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Harriers 2 Southport 0


Date: 27-08-11gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1763gif away fans: 89
Harriers struggle to beat Southport

gifReport by Harry Taylor
The Harriers laid the bad memories of this fixture last season to rest as they beat Southport 2-0 at Aggborough to record their first home victory of the 2011/12 campaign.

For the first time this season, the line-up changed as Scott Phelan made his full debut for the Harriers, after scoring a late equaliser on Tuesday night, in place of Callum Gittings.  Luke Medley doing the same in place of Nick Wright and Jamille Matt replaced Steve Guinan who was still considered to be too risky to play following Tuesday night's injury.

The first half was an uneventful one with chances few and far between.  One of the best chances of the half came early on when following a Phelan corner Tom Marshall, deep in the area, headed straight at the Southport goalkeeper, Matt Nemes.

As the half was drawing to a close Marc Williams also had a great chance when the ball was fired across goal by Medley, Matt touching the ball to Williams whose shot was deflected away.  From the resultant corner James Vincent drilled the ball goalwards and Nemes agilely touched it over the bar.

Southport didn't have many great chances in the first half despite having as much of the possession as the Harriers, although at one point frustrations between our centre-backs, Tom Marshall and Luke Jones, worryingly seemed to spill over as they had a heated confrontation following a Southport attack.

Nevertheless the first half was a poor one for the Harriers.  A lack of creativity going forward coupled with a lack of runs from Matt and Marc Williams made it hard for the midfield to pick them out with any passes and a few times the midfielders had to stop with the ball and wait until the forwards seemed to wake up and move.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half started and ended in similar fashions with a lull in between.  Early on Lee Vaughans' run down the right took him past the full back Kevin Lee until he pulled the ball back in the direction of Vincent who swung for the ball and kicked nothing but air as the ball rolled to Luke Medley at the far post who then tamely shot at Nemes near post.

This was better from the Harriers but the game then seemed to fall back into the stalemate it was in the first half.  Balls were hopelessly lumped up to Marc Williams who had no luck against Steve Akrigg all afternoon and Matt had a tough job against his respective marker, the powerhouse Earl Davis.  Even so, when the players had the ball on the ground the runs weren't being made despite there being channels wide open for them to run into.

Kyle Storer later played in Matt who had the ball nicked away from him at the final moment and following that Jack Byrne and Nick Wright were brought on in place of James Vincent and Luke Medley.  From then on in the game fell firmly into the grasp of the men in red.

The Harriers created a superb passing move from the right flank, the ball being passed in a slick fashion much like that seen from Stockport on Tuesday night in periods and Crawley last season, before Nick Wright got the ball on the left hand side of the area.  He took too long to shoot and the ball was taken away from him but for once we did look like the 'Barcelona of the Lower leagues'.

It seemed that like Tuesday night with the Harriers players in the final third seeming to be shot shy and as the saying goes 'If you don't buy a ticket you won't win the raffle' and, using that adage, for large parts of this match they wouldn't have won anything.

However with Byrne now driving the midfield the Harriers were on top and he got his goal in his first game of the season in the 79th minute.  Lee Vaughan, once again bounding down the right flank, hit the ball across goal and Byrne made no mistake in thumping it into the goal.

A minute later and it was 2-0.  A long ball over the top found Nick Wright, who had escaped his marker, playing a very clever ball through to Marc Williams who scored with aplomb.  Hopefully that'll kick start his season and he'll stay on the shoulder of the last defender instead of coming too deep as he often did today.

The game then played out with the Harriers in control although Southport did have a shot from twenty yards out late on from Dan Walker that was saved with ease by Danny Lewis.

All in all, a win is a win and it's good to see the Harriers have got their home campaign finally up and running with three points.  However the performance for long periods today wasn't brilliant and we looked as good as Southport at times, or should that be bad?, and when we play Newport on Monday hopefully it will be a different case.  If not we may see a repeat performance of the horror display inflicted upon us last season in South Wales.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Byrne 79, Marc Williams 81

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gif Jack Byrne

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Harriers  subs   cards      Southport  subs   cards 
Lewis     Nemes  
Vaughan     Lee  
Mike Williams     Lever  
Jones     Benjamin  
Phelan   Davis  
Marshall     Grand gif  
Storer     Whalley  
Vincent gif     Moogan  
Matt gif     Osborne gif  
Marc Williams     Gray gif  
Medley gif     Ledsham  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Walker gif  
Byrne gif     Brown  
Sharpe     Akrigg gif  
Wright gif     Owen  
Hankin gif     Poku gif  

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