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York City 2 Harriers 3


Date: 19-12-11gif Venue: Bootham Crescentgif att: 2830gif away fans: 56
Three 1st half goals for Harriers grab them the points

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers started their Christmas celebrations early this year with this fine win away at York in front of the television cameras.  An early goal from Jack Byrne set the Reds on their way and, apart from a spell at the start of the second half, they never looked in any real danger of relinquishing the points.  A fine penalty save from keeper Tony Breeden made up for what should never have been a penalty in the first place after Luke Jones was wrongly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

In front of around sixty Harriers fans that had made the trip North and probably four times that many watching the game at Aggborough it was the Harriers that dominated the first half.  We had already come close to scoring through shots that had been skied over before Mickey Demetriou took a free kick and played the ball over towards the head of Jack Byrne to open the scoring in the fifth minute.

The Harriers continued to press in search of a second goal but it was a former Harrier that pulled the game level again.  With the Harriers defence at sixes and sevens Andre Boucard got in behind them and fired a low ball across the area for Matty Blair to rifle the ball home from a few yards out.

The Harriers were soon back in the lead though and this time it was Callum Gittings that bamboozled the City defence by darting past their static defenders to shoot from a narrow angle under the advancing keeper, Michael Ingham.  The Harriers now had their tails up and went on the search for a third goal.

This time it was star player Jamille Matt with a replica of the goal that he scored against Bath City two weeks ago.  As then he picked up the ball outside the area, jinked this way then jinked that before curling a shot around the keeper and into the net.  That was Jammas tenth goal of the season and now surely we have got to get this guy on a better contract before the vultures start swooping in.  Before the goal he had signalled to the bench that his hamstring was going and needed to come off.  We have to be glad that he didn't.

By the end of the half the City players had been run ragged and must have been praying for the break and a chance to regroup.  The Harriers would have been thinking the opposite and hoping that they could cope with the inevitable second half revival.
  HT: 1 - 3
We started the second period with a substitution.  Callum Gittings must have picked up a knock in the first half and so Nick Wright came on in his place.

As expected it was York that were to do the pressing in the second period.  They must have had a good talking to by Gary Mills because they looked much sharper now and up for it.  We on the other hand seemed to be a bit tired and not as quick to the ball as we had been twenty minutes earlier.

Up until the penalty incident we were just about holding on but when Luke Jones was incorrectly flagged by the linesman for handball we seemed to lose our concentration a bit and a flurry of yellow cards came and went.  As for the penalty Tony Breeden got booked for stepping off his line while Ashley Chambers was setting himself up to take it.  When he finally did it was well stopped by Breeden and fully made up for the shocking error in the kick having been given in the first place.

Ultimately it was no benefit to us because just a minute later City pulled a goal back.  They were given a corner and it was sent over to the head of David McGurk who looped it over towards the far post.  It was inadvertently helped on its way by Tom Sharpe but it would have gone in anyway with Breeden badly positioned to do anything about it.

The goal seemed to spark the Reds back into life and we should have gone four goals up if both Nick Wright and Marc Williams, on for Lee Hendrie, had done better with the chances they had gifted to them.  They really do need some practice at hitting the ball hard and not trying to roll it into the net.

With time running down and City running out of ideas Steve Guinan was sent on in place of goal hero Jamille Matt.  He didn't get much chance to do anything but he can hold the ball up and stop the opposition getting a chance to create anything.

After five minutes of injury time the referee finally blew his whistle to bring the game to an end and another three points in the bag for the Harriers.  The result takes us up to sixth place in the table and well placed to build on that with, hopefully, six points from the festive games against Forest Green.
  FT: 2 - 3

 Goals for York: Blair 20, McGurk 68
 Goals for Harriers: Byrne 5, Gittings 21, Matt 33

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York City  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Ingham     Breeden
Fyfield     L Vaughan
Meredith     Demetriou  
Pilkington gif     Jones  
McGurk     Sharpe  
Boucaud gif     Storer
Challinor     Hankin  
Kerr     Hendrie gif
Blair     Matt gif  
Chambers gif     Gittings gif  
McLaughlin     Byrne  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Oyebanjo     Lyness  
Moke gif     Guinan gif  
Smith     N Wright gif  
Parslow gif     Mike Williams  
Ashikodi gif     Marc Williams gif  

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