings and Marc Williams returned upfront eaving on paper a strong bench in the form of Chris McPhee, Lee Morris, Jack Byrne, Matty Blair and Andy Stevens.  However come full time you could've been mistaken for thinking that the bench could've done better than the whole of the starting XI.

The two teams kicked off with the away fans in fine voice, pigeon-holed into the corner of the terrace opposite the main stand, and the support they gave at times deserved much better than the performance that was given.  Harriers had a decent chance after twelve minutes when, after a free kick, Verma was outside the area and he hit a shot which went the right hand side of Glyn Thompsons goal.  This was to be the only contribution from the new boy in all honesty and questions may now be raised as to why he was brought in.

After a clash of heads our defence, which had so far leaked goals like a bucket with a gaping hole in, was changed around again when after a lack of communication between the two Harriers defenders challenging for a high ball Michael Briscoe clattered heads with Tom Sharpe and the latter had to be replaced by McPhee.

Thirty four minutes into the half and Newport took the lead from the one person that it really had to be.  Craig Reid, running through towards the Harriers goal, was tripped by McPhee and the ball was placed down thirty yards out by none other than Robbie Matthews with a point to prove against his former side.  He'd taken a free-kick for us and scored before, against Lewes in the FA Trophy last year, but that rolled in so it was with some surprise when up he stepped despite the barrage of abuse that he was getting from the away support to curl a cracking shot past the wall and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

Absolutely typical.  He celebrated in front of the Newport fans then proceeded to jog in front of the Harriers bench and turn around and point at the name on his shirt.  This earned him considerably more abuse from the Harriers travelling faithful.

It went from bad to worse then as they notched another goal minutes before half time.  The ball was kicked in from the left, got blocked by Keith Briggs hand and the referee duly gave a penalty which Reid dispatched to the left of Lewis to give 'The Exiles' a two goal lead going into half time.

In truth it could've been much more for Newport as there were at least two efforts cleared off the line and one which they had started celebrating as if it had been awarded and the teams walking back towards the centre circle.  However, it wasn't all County, as Harriers had a superb chance after Nick Wright had won the ball on the left hand side, came in and slipped a ball through to Marc Williams, he proceeded to nutmeg the defender and take the ball past the goalkeeper but his touch for the latter was too heavy and it rolled away.  In vain he swung a leg at the ball but it went wide and the chance of the half for us was squandered.
  HT: 2 - 0
The second half was much like the first with the Harriers quite frankly letting Newport walk all over them, any fight from Tuesday night or in general seemed to have been extinguished.  Even Lee Vaughan, with the tenacity he had shown in pre-season looked lacklustre, the midfield were still on their summer break and the defence were trying to plug the gap but, it just wasn't happening and some of the fans had begun to give up.

Even Burr's team talk at half time, which has on occasion fired them up and got us back from three goals down, didn't work and it wasn't too long before it was three.  Paul Bignot ran into the area and was hauled down by Aman Verma and the referee rightly signalled for another penalty.  Reid once again stepped up and dispatched this one straight down the middle, again befuddling Lewis in the goal.

For the rest of the half nothing was created apart from two chances for Marc Williams.  The first was a ball across from the left ahead of him which Harriers fans thought he'd surely got to score but his shot wasn't good enough and it skewered wide to the right to the disbelief of many.  Another one, which was a tough chance to take, was when Wright again played the ball in along the floor, this time from the right, and as Williams got the ball back to goal his marker slipped but he couldn't turn in time and his shot went away to relative safety.

Apart from that we were non-descript and hardly challenged them.  They didn't create too much either apart from a late chance for Sam Foley, another ex-Harrier who came on to replace Matthews.  He was man of the match for Newport and mine as well.

I realise that last season when he was with us I didn't hide the fact that I rated Matthews and I'm not saying this because I rated him then.  Today he proved to Steve Burr and co that he shouldn't have been let go, his flick-ons were good, passing was good and overall play was good too.  The free-kick was simply superb.

In the end the game petered out to a chorus of boo's and slight tempered applause.  I know some object to booing but I myself cannot see why the team played well enough to earn the right to be applauded off.  Fans travel and pay their hard earned money to watch football and then are given performances like the one today and the first half Tuesday.

However, far be it from me to tell anybody how to support the club and at the end of the day it's all part and parcel of watching and supporting the Harriers.  But unless the players pull their fingers out and realise that we're 22nd in the league and we look that good.

Its not as though we've had games that we were expected to lose and lost.  We've lost to Southport, Mansfield and Newport and the first two should've been (on paper anyway) victories.

We've still got the harder teams (such as Luton, Fleetwood, Rushden, Darlington, Grimsby) to play and we've got four points from five games.  Repeat that over the season and we'll get thirty five points so based on last seasons table that equals relegation.  The defence has a huge hand in that figure; if you keep clean sheets you're guaranteed a point and I can't see us doing that at the moment.
  FT: 3 - 0

 Goals for Newport: Matthews 35, Reid 44, 53 (2 pens)


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Newport County  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Thompson     Lewis  
Bignot     Vaughan  
Anaclet     Mike Williams  
Collins     Briscoe  
Warren     Shaw gif  
Todd     Sharpe gif  
Rose     Hankin  
Knights gif     Briggs  
Reid     Wright  
Matthews gif     Verma gif  
Henry     Marc Williams  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Garner     Stevens  
Thorne     McPhee gif  
Rogers     Byrne gif  
Foley gif     Blair  
Morgan gif     Morris gif  

REFEREE:
Mr A Bennett
Devon




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