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Harriers 2 Barrow 0

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Date: 05-01-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1703gif away fans: 70
Lethargic Harriers make hard work of it

gif Report by Steve Williams
A professional, but below expectations, Harriers performance saw them see off bottom side Barrow by two goals, a result which catapulted the Reds into the play-offs after dropping out on New Year's Day.

However the Harriers, who wanted to put the New Year defeat to Hereford behind them, looked immediately on the back foot as Barrow pushed forward causing Mickey Demetriou to shakily head back to Danny Lewis.  It was dealt with despite almost being intercepted.

Despite this it was the Harriers who took the lead before the three minute mark.  Ryan Rowe, earning his first start since November, received the ball after it was comfortably knocked around the edge of the Barrow box.  He then turned his man and unleashed a superb curling effort with his weaker foot past the helpless Danny Hurst in the visitors goal.

It was the former Stourbridge man, again, who pushed to double the Carpet Men's lead.  His energy was evident after most players had endured the majority of the gruelling Christmas period, but his shot was just over Hurst's goal.

One minute later 'Jamma' Matt was put through on goal by the impressive Rowe and found himself one-on-one with Hurst.  His initial effort was saved well before he latched on to the rebound to shoot again, but this effort was cleared by the back rushing Tom Anderson.  An effort which the in-form striker should've taken in his stride.

Barrow looked to respond though and it was through Anderson, who just prevented Jamma from scoring at the other end.  He headed well from Sean Hessey's deep free kick but it was calmly palmed over by Danny Lewis.

The half had simmered down soon after this, to a game that resembled an end of season affair, with both teams failing to capitalise on the possession presented to them and this inevitably limited attacking threats from both sides.

Three minutes from the end of the half though James Vincent was slipped through the Barrow defence and he looked up for Ryan Rowe, but the final ball wasn't of real quality and the visitors dealt with the situation easily.
  HT: 1 - 0
The second half started in the same vein as the first with both teams failing to press and create a real threat to each other's defence.  Steve Burr saw this as an opportunity to introduce Marvin Johnson to the field, after his injury, just before the hour mark.

It took a while to get the Reds attack play flowing and Barrow took advantage of this and almost equalised.  Sean McConville shot tamely in the box but it was originally missed by Lewis but thankfully Josh Gowling, in his last contracted match for the Harriers, cleared off the line to keep the score in the Harriers favour.

Barrow used this momentum to push again soon after.  McConville again received the ball inside the area after everyone missed the original cross, but Demetriou comfortably blocked his shot.

The Reds kept pushing though, especially down the left with Johnson, and it was that flank which supplied Matt to double the lead just seven minutes from time.  Callum Gittings received the ball from Johnson and his cross from deep was converted goalwards from Jamma and past the helpless Hurst.

There was one final chance for the Harriers after substitute Anthony Malbon was slipped through the back line, he passed selflessly to Matt, but his shot was cleared off the line.

It wasn't a match which will win any awards for entertainment, but it was a good performance from the Reds to get back to winning ways ahead of tricky trips to Mansfield and Macclesfield, who were both competing in the FA Cup third round today.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Rowe 3, Matt 83


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Josh Gowling

UPDATE: Following the game, and just after this report went to press, Josh Gowling agreed
to a two and a half year contract with Kidderminster Harriers.



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Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Barrow  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Hurst  
L Vaughan     Anderson
Demetriou     Skelton
Briggs     Hessey  
Dunkley     M Pearson  
Gowling     Owen gif  
Shakes gif     Rutherford  
Vincent     Harvey  
R Rowe gif gif     Boyes  
Matt gif     McConville gif  
Gittings gif     Hunter  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     G Pearson  
Williams gif     Flynn  
Malbon gif     Jackson gif  
Johnson gif     D Rowe gif  
Blissett        

REFEREE:
Mr P Rees
Somerset





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