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Harriers 1 Forest Green Rovers 0

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Date: 26-12-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2491gif away fans: 224
Not quite a turkey but Harriers make hard work of FGR

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers emerged from their Boxing Day clash of 2011 with three points after a 1-0 victory over Forest Green, continuing their march towards the play-off places.  Jamille Matt, impressive in recent weeks, kept his place in the side with Callum Gittings and Dave Hankin flanking him either side, albeit ineffectively.

The first half was one lacking in events to warm the Harriers fans and conjure any excitement amongst the 2200 home fans.  The tight back three in the Forest Green defence dominated and as a result chances were as scarce as live turkeys post Christmas Day.

The case was much the same for the Forest Green side as although they, like Harriers, played with a five man midfield it didn't create many chances.  Yan Klukowski spurned a chance for his side just over half-way through the half when the goal opened up in front of him but he fired way over the bar.  The best the Harriers could muster was a free kick from Kyle Storer that was deeper than intended and half tested ex-Salisbury stopper James Bittner.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half needed to be one of more endeavor from the Harriers as they needed three points to keep up with the play-off pack but initially this was not the case.  Callum Gittings was having a poor and uncreative game, Kyle Storer's passing also uncreative and bland and Lee Hendrie not getting the rub of the luck that he needed to play the ball through.

Jamille Matt wriggled through and shot on the turn from outside the area, his firm drive tested Bittner who palmed the ball away before making it safe despite the onrushing ex-Villa man Hendrie.

Harriers now started to get control of the game and pressed Forest Green into their own half but equally their possession wasn't easily turned into chances and shots on Bittners goal who, even at the relatively early stage of the sixty minute mark, was starting to waste time in the hope of getting a draw in the absence of Forest Green's two main centre halves.

Matt then also had a fantastic run on goal following a ball over the top of the Forest Green back line.  He cut inside and out in their penalty area, confusing the defenders but they eventually got a foot in and he was denied yet another fantastic solo goal.  It was easy to see why following his performances of late and major improvements in his time at the club that Football League sides were knocking on the door asking how much we wanted for Matt.

He was involved in the only goal of the game in the sixty seventh minute.  A Mickey Demetriou free kick found Luke Jones who flicked the ball on towards the far post where it was met by Matt who unselfishly headed back across goal, confusing Bittner completely, where the ball found Jack Byrne whose firm header went into the net to give the Harriers fans something to cheer about.

The possession continued in the Harriers favour, and with substitutions seeing Hendrie replaced by James Vincent, he and Matt combined on the counter to provide the on-rushing Kyle Storer with an easy chance to score in front of an open goal but he skied the ball over the bar and a superb chance to cap off a poor game for the ex-Nuneaton man.

The single goal was enough to secure the Harriers a victory that keeps them level on points with Luton Town and York City, both sides in the playoff places, and ahead of a trip to Forest Green on New Years Day things are looking rather rosy for the Harriers club.  However they will need to perform better on the first day of the Olympic Year than they did today to avoid a draw or worse.

Personnel changes need to be brought in and things such as the formation could also be changed.  Matt looked exhausted from doing all the running up front and a secondary striker alongside him could enable the Harriers to reap the benefits either side of the three man defence.

Play up, Play Up and Play the Game! Sir Nick Wright, your time may have come.  (I may have been away for a few months, but some things never change)
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: Byrne 67


Harrys MotM is:

gif Mickey Demetriou



gif Report by Arno Bryant
The Harriers top off the year with another three points as they eventually unwound an extremely organized Forest Green Rovers side.

The visitors came into the game with some of the best away form outside the top four, a feat that has seen them lose only once on their travels.  Harriers on the other hand were keen to keep up the good form of their own and hadn't lost since October.

It wasn't long though till the bumper home crowd could see through Forest Green's cunning plan.  'Pressure Pressure Pressure' lead to a fairly uninteresting half as Forest Green's 'Pack the Box' defending made Harriers work very difficult.  The half hour mark came and went before the game generated its first chance; Callum Gittings getting let through by Dave Hankin but only managing to hit the keeper with the strike.

Soon after Forest Green got their first chance but James Norwood wasted a strong position as he sliced his shot well wide of Tony Breedens post.

Harriers almost managed to get a reward for their possession just before the break.  Gittings made some space before picking out Jamille Matts head superbly, but the glancing header was agonizingly wide.
  HT: 0 - 0
Forest Green came out of the tunnel a different side taking Harriers by surprise somewhat and on fifty two minutes Matt Taylor broke into a opening but Breeden easily parried the resulting shot away.

The Harriers slowly came back into their stride helped by the backing of the vocal home crowd.  Matt yet again causing trouble for the usually solid away defence.

It was in the sixty seventh minute that the game finally got the goal it deserved.  The packed box found themselves leaping to get their heads to a looping ball from Luke Jones but it was Matt that rose highest and showed great self-discipline to ignore the chance of scoring himself and flick the ball onto Jack Byrne who calmly slotted into the open net.

Harriers settled back down with the defence as rock solid as ever to stop any Forest attempts for a comeback.  With just over ten minutes to go we might have doubled our lead.  James Vincent collected the ball from Matt and played it through the back four to Kyle Storer but the final shot was hashed wide.  Guinan also had a go in the final minutes but his header was narrowly wide.

Although there wasn't the Boxing Day excitement some of the fans may have wished for this was a great example of how the team has matured in recent weeks.  It was a game the Harriers would traditionally struggle to gain a result in.
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: Byrne 67


Arnos' MotM is:

gif Mickey Demetriou



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Harriers  subs   cards      Forest Green Rovers  subs   cards 
Breeden     Bittner  
L Vaughan     Hodgkiss  
Demetriou     Stokes  
Jones   Rowe gif  
Sharpe     Graham  
Storer     Thomson  
Hankin   Norwood  
Hendrie gif     Klukowski  
Matt gif     Taylor  
Gittings     Uwezu gif  
Byrne     Forbes  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Bulman  
Mike Williams     Imudia  
Wright     Henry  
Guinan gif     Turk gif  
Vincent gif     Griffin gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Bond
Lancashire




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