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AFC Wimbledon 1 Harriers 2

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Date: 12-03-11gif Venue: Kingsmeadowgif att: 3517gif away fans: 204
Harriers overcome another tough hurdle

gif Report by Philip Lench
Our four game tourney against the top four sides came to an end today with yet another great result, this time at second placed AFC Wimbledon.  It all started against Wrexham at Aggborough a few weeks back and we saw them off with a hard fought win and then in the next game we travelled to Luton and came back with a creditable draw.

Present league leaders, Crawley Town, came to Aggborough last week and with the game ending all square that one point moved them into top spot to displace todays opponents.  Today we turned the screw on Wimbledons slump in form and ran out worthy 2-1 winners at their Kingsmeadow home.

The result doesn't move us any higher in the league than our previous fifth place but, with Fleetwood losing at home today, it consolidates our place in the play offs.  We now have to sit out the next two weeks while those around us play and we cross our fingers in hope that they continue to slip up.

There was a changed look to the side today with Sean Canham coming in for Lee Morris and Nick Wright in for Jamille Matt.  Both of them dropped to the bench.  At the back and in midfield Tom Sharpe is missing for the remainder of the season with a dislocated knee and Mark Albrighton was out with a tooth abscess so Lee Vaughan came in for Sharpe and Chris McPhee dropped back into midfield to cover for Albrighton.

Wimbledon had their fair share of players missing too but the one player that the Harriers fans were waiting to see was sat on the bench.  Drewe Broughton signed on loan for the Dons a few weeks ago from their biggest enemies MK Dons and it's for that reason they can't quite accept him even though he scored against Tamworth on his debut for them and then scored against Altrincham in the following game too.

The game got underway with the Harriers almost scoring in the opening seconds when Tom Shaw saw a chance from twenty yards out and let fly with a shot that went just the wrong side of Seb Browns right post.  A minute later and Matty Blair was trying his luck too when he fired in a shot that looped over the keepers head just as he managed to tip it over to safety.

The hosts responded with some half chances but they were no real threat to the Harriers.  We did though when Nick Wright broke free from a Wimbledon corner, raced up field and then, with just the keeper to beat, he fired narrowly wide when he should really have scored.

Slowly the Dons began to creep back into the game and pressurise our goal.  First Michael Briscoe headed a dangerous looking thro-in over the bar and then Keith Briggs made a goal line clearance from Luke Moores corner.  Steven Gregory was the next to test us out but his shot hit Mike Williams and got diverted away from danger.

Once we had survived that period of pressure we came close once more when Blair latched onto a poor back pass from Jamie Stuart but unluckily for him the keeper reached the ball first.  Our keeper was in good form too and Danny Lewis managed to beat away a shot from Kirk Hudson that looked to be on its way in.

Back up the other end and again Nick Wright was in the thick of the action.  First he hit the post after collecting a matty Blair pass and then his effort was saved low down by Brown.  The next move of the game bought our first goal.

It was that man Wright again who was instrumental in the build up.  His neat flick on allowed Sean Canham to race through and send a superb shot past Seb Brown for goal number one.  Soon after the referee blew the whistle for half time and we went into the break a goal to the good.
  HT: 0 - 1
We came out for the second forty five in the same frame of mind as we were in the first half.  Nick Wright again tested the keeper early doors and then set up Callum Gittings with a cross that he managed to get his head to but couldn't get it past the keeper.

Wimbledon had a couple of chances too through Kirk Hudson and Rashid Yussuff before their manager, Terry Brown, decided to change things around.  Off went Luke Moore and in his place came Ryan Jackson.

Sean Canham found his name going into the referees notebook following a foul on Brett Johnson before finding himself almost immediately being subbed too.  Jamille Matt came on for him but not straight away because Matt had to change his under shorts first because they were the wrong colour.

At the same time the officials hadn't noticed that on the other side of the pitch Sammy Moore had been down injured for a while and the crowd had been trying to draw the refs attention to what seemed a very bad injury.  So it was; he had fallen badly after running alongside Tom Shaw and dislocated his knee just as Tom Sharpe did for us against Crawley last Tuesday.  All the medical staff were on the pitch treating him before he was stretchered off.  From the restart we scored again and it was Matt that did it again.

Just as against Cambridge last month he had arrived on the pitch and scored with almost his first touch of the ball.  He won the ball cleanly off Johnson and approached the goal and slid it past the keeper and then got himself booked when he went to celebrate with the 204 Harriers fans.

In response the Dons manager threw on Broughton in place of Hudson but it wasn't him who scored, thankfully.  A free kick was sent over by Gareth Gwillim for the unmarked Lee Minshull to send a header towards the far post beyond the reach of Danny Lewis.

That was the signal for the home side to go all out and at least claw a draw from the game.  Yussuff tried to bend a shot in but it went well wide and it was backs to the wall time for our defenders who managed once again to perform heroics.

Seven minutes of extra time were also added on, due to the bad injury to Sammy Moore, but when the whistle finally blew it was to celebrate another fine performance from the Harriers to consolidate our place in the play-offs.  We now don't have a game until Mansfield away on March 26th and that will then herald another run of three games against tough opposition in games against Luton and Grimsby in addition to the visit to Field Mill.

We'll be ok.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Wimbledon: Minshull 82
 Goals for Harriers: Canham 42, Matt 74


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Latest table and stats here  

AFC Wimbledon  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Brown     Lewis  
S Moore gif     Vaughan  
Gwillim     Williams  
Gregory     Briscoe  
Stuart     Shaw  
Johnson     McPhee  
Yussuff     Blair  
Mulley   Briggs  
Kedwell     Canham gif
Hudson gif     Wright gif  
L Moore gif     Gittings
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Turner     Stevens  
Broughton gif     Lowe  
Jackson gif     Hankin gif  
Harris     Morris  
Minshull gif     Matt gif

REFEREE:
Mr J Hopkins
Essex





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