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Gateshead 2 Harriers 1

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Date: 10-01-12gif Venue: The International Stadiumgif att: 742gif away fans: 49
Harriers fall to first league defeat in three months

gif Report by Centreforeword
As rain intermittently created a blanket of moisture on the athletics stadium football pitch, Kidderminster Harriers visited Gateshead FC for this Blue Square Premier play off place tussle that ultimately ended with them losing their first league game since the 3-1 defeat away at Barrow on October 22nd last year.

The Harriers line up was the same as the preceding Saturday fixture against Hayes & Yeading except for Dan Bradley replacing James Vincent in the starting line up.  Vincent was relegated to the bench at short notice following the recurrence of his knee injury while in the pre match warm up.

Jack Byrne also took a place in the dugout following his recovery from his knee injury as did Mike Williams.

The Heed began by far the brighter of the two teams.  A few long range efforts from the home side were well struck but did not really trouble Tony Breeden in the Harriers goal.

Then, in the twenty fifth minute, Lee Hendrie found himself with the ball in space but instead of pumping it forward he played the ball back and sideways only to see it ricochet off the referee to Heed striker Joshua Gillies.  Gillies turned and headed for goal and tried to lob Breeden but luckily for the visitors the Harriers keeper managed to parry the ball wide off the far post.

The resultant corner proved to be an excellent delivery into the box.  It was met by Michael Cummins who climbed and powered a superbly strong header into the Harriers goal.  A very well taken and deserved goal for the hosts.

Yemi Odubade and Jamie Curtis were proving very strong in battling against the visitors' defence whilst Kidderminster had some spells of possession, if anyone was going to add to the scoreline it was going to be Gateshead.  Jamille Matt was isolated on his own up front with little support and the strength of the Gateshead defence was keeping him well and truly at bay.

The Aggborough outfit's best opportunity came towards the end of the first half.  Lee Vaughan charged down the inside right flank and let fly a powerful effort that the Gateshead keeper Tim Deasy did well to cover.

The boys in red went into the break one nil down, lacking inventiveness and making it look like they were going to have to do something special to get anything out of this, so far, tough match.
  HT: 1 - 0
Gateshead began the second half as though their manager Ian Bogie had told them 'whatever you do, do not relax at the start of the second period' and so within two minutes the home side had extended their lead.

Lee Hendrie lost the ball in midfield and a great flowing move ended with a pass from substitute James Marwood, on for Gillies, finding Odubade in space in the area.  He finished the move clinically by guiding the ball around Breeden and into the Harriers goal.

At this point the Harriers were under the cosh.  A few moments later a great save from Breeden prevented the home side from extending their lead further.  Odubade chested the ball down and shot powerfully at goal but Breeden just about stopped the ball on the line and prevented it from creeping over and adding to the Heed's lead.

A good chance for Harriers came after sixty two minutes when Steve Guinan, on for Callum Gittings, struck a good effort towards goal but the shot flew wide of the upright.  Seconds later Jon Shaw also had a good chance to score for the home side but he turned and drove an effort just inches wide of the Kidderminster post.

Then catastrophe for Harriers.  In the seventy third minute Odubade ran onto a through ball into the penalty area alongside Luke Jones.  Both men were struggling to keep their feet on the damp surface as they both fell and, many might say unfortunately, the Harriers captain was deemed to have committed a foul with Odubade through on goal.  Jones therefore conceded a penalty and was shown a red card and had to leave the arena.

However, Shaw fired the penalty against the cross bar to spare Harriers' blushes but the visitors were now down to ten men making any chance of a comeback nigh on impossible.  Taking advantage of the numerical edge, a couple of minutes later, the league's top goal scorer, Shaw, again fired the ball against the post with a stinging effort.

Just as the travelling Harriers faithful thought all hope had been lost the boys in red mustered up some fighting spirit.  Spirit that had been lacking for much of the match to that point.

Matts' pace enabled him to get onto the end of a through ball before goalkeeper Deasy.  The Gateshead keepers late attempt at parrying only resulted in toppling the tall Kidderminster ace in the goal area.  Deasy received, not a red card as Luke Jones did, but a mere yellow.  Nick Wright stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way in netting the resulting spot kick.

The last few minutes of the game resulted in some frenzied attacking from the Harriers but they never went really close and Gateshead always looked like they might add to their lead on the break.  Probably the best chance fell to Nick Wright who ran onto a neat deflection from Jamille Matt but the effort was blocked and ended up going out for a corner.

All in all it was somewhat of a lacklustre performance from Kidderminster.  Gateshead edged possession and always looked the more likely to score.  Until our substitutes came onto the pitch Jamille Matt was isolated and ineffective up front alone.  Breeden played well but the midfield was unproductive and the Harriers never looked like they were likely to break down the home team's solid defence.

The enigma that is Nick Wright had a good game when he came on from the bench.  He buried the penalty well and worked hard.

We now have a break from league action this Saturday with the visit of Droylsden in the FA Trophy.  As mentioned at the start the last time we lost, at Barrow, on the following Saturday we failed to beat Corby in the FA Cup and exited it completely four days later.  Please don't let history repeat itself this Saturday.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Gateshead: Cummins 25, Odubade 47
 Goal for Harriers: N Wright (pen) 80


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gif Nick Wright



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Gateshead  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Deasy   Breeden  
Baxter   L Vaughan  
Rents   Demetriou  
Gillies gif     Jones
Curtis     Sharpe  
Clark     Storer  
Moore     Hankin gif  
Turnbull     Bradley gif  
Shaw     Matt  
Odubade gif     Hendrie
Cummins gif     Gittings gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Wilson     Lyness  
Odihambo gif     Mike Williams  
Carruthers     Byrne gif  
Brittain gif     N Wright gif  
Marwood gif     Guinan gif  

REFEREE:
Mr D Hanley
Manchester





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