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Match preview Vs Gateshead


Date: 13-08-11gif Venue: Aggborouhgif Kick off: 15:00hrs

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This could be the most anticipated new season for a long, long time as far as Harriers fans are concerned.  Normally following a seasons end, good or bad, the squad is usually ripped apart leaving the incumbent manager having to start again with the dregs after all the good and higher paid players have been turfed out.

Steve Guinan The most famous one for us was after Mark Yates took us to the edge of the play-offs only to see the bulk of that squad moved on by the following season just to pay the taxman and then left with snapping up the left overs after the other clubs got in early.  This time, under our new more enlightened board, Steve Burr has managed to keep just who he wants, get rid of who he wants and also to bring in fresh new faces well in time for the big day.

Out has gone Chris McPhee to Torquay Utd, Lee Morris to Eastwood Town, Marc Albrighton has gone home to Nuneaton, Tom Shaw has tootled off to Cambridge Utd while Keith Briggs has joined up with promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town.  All of those were either expected to go or wouldn't be missed but the one that no one was expecting to go was Matty Blair who joined York City for an undisclosed fee after being advised by his father that the grass was greener elsewhere.

Through the in door have come a load of players to bring our squad level up to an unheard of 22.  I won't go into all the details right now but they do include players with experience such as James Vincent from Stockport, Kyle Storer from Nuneaton, Steve Guinan from Forest Green and also from the same club former defender Luke Jones.  Marc Williams has also teamed back up with us from Wrexham but now on a permanent basis.

For the opener tomorrow we should really be starting with a fully fit squad but Jack Byrne will be out for the first four games after having been sent off three times last season earning himself a five game ban.  He has already served one game when he missed our final game against Histon.  Jack Cresswell has picked up a knock in training while Michael Briscoe is recovering from a minor operation so may not be risked just yet.

Other than that things look good on the squad front and with this depth that we now have then it's not going to be easy for Steve Burr to select a starting eleven and even harder for him to choose his bench.

Up at Gateshead they too have been busy during the break and Ian Bogie, formerly of this parish, has been strengthening his side quite cannily.  Out have gone former Harriers Andy Ferrell to Barrow while Craig Nelthorpe has joined Gainsborough while it seems that the manager has been hunting around South of the border for Sam Rents from newly promoted Crawley Town, the former Oxford Utd and Stevenage pair Yemi Odubade and Eddie Odhiambo who both ended last season at Newport while going back up North he bought in an experienced midfielder in Micky Cummins from Grimsby.

They will have three missing tomorrow.  One will be goalkeeper Tim Deasy who'll be serving a one game ban for his dismissal at Newport on the final day of last season and the other two are James Marwood who is still recovering from a broken ankle while Rents will have to wait a little longer for his debut due to a knee injury.

I know we always seem to start the season badly and then start to improve by the end of September but this time I feel that at least we should be able to get three points under our belts by 5.00pm tomorrow.  Let's see.

Photo © KHFC


Harriers from:
Lewis, Lyness, Vaughan, Mike Williams, Sharpe, Jones, Demetriou, Phelan, Briscoe, Marshall, Storer, Vincent, Cresswell, Hankin, Guinan, Wright, Thompson-Brown, Matt, Gittings, Marc Williams, Medley.

Gateshead from:
Farman, Porter, Odhiambo, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Brittain, Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade, Cummins, Fisher, Baxter, Mulligan, Gillies, Nix, Moore, Carruthers, Moyes, Briggs.

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Previous games against Gateshead
Harriers score first
2010 - 11
2 - 1
2 - 2
2009 - 10
3 - 2
2 - 0

For earlier results against Gateshead look here on Statto's Harriers site   

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