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Harriers 1 Nuneaton Town 0


Date: 10-11-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1592gif away fans: 158
Josh saves Steve Burrs blushes

gif Report by Arno Bryