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Nuneaton Town 0 Harriers 1


Date: 26-02-13gif Venue: Triton Showers Community Arenagif att: 1087gif away fans: 412
A wins a win at the end of the day

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers keeper Danny Lewis made a fine save in the final few minutes of this less than enthralling game at Nuneaton tonight to collect three more points in, what is now, looking like a race for the Championship between themselves and top placed Wrexham.

At one stage, just after our winning goal being scored by, yet again, Anthony Malbon we were level on points with the leaders but with a slightly inferior goal difference.  That vanished ten minutes from time when Wrexham scored at Barrow but results elsewhere were also going our way with Forest Green losing at Woking and, at the time, Mansfield being held at Lincoln.  If those results had stood then a gap would have started to appear between third and fourth but as our game ended news came through that Mansfield had struck an injury time winner at Lincoln.

That's football and what can also be seen as 'football' was that tonights performance by the Harriers was far from being Championship winning material.

A scrappy game from both sides was not helped by a good looking but slippy surface at Nuneatons 'meh' ground.  It could also have been the poor passing from us when we expect better and also the poor supply to the front men with the ball being hoofed overhead continually instead of being played on the floor as is our custom.

The dire first half contained very little to excite the soul or warm the cockles on a freezing evening.  Kyle Storer, returning to his former place of employment, tried his luck from distance but that got deflected away while Lee Vaughan, returning from injury, also took a pot shot from distance only to have it collected easily by the Town keeper Lee Burge.

Nuneaton responded with their best player in the first half, Wes York, getting plenty of crosses in to non existent strikers before having a go himself with a twenty yard effort flying over the bar.  Marvin Johnson had a shot go off target for us and that was it.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm actually writing this I wouldn't call it a game to write home about so far.
  HT: 0 - 0
Things didn't seem to change much at the start of the second period and it wasn't long before the first sub of the night was made by Steve Burr, the Harriers manager.  On came Ryan Rowe for the out of sorts Amari Morgan-Smith and still nothing much seemed to change but slowly we began to gain the upperhand without ever looking convincing.

Their keeper made a great double save by first getting a hand to Josh Gowlings header and then somehow stopping the returned ball from Rowe by slapping the palm of his hand down on it to stop it dead.

After what seemed an interminable length of inactivity the Harriers finally got the goal they were looking for.  A free kick was given on the edge of the area following a foul on Danny Jackman by Adam Walker.  Kyle Storer teed himself up to take it but could possibly hear the groans coming from his teams fans so dummied his run up to the ball and let Mickey Demetriou take it instead.  Phew!

The kick went through a ruck of defenders and saw late by Burge.  He could only parry it away to whoever was nearest to it and the ball pinged around the six yard box until Anthony Malbon saw his chance and forced the ball over the line for his sixth goal in five games.

We should then have built on our lead but failed to do so and the fans were left biting nails in frustration and their feet because of the cold.  A second goal would have made us feel so much more secure, and warmer too.

It was ten minutes to go when it looked as if Nuneaton had scored the goal that, being honest, they would have deserved.  Following intense pressure on our goal Simon Forsdick finally got in a shot that looked almost certain to be going in but Danny Lewis somehow managed to fly across the goal and, stretching, pushed it away around the post.

We almost clinched the game at the end when Storer sent a free kick in that hit the base of the post with Malbon rushing in to connect to it but it would have made no difference in the end because the points were ours even though, at times, we didn't deserve them.

At the end of the day the Harriers keep winning and that's the only thing that we need and want to see.
  FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Malbon 71

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Nuneaton Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Burge     Lewis  
McNamee     L Vaughan  
Phillips   Demetriou  
Cowan     Storer  
Dean   Dunkley  
Walker gif   Gowling  
York     Gittings  
Armson     Jackman  
Forsdick     Morgan-Smith gif  
Brown     Malbon gif gif  
Moult gif     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Cartwright     N Vaughan  
O'Halloran     Devaney gif
Sleath gif     Williams  
Taylor gif     Rowe gif  
Adams     Pearson gif  

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