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Harriers 2 Ebbsfleet Utd 2

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Date: 10-09-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1788gif away fans: 83
Harriers throw the points away

gifReport by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers were lucky to draw against Ebbsfleet United at Aggborough this afternoon in a performance that wasn't becoming of their lofty league position.  Manager Steve Burr again chose to rotate the side with Callum Gittings, Nick Wright and Scott Phelan returning to the side.  Ebbsfleet (formerly known as Gravesend and Northfleet) boasted a side with some decent Conference players such as Ricky Shakes, Liam Enver-Marum and Callum Willock, the three that caused Harriers problems all afternoon.

The Harriers began the brighter of the sides and attacked Preston Edwards' goal from the start with Nick Wright going on some decent runs but the majority of the time it seemed his brain was lagging five yards behind him and, by the time he had stopped to consider what to do, he did nothing and the ball was taken away.  However during the first half he was the liveliest of the home sides attacking players, he had a chance early on in the half but perhaps shot too late and Edwards made a great save.

Then, in the eleventh minute, the Harriers took the lead with a superb header from Luke Jones.  A corner was cleared as far as Lee Vaughan who whipped in a deep cross that found Jones whose header flew across the face of goal into the far corner of the Fleets goal.

It was a superb goal but it was a shame the Harriers didn't press on and make any effort to extend their lead as ten minutes later Ebbsfleet nearly equalised following a shocking piece of defending.  Tom Marshall, under pressure, slipped over the ball allowing Enver-Marum to grab it for himself and advance on Danny Lewis' goal.  The former Woking striker stuttered to second guess the Harriers keeper intentions but instead it gave more time for Lewis to compose himself and he made a fantastic save, a chance that the striker should've profited from.

Wright had another chance later as, in a similar fashion to his goal on the opening day against Gateshead, he raced through on goal but his shot went wide of the far post.  Unlike the Gateshead game when it went inside the post.  Him and the Harriers may have rued missing this chance as Ebbsfleet equalised minutes after the miss.

Enver-Marum, who was a thorn in the Harriers side all afternoon, came forward through the midfield and with no challenge against him rifled a shot in from twenty five yards out that flew past Lewis into the top right hand corner of the goal to send the travelling support into raptures and cueing applause from the Harriers fans due to the quality of the goal.  Nevertheless, the question has to be asked where the midfield was in closing him down, on this occasion they seemed to have gone missing.  Not good enough.

Ebbsfleet continued to press on but couldn't find another goal as the half ended with a goal apiece.
  HT: 1 - 1
The second half saw the Harriers start the brighter once again but only marginally.  Steve Guinan headed wide from a Callum Gittings cross and then Ebbsfleet should've scored a second from yet another Harriers defensive howler.  The defence were happily passing the ball between them, never a good sign, when Jones was robbed of the ball by Callum Willock who advanced on Lewis goal but once again the Harriers keeper made an absolutely fantastic save, perhaps emphasising how much of a good goalkeeper that we have, and how especially lucky we were to have him playing for us in today's game.

From then onwards the Harriers did marginally have the better of the attacks but none of them were very fruitful. Chances for Jack Byrne, Lee Vaughan and Scott Phelan all missed the target from outside the area.  For once in a few games you couldn't have considered them guilty of the shot-shy nature of the last few home games.  Wright again seemed to be the centre of Harriers attacks but prone to poor decision making and was starting to have a poor game, yet he did get a good chance when he worked his way inside from the right wing but curled a chance wide of the near post.

Jamille Matt then came on for Steve Guinan who had had a decent game in holding up the ball but didn't really have any clear-cut chances to grab himself a goal.  However as soon as Matt came on, with the hustle and bustle he brings with his physical presence, the Harriers netted a goal which fans could've been guilty of thinking would've been the winner.

A ball from the right found Nick Wright in the area and he controlled the ball with his back to goal, he then swivelled and stabbed the ball into the far corner to, perhaps, silence some of his critics.

Yet the match didn't look as though it was sewn up as Ebbsfleet never sat back a la Stockport and let us walk all over them.  They stood up once a goal down and looked for a reply and a reply they got in the dying moments.

A sign perhaps of things to come was when the Ebbsfleet right winger, substitute Giannoulis Fakinos, got the ball on the edge of the area and yet again his marker, Mike Williams, backed off to an extent that it appeared he was running away from the opposition player.  The cross was cleared for a corner from which the goal eventually came from.

