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Harriers 5 Dartford FC 1

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Date: 22-12-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1779gif away fans: 116
Harriers start Christmas in style

gif Report by Steve Williams
The Harriers eased to a 5-1 victory against sliding Dartford as they moved up to sixth in the only Blue Square Bet Premier match to survive the nationwide downpour of the last twenty four hours.  It was thanks to the Aggborough groundstaff that the game went ahead at all and their reward was one of the best games seen here all season along with our best result of the season too.

It was the perfect start for the Harriers when Cheyenne Dunkley put the Reds ahead after only four minutes.  The ball fell to the central defender from a corner and he hit a super curling effort around the Darts 'keeper, Marcus Bettinelli.

However Dartford were back in the game four minutes later.  A failed Kyle Storer pass out wide to Lee Vaughan missed its destination and the Dartford midfielders easily gained possession and were allowed space to come at the Harriers goal.  The ball was crossed in to Jacob Erskine who headed well to complete a good move for Dartford.

This was seemingly a minor blip in Harriers day though and they gave themselves many opportunities to regain the lead.  Firstly captain Keith Briggs hit a driving effort from outside the box, but it was narrowly wide.  The Reds then pushed through efforts from Briggs' central midfield partners.  Firstly Storer hit wide, before James Vincents shot was saved by Dartfords keeper Bettinelli.

However it was the in-form, and possible out-going, Jamille Matt who fired the Harriers back in the lead.  Vaughan received the ball out wide and crossed deep towards previous goal-scorer Dunkley who headed down to Matts stretched foot to guide the ball into the back of Bettinelli's net.

It was their Fulham loanee that the Dartford fans had to thank for keeping his side from going into the break 3-1 down.  He saved well from both Vaughan and Vincent as the Reds pushed to get a two goal cushion going into the break.
  HT: 2 - 1
Whatever the Darts manager said at half-time didn't work as the Harriers came out very much the superior side once more and Jamille Matt was the first player to test Bettinelli.  He guided his free header in the Dartford box over though. However the Reds allowed Dartford a brief attack as Ryan Hayes stormed past Demetriou on the Harriers left, but Danny Lewis saved well to prevent the equaliser.

There were brief, but scary delays for the Harriers around the hour mark as three players went down injured.  Firstly Mickey Demetriou went down after a collision with a Dartford player, which thankfully, was better than first feared by the 1779 people in the stadium.  Shortly after Keith Briggs and Josh Gowling collided with each other and both went down, with Gowling looking the worst, but both players were okay to continue.

This didn't deter the Reds though as shortly after they added another goal to the score sheet.  Demetriou charged down the left and whipped the ball across to the onrushing Matt, he shrugged off the near defenders and beat his man to hit a cool shot past the keeper and score his fifth goal in the last two league matches.

As Dartford heads were going down the Reds compounded their misery by adding a fourth.  Steve Burr brought off Anthony Malbon and Josh Gowling for Ryan Rowe and eventual goal-scorer Mike Williams.  Kyle Storer whipped in a corner and the initial effort from Chey Dunkley was blocked but there was no stopping Mike Williams from scoring with his first touch of the ball.

Despite this second half domination the Harriers had to thank the ever reliable Danny Lewis for keeping the score line at 4-1.  Substitute Danny Harris, on for Harry Crawford, tested Lewis but he got down well to convert the ball away, especially in the slippery conditions.  Lewis also did well to deny Darts goal scorer Erskine from doubling his tally.

The Harriers custodian couldn't do anymore than he was already doing though as Dartford pushed for a consolation goal, but the offside flag denied the Darts as well as a good goal line clearing from Vaughan soon after.

It was the Harriers defender who added the last goal of the game though when the ball was shipped out wide to Vaughan who charged forward, and past several Darts defenders, before unleashing a good strike which took a deflection to take it in and seal a great win for the Harriers.

Credit is due to the wonderful staff at Aggborough who insured this game went ahead and the players were more than capable of entertaining the Aggborough faithful with a brilliant team performance.

To extend his metaphor, there was certainly a head on Vincent's chicken today as he summed up a brilliant midfield performance, but it was Lee Vaughan who deserved the highest plaudits today after a brilliant performance.

After another great team performance January is the last month we want to see.  Departures look certain and we need this to team to remain as they are and carry on in the same vain as they did today.  Let's remember we didn't have Matt for the end of last season too.

Onwards and upwards to Hereford on Boxing Day.
  FT: 5 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Dunkley 4, Matt 32, 69, Williams 76, L Vaughan 90.
 Goal for Dartford: Erskine 9.


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Lee Vaughan



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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Dartford FC  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Bettinelli  
L Vaughan gif     Rose  
Demetriou     Rogers gif  
Storer     Champion  
Dunkley gif     Burns  
Gowling gif     Bonner  
Briggs     Hayes  
Vincent     Wallis gif  
Matt gif     Erskine gif  
Malbon gif     Bradbrook  
Shakes gif     Crawford gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Ajayi  
Rowe gif     Arber gif  
Williams gif gif     Noble gif  
Blissett     Harris gif  
Clancy gif     Collier  

REFEREE:
Mr R Martin
Avon




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