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AFC Telford Utd 2 Harriers 1


Date: 13-03-12gif Venue: The New Bucks Headgif att: 2192gif away fans: 371
Harriers can't Buck the trend

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a mild spring evening Kidderminster Harriers visited the New Bucks Head, home of Telford United, for this Blue Square Premier clash.  For Harriers there was a starting berth for Callum Gittings, Nick Wright and Kyle Storer having apparently recovered from a bout of flu.  Also in the starting line up was a leaner Tom Marshall, having returned from his loan spell at Brackley.

Meanwhile the Telford boss, Andy Sinton, recalled last season's Bucks Head hero Phil Trainer after a long spell out of favour and that decision paid instant dividends.

The Harriers were slow out of the blocks and conceded very early on.  After just two minutes poor marking at a Jon Brown corner enabled Trainer to power home a free header whilst the Harriers defence stood watching.  Trainer was so often a scorer of crucial goals for the Bucks last season and he came up trumps in this local derby too.  Brown himself had also been recalled after missing Saturday's clash with his parent club Southport.

Kidderminster replied in earnest, not taking kindly to going a goal behind, and came close to equalising twice in a matter of minutes shortly after having conceded themselves.  Firstly Mickey Demetrious' well struck shot was unwittingly deflected narrowly over the crossbar by Chris Blackburn and Tom Marshall then headed wide from a corner in the ninth minute.

Steve Burr's young side, who of course included former Bucks' right back Lee Vaughan in its starting line-up, continued to press forward in search of an equaliser and they won a succession of corners but to little avail.  Veteran hitman Steve Guinans' lob towards the closing minutes of the first half only just cleared Ryan Youngs' crossbar.  He had been set up by the ever lively Anthony Malbon.  Then Marshall had another header easily saved shortly afterwards.

In truth, despite all their pressure, Harriers had not really stretched Bucks shot-stopper Young to any great extent up to this point.  In fact the Bucks came close to extending their lead on the stroke of half-time.  They won a free-kick just outside the area and the regular Telford free kick taker, Sean Newton, hit a well-struck effort which had the Harriers keeper, Tony Breeden, diving away to his left to save.
  HT: 1 - 0
The Harriers made a change at the start of the second half with Dan Bradley replacing Jack Byrne who was having an off day by his own normally very high standards.

The Aggborough side, no doubt with Burr's words ringing in their ears, were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second-half and they were back on level terms after fifty three minutes.  Lee Vaughan had a hand in the goal, surging forward down the right and setting up Nick Wright whose excellent cross was superbly headed home by Anthony Malbon for the equaliser.

The goal sparked a really strong rally for the Harriers and all that Telford could do was to try to hang on.  Malbon came desperately close to making it two goals in a matter of minutes when his header was pushed onto the bar by Young.  Callum Gittings then fired wide with the rebound on fifty six minutes when he probably should have done better.

It was clear that the visitors were reinvigorated by the leveller as they pushed for a second goal.

Next to go close was Kyle Storer, who scored against Telford for Nuneaton with a free-kick in last season's Blue Square North play-offs.  The midfielder was fouled just outside the penalty area and he took the resulting set-piece but Young was equal to the task with a smart save.

Telford weathered the storm and enjoyed some good fortune on sixty six minutes.  After a deep cross the ball fell to Richard Davies who shot from outside the area.  His effort struck Blackburn and deflected into the net past a helpless Breeden to give Telford a 2-1 lead.

Harriers kept plugging away and substitute Lee Hendrie saw a long range shot fly over the bar in the eighty third minute.  At the other end winger Marlon Jackson did well to work his way into the box but his shot struck a Harriers defender.

For us Nick Wright then saw a strong shot hit Hendrie as the away side threw everything at Telfords defence.  Nevertheless it wasn't enough as the visitors slipped to another disappointing defeat.

Throughout the game Harriers huffed and puffed but probably lacked some invention in the final third resulting from a lack of confidence given their recent run of poor results.  They also suffered as a result of some poor marking in conceding the first goal  Many peoples' view will be that the possibility of a play off place has all but disappeared on this mid March evening in central Shropshire.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for AFC Telford: Trainer 3, Blackburn 66
 Goal for Harriers: Malbon 53

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AFC Telford Utd  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Young     Breeden  
Salmon     L Vaughan  
Newton     Demetriou  
Preston   L Jones  
Blackburn     Marshall  
Davies   Storer  
Jackson     Gittings gif  
Trainer     Malbon  
Perry     Guinan gif  
Brown gif     N Wright  
Sharp gif     Byrne gif  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Robinson     Lyness  
Clough     Hendrie gif  
Cain gif     Mike Williams  
Smith     Rowe gif  
Brooke gif     Bradley gif

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