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Harriers 5 Braintree Town 4

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Date: 18-10-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1301gif away fans: 21
Harriers stumble to a shambolic triumph

gif Report by Arno Bryant & Steve Williams
A host of injuries for the Harriers didn't seem to affect them tonight as they won a nine goal thriller.  The Harriers, with a lot to prove after having no shots on target on Saturday, did have to make do with a slightly weakened back four but still fought hard for their victory.

It was Braintree that started the better.  Within the opening ten minutes they saw a shot by Ben Wright go wide and an open header by their captain, Kenny Davis, missed by a small margin.

Harriers then settled and started producing chances of their own.  Firstly through a Tom Sharpe header at the back post, which was well met by the Braintree keeper, Nathan McDonald, then through a Callum Gittings header from a Kyle Storer free kick which the keeper parried away but finally resulted in a goal kick.

In the twenty fifth minute the game saw its first goal when, against the run of play, Braintree scored.  Sean Marks tapped the ball in after a Ben Wright free kick could only be parried by Dean Lyness.  Just a minute later the Harriers exacted revenge when a lovely ball over the top saw Nick Wright break through the defence leaving him one on one with the keeper.  He then slotted the ball home in off the post to level things up.

Just after the goal the Harriers suffered a set back when Jamille Matt was forced to go off injured.  Steve Guinan entered the arena in his place.

The game then seemed to be played in midfield, that was until in the thirty second minute when some brainless defending left Braintrees' Ben Wright to finish well from a pass from Sean Marks, bending it around Dean Lyness.

Harriers then tried to narrow things up once more after a lovely shot by Kyle Storer was deflected out for a goal kick but Braintree had one more chance five minutes before half time to double their lead when Marks, free of the Reds defenders, shot well but only for his effort to be marvelously saved by Dean Lyness.

Just before the half drew to a close the Harriers midfield dynamo, Scott Phelan, had to receive prolonged attention after going down heavily under a challenge.  He failed to appear for the second half and we now have two more players that could be on the injury list.
  HT: 1 - 2
The Harriers started the second half like a team possessed.  Firstly we saw a Luke Medley shot go just wide and then three goals arrived, all scored within six minutes.

The first was from James Vincent when a ball over the top was controlled by Guinan who then knocked it down to the left bye-line where he then crossed in for Vincent to head in to the back of the net.  Three minutes later Vincent scored again!  This time it was built up by Medley, after his cross was too high for Wright, and he collected and whipped a ball in to the box himself.  Gittings then superbly controlled it with his chest to lay it off for Vincent to score with a shot off the post.

Then in the fifty sixth minute Callum Gittings scored as a reward for his assist for Vincent's second goal when it was the provider for the first who set up Gittings.  Guinans control left Gittings with the ball to fire home and send the Harriers 4-2 to the good.

Not for long.  Braintree still had a big say in this thrilling contest and in the sixtieth minute they scored again.  Two wonderful Mickey Demetriou blocks let the ball pop out of the box only to be belted back in the area by Aswad Thomas for a superb strike that gave Dean Lyness no chance of saving.  It was the goal of the night and one of the best goals seen scored at Aggborough.

It was Thomas that was the centre of attack for Braintree again when he ran into the box minutes later only to have his ankles clipped by Tom Sharpe.  The referee had no choice but to award Braintree a penalty and Ben Wright didn't need to hesitate as he equalised with a clean strike to the top left corner to make the tie 4-4.

Soon after the Harriers had their own penalty and a chance to take the game to nine goals when the Braintree keeper brought down Nick Wright on the edge of the area.  Kyle Storer stepped up to take the kick but his poor quality effort was easily saved by McDonald.  Suddenly there was real drama as McDonald was judged to have moved off his line and the referee and linesman decided the penalty had to be retaken.  This time Nick Wright took charge and calmly, but purposely, hit his shot into the corner to put the Harriers in the lead once more.

Harriers then had a few late half chances to make it six.  Firstly a Michael Briscoe header went just over and then, through good work from Marc Williams and Wright on the right hand side, led to Wright shooting high and wide.

The referee then lost his calm approach to the game when a small session of hand bags left the Harriers fans wondering why there wasn't a red card produced for a shove to the face of Kyle Storer.  Two yellows were produced for both of the two players involved although Storer was the innocent party in the fracas.  Just a minute later there was also a yellow card for Marc Williams for continuous protesting with the referee.

There was some late pressure from Braintree, and a chance for Ben Wright to get his hat-trick, but it wasn't to be as the Harriers kept them at bay to win 5-4 in an eventful and mad game at Aggborough.

  FT: 5 - 4

 Goals for Harriers: N Wright 27, 77 (pen), Vincent 51, 55, Gittings 58
 Goals for Braintree: Marks 26, B Wright 33, 67 (pen), Thomas 63


The Harriers Online MotM is:

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Harriers  subs   cards      Braintree Town  subs   cards 
Lyness     McDonald  
Sharpe     Peters  
Demetriou     Thomas  
Briscoe     Bailey-Dennis  
Marshall     Paine  
Phelan gif     Reason gif  
Gittings gif     Symons gif  
Vincent     Davis  
Matt gif     Marks  
Storer   B Wright  
N Wright     Vose gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Guinan gif     A Jones  
Cresswell     Stevens  
Medley gif     Quinton gif
Marc Williams gif   Johnson gif  
Thompson-Brown     McCammon gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Bond
Lancashire




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