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Harriers 2 Newport County 3

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Date: 28-12-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1757gif away fans: 467
Harriers lose out in a 2nd half thriller

gif Report by Harry Taylor
In a post-Christmas thriller at Aggborough, Newport County emerged the winners following a five goal game against the Harriers.  Kidderminster were playing their first game in just over two weeks following the adverse weather, with a makeshift side greeting the South Wales 'Exiles'.

Chris McPhee was missing from the side completely, Lee Vaughan was suspended and Mike Williams injured.  They were replaced by Jamille Matt who was making his first league start for the Harriers, Tom Sharpe came in at right back and Tom Shaw deputised at left back.  Ollie Thorne also made his return to the side after being out of favour since his sending off against York City in the FA Cup defeat a few months back.

For the 'Exiles' or 'Former Harriers XI' as it appeared, Paul Bignot and Darryl Knights started, with Sam Foley and Robbie Matthews on the bench.

One of those former Harriers immediately made his presence felt as Knights, who was playing on the right wing, movement and penetrating runs tore the Harriers defence apart at times.  He tested Danny Lewis as early as five minutes into the game with a shot that forced Lewis into a decent save.

It was evident from this point onwards that Newport had a hold on the play in the opening stages and unless the Harriers upped their game it would only be a matter of time before Newport scored.  Matty Blair did have a chance to notch a goal against the run of play following an inviting cross from Callum Gittings and minutes after had a run and tried to take the ball around Glyn Thompson but the goalkeeper made it safe.

Minutes later Blair would've rued missing those chances as Newport took the lead through Craig Reid.

An over hit pass from one side of the pitch was played over to the other but Sam Deering didn't bother about that.  He gave chase and went past two Harriers defenders to stop the ball going out for a throw.  He then moved back towards the area and those same two defenders were still there standing rigidly to the spot.  Deering played the ball across to Eddie Odhiambo who in turn fed Reid, with his back to goal, he turned to shoot, and whilst Briggs got the merest of touches in, it wasn't enough to stop the ball from going into the back of the net past Lewis.

The danger from Reid didn't recede though as he forced a fine diving save from Lewis and then created the second goal through his fine work as he got the ball in the midfield, took the ball past Thorne with ease and, with Briscoe standing in his way, ghosted past the centre back whose sliding challenge was poorly timed and far too late to take the ball from Reid who only had Shaw with him.  The latter slid in on Reid, this time taking the ball, but due to him not being goal side of his man the challenge took the ball into the back of the net which was unfortunate as he seemed to be the only defender switched on in that situation.

Mistakes aside, Newport were two goals up and the Harriers were drowning against the strong current that Newport were providing.  This lack of performance in the first half earned a roundly deserved chorus of boos ringing out in the ears of the Harriers men as they left the pitch at half time.
  HT: 0 - 2
The second half cued a revival almost of the same magnitude as Mansfield away on the last day of last season.  Ten minutes after the half had restarted the Harriers thought they'd got a goal back as Lee Morris wriggled through on the right hand side of the box and sent a shot through a crowded area which hit the post.  The rebound fell straight to Jamille Matt who finished well but was then adjudged to have been offside when Morris took his shot - therefore the goal was chalked off - arguably unfairly.

The momentum was firmly swinging in the Harriers favour by this stage and the fans could sense such, finding their voice and willing the side on.  We got a goal back, that wasn't ruled out, following Gittings crossing the ball in from a free kick on the left hand side of the pitch towards the far post with Matty Blair getting a touch of some sort on the ball sending it into the back of the net to give Harriers fans some hope of a comeback.

It wasn't just the fans who wanted the comeback, the celebration by Lee Morris who ran in front of a section of the Town End celebrating spoke volumes about how much the result would mean to the players.

Minutes later the dreams were realised.  A through ball behind the Newport back line saw Matt racing clear of them towards Thompson's goal, and with him perhaps realising he might not make it to the goal with the ball, Matt let fly with a high, looping shot which was parried by Thompson behind him, and, under the attention of Morris and Keith Briggs went into the goal despite the goalkeepers best efforts.  The game was level and the play was still with the Harriers.

Nick Wright was introduced in place of Jack Byrne and should've netted a goal to give the Harriers the lead as the former Tamworth striker challenged Thompson for the ball.  He fell over, giving Wright the chance to score and from just outside the six yard box on the left hand side of the goal he slotted the ball into the side netting much to the disappointment of the fans.  It was a tight angle perhaps but he should've scored.

Harriers came to rue missing the chance as three minutes later Newport regained their first half lead when Reid took a shot which was blocked by Lewis, but the rebound fell to former Harrier Paul Bignot who slipped the ball into the net in front of the travelling contingent and sent them into raptures for a perhaps deserved win on the account that the Harriers failed to turn up in the first half.

Harriers tried in vain late on to create chances but they were fruitless.
  FT: 2 - 3

 Goals for Harriers: Blair 61, Matt 64
 Goals for Newport: Reid 29, Shaw 37(og), Bignot 82


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Harriers  subs   cards      Newport County  subs   cards 
Lewis     Thompson  
Sharpe     Bignot
Shaw     Odhiambo  
Briscoe     Collins  
Thorne     Warren
Byrne gif     Todd  
Blair     Rose  
Briggs     Goodall  
Morris     Reid gif
Matt     Knights gif  
Gittings gif     Deering gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Garner  
Albrighton     Matthews gif  
McPike gif     Foley gif  
Hankin     Z Wright  
N Wright gif   Morgan gif  

REFEREE:
Mr M Heywood
West Yorkshire




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