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Southport 2 Harriers 2

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Date: 29-10-10gif Venue: Haig Avenuegif att: 1447gif away fans: 45
Harriers come back from two goals down

gif Report by Morgan Nock
Rarely has the phrase 'a game of two halves' been more apt than it was on this chilly Friday evening at at Haig Avenue in Southport, Lancashire.  After trailing 2-0 at half time Kidderminster Harriers managed to draw 2-2 with Southport whilst being broadcast live on television channel, Premier Sports, for the first time.

Goals from Lee Morris and Chris McPhee were enough to cancel out first half strikes from Chris Simm and Robert Marsh-Evans.  Both sides were reduced to ten men in two strange decisions - with Southport goalkeeper Tony McMillan and Harriers midfielder Jack Byrne both seeing red.

The game got off to a slow start - Harriers looking sluggish and Southport not much better.  Marc Williams had a shot easily saved but this was the only real action of note.  With 16 minutes on the clock a ball along the ground was intercepted by Jack Byrne who left it for Michael Briscoe to collect.  Unfortunately both players wanted to leave it for the other - a disastrous notion as Chris Simm nipped in and after composing himself walloped Southport into the lead with a dipping shot into the top corner.

More shaky defending from Kidderminster almost allowed the Sandgrounders to double their lead but 'keeper Danny Lewis was on hand to stop Matty McNeil's shot (he scored twice at Aggborough earlier this season).  At the other end Tom Shaw went close with a free-kick but this effort which flew over the bar was as close as Harriers would come in the remainder of the first period.

With just five minutes until half time Southport managed to gain a second goal and typically of Harriers this season it came from a set piece.  A floated ball (which is so often fruitless for Harriers going forwards) from Kevin Lee evaded all of the Kiddy defence and allowed Marsh-Evans to stroll into the six-yard box and nod the easiest of headers past Lewis.
  HT: 2 - 0
The second half began in stark contrast to the way Harriers' first had ended.  Two substitutions and a clear ambition to get something out of the game was obvious from the first whistle.  Lee Morris and Dave Hankin replaced Tom Shaw and Matty Blair (whose flair was nowhere to be seen!).

It was the newly introduced Morris who grabbed Kidderminster's first goal of the night.  Following good work from the other substitute Dave Hankin, who lofted a fantastic ball forwards to Marc Williams, the ball was hooked back into the area by the Welshman and Morris was stood in prime position, unmarked, to head into the back of the net.

The momentum was now with Kidderminster and just six minutes after their first goal they were after another.  Mark Albrighton hoofed the ball forwards and Marc Williams gave chase and, after showing gargantuan effort, found himself running into the penalty area with the ball at his feet.  The Southport goalkeeper McMillan stood his ground and Williams ran into him.  The ball spilled out to Morris who tried to tee himself up but ended up running away from goal towards the corner flag.  McMillan still felt it necessary to haul him down inside the area, conceding a clear penalty.

What wasn't clear was why he was shown the red card.  Having only seen the incident once I didn't feel that it was a clear goalscoring opportunity but Mr Mohareb disagreed and sent the 'keeper off.  Veteran substitute Steve Dickinson could do nothing to save Chris McPhee's cool spot-kick and Harriers were level.

Time seemed to be disappearing quickly as Harriers piled on the pressure and the excitement was shared by travelling players, staff and supporters.  The comeback was almost complete when Morris played in Marc Williams but Dickinson made a commendable save with his feet.

Referee Mohareb was again the centre of controversy amongst the away contingent.  After losing control of the ball (reminiscent of Ollie Thorne doing the same thing against York last week), Jack Byrne continued forwards after the ball had been cleared and caught Chris Lever late.  Immediately it was apparent that the red card was about to be shown and to my eyes it was a red card.  Obviously I didn't have the luxury of TV replays inside the ground but my gut instinct - having already seen one unjust dismissal - was that Byrne should walk.

Williams was at it again in the closing stages but another shot towards the corner of the net was stopped again by Dickinson and soon after the game was over.  A superb effort from the Harriers and a very well earned point away from home.
  FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Southport: Simm 17, Marsh-Evans 40
 Goals for Harriers: Morris 52, McPhee 58 (pen)


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Southport  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
McMillan   Lewis  
Lee   Vaughan  
Lever     Mike Williams  
Flynn     Briscoe  
Davis     Shaw gif  
Powell     Albrighton  
Marsh-Evans gif     Blair gif  
Barrett     Byrne
McNeil     Marc Williams  
Simm gif     McPhee  
McGinn   Gittings  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Dickinson gif     Stevens  
R Williams     Sharpe  
Blakeman     Morris gif
Daly     Wright  
Gray gif     Hankin gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Mohareb
Cheshire




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