That corner came over and was knocked around the area towards John Herd.  The left back rushed in and drove the ball across goal into the right corner.

A deserved point for them and the Harriers must raise their game against Alfreton Town next week for the 125 year anniversary game.  Perhaps we'll see a return of 4-4-2 for the big event.  We live in hope.

  FT: 2 - 2



Report by Arno Bryant
A lack lustre Harriers performance failed to capitalise on the top two teams defeats with both Wrexham, who beat us last week, and Gateshead losing.  The Harriers continued to fail to return to the fortress Aggborough of last season with a late goal giving Ebbsfleet the share of the points but leaving the Harriers still strong in fourth place.

Harriers shot out of the blocks with some strong passing movement leaving the Ebbsfleet midfield chasing shadows.  Within three minutes Harriers had a decent free kick position, thanks to some good work by Scott Phelan but Kyle Storer could only plant it straight at the keeper, Preston Edwards.

The best early chance fell to Nick Wright who found himself one on one with the Ebbsfleet keeper but failed to overcome the tight angle as both his efforts were strongly blocked but the Harriers pressure was rewarded with a goal eleven minutes in when Lee Vaughan whipped in a deep cross which was met by the strong head of Luke Jones, who launched himself above the Ebbsfleet defence to power home a header past Edwards.

Harriers again seemed to fail to go 'in for the kill' as they relaxed off Ebbsfleet, content to just casually play the ball back and forth across the field.  In the 25th minute Tom Marshall found himself caught out as Callum Willock stormed in on goal but Lewis stunned the crowd by managing to parry all three of Willock's efforts.

Thirteen minutes later it was all level as Storer's lack of positioning left Liam Enver-Marum in acres of space where he then ignored his team mates, either side, to crack in a spectacular shot into the top corner to the applause of the whole ground.  The Harriers continued to try and over pass their way through Ebbsfleet with their only real chance coming from a Callum Gittings corner which seemed to find its way to Wright but was comfortably cleared over the bar.
  HT: 1 - 1
The second half continued the same way with the Harriers playing the ball around neatly but with the final ball still looking a bit wayward, although Steve Guinan came close but could only get his toes to a Vaughan cross.

In the fiftieth minute Willock pounced on an over strong pass and forced Lewis into yet another fine save down to his left.  Harriers kept trying to pass their way forward but just couldn't seem to create any real chances.

Then came the spark the attack need in the lanky form of 'Jamma' Matt who's energy seemed to bring the attacking force to life as both Vaughan and Phelan surges forward ended in wide shots.  Then in the 74th minute, came the breakthrough!

Nick Wright picked up on a ball near the edge of the box and managed to turn the defence brilliantly to then power home a cracking shot past the keeper to mass celebrations.

Once again the Harriers took to sitting back and letting 'the Fleet' come at them but just as it looked like Harriers had got away with it, yet scrappier defending led to a Ebbsfleet corner.  The looping cross was headed away by Luke Jones but only as far as John Herd who skilfully slotted the ball through everyone in the box and into Lewis' right, bottom corner to the delight of the small away following and the frustration of everyone else.

Overall not an appalling performance but more one of frustration as it's these type of open games against 'lower' opposition where you'd think our passing play should be most effective.  Again 4-3-3 seemed to leave the midfield not enough to really join up with the attackers.

A look at the league table will once again remind us of the strong start we have made to the season but I feel we still haven't really clicked as a team so on that basis we should be in for an exciting season.

Man of the Match has to be Danny Lewis yet again.  His quality performance kept the Harriers in the game but it would be nice to come away from a match where the focus has been the skill going forward and not the skill inbetween the sticks.
  FT: 2 - 2



 Goals for Harriers: Jones 11, Wright 74
 Goals for Ebbsfleet: Marum 38, Herd 90


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gif Danny Lewis



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Harriers  subs   cards      Ebbsfleet Utd  subs   cards 
Lewis     Edwards  
Vaughan     Stone  
Mike Williams     Herd  
Jones     Simpemba  
Marshall     Howe  
Phelan     Stavrinou gif
Gittings gif     Enva-Marum  
Wright     Marwa  
Guinan gif     Willock gif  
Storer     Shakes gif  
Byrne gif   Phipp  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Welch  
Sharpe     Azeez gif  
Matt gif     Fakinos gif  
Hankin gif     McCarthy  
Vincent gif     Ginty gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Bond
Lancashire





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