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Harriers 2 Gateshead 3

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Date: 13-08-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1636gif away fans: 53
Harriers crash to opening day defeat

gifReport by Harry Taylor
The curtain was raised on the 2011/2012 Conference season at Aggborough as Kidderminster Harriers faced Gateshead.  Much positivity was to be found around the ground pre-season with a good season last year followed by good signings in the summer leading to a good feeling around the club before kick-off.

The Harriers lined up with Callum Gittings making a surprise return to a side.  Scott Phelan having been preferred in pre-season in place of him.  Making their debut's at kickoff were Tom Marshall, Kyle Storer, James Vincent and Steve Guinan.  The former Harrier, Martin Brittain, didn't make the Gateshead side at all.

As soon as the sides kicked off Gateshead were controversially awarded a penalty for an apparent handball.  A free kick was given to the right of the area which was drilled in and looked to have hit the head of Storer in the wall.  The referee adjudged to have seen Storers hand hit the ball and a penalty was awarded.  Jon Shaw, formerly of Halifax Town, chipped the ball which brushed off the crossbar on its way in past Danny Lewis.

Fifteen minutes later and Gateshead had scored a second.  Eddie Odhiambo whipped in a cross from the right and Mickey Cummins drifted from his markers into space to head the ball over Lewis into the Harriers goal.  That goal seemed to spark a revival though with the Harriers dominating just after and getting a goal back within a minute.

Nick Wright got the ball on the right wing, cut inside, and ran through the defence before slotting the ball past the Gateshead goalkeeper Paul Farman into the far left hand corner of the goal.  Minutes later and Harriers were level.

Gittings whipped in a corner from the right and Storer headed straight past a flailing Farman to equalise.  Game on it seemed and both Marc Williams and Guinan went close with the Harriers seeing two chances glance off the post in a good spell where it looked as though they may notch a third.  We looked very dangerous in the final third of the pitch.
  HT: 2 - 2
Just after the half time break Wright should really have got his second goal.  He was hugging the right touchline when a through-ball from Marc Williams spun into his path as he advanced on goal.  He tried to chip the ball over Farman, rather than passing it to the unmarked Guinan, but cleared the crossbar as he attempted to do so.

This was one of the few chances for the Harriers in the half.  Our game lacked the same energy as the first with our fitness levels seemingly absent.

Minutes after came the last clear chance for the Harriers to net a third.  James Vincent was released again by Marc Williams and the ex-Stockport midfielders first touch allowed him to get a shot away which was saved brilliantly by Farman.

After these chances Steve Burr began to make some tactical changes and gave debuts to Luke Medley and Scott Phelan in place of Marc Williams and Callum Gittings.  Sadly neither made much of a mark on the game as the game seemed to turn into a stalemate.

However, there was still a goal left in the game and it went the way of the away side.  Odhiambo crossed for Kris Gate to get a touch on the end of the shot to send the Gateshead fans happy on their long trip back up North.

The best player for the Harriers today seemed to be Kyle Storer in midfield justifying the fee being paid for him.  He looked good on the ball, battled and passed well and he took his goal well too.  The Harriers overall performance was poor, flat and uninventive though.

Fitness levels also have to be questioned, Mike Williams especially, who was my player of the season last year looking particularly and uncharacteristically off the pace.  Up next are Lincoln City on Tuesday night which will not be an easy trip if we want to put this poor game behind us.
  FT: 2 - 3

 Goals for Harriers: Wright 20, Storer 25
 Goals for Gateshead: Shaw 4 (pen), Cummins 19, Gate 80


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Kyle Storer



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Harriers  subs   cards      Gateshead  subs   cards 
Lewis     Farman  
Vaughan   Odhiambo
Mike Williams     Carruthers  
Jones     Gate  
Storer     Curtis  
Marshall     Clark  
Gittings gif     Fisher gif  
Vincent     Turnbull  
Guinan gif     Shaw  
Marc Williams gif     Odubade gif  
Wright     Cummins gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Porter  
Phelan gif     Baxter  
Matt gif     Nix gif  
Sharpe     Moore gif  
Medley gif     Mulligan gif  

REFEREE:
Mr S Martin
Staffordshire





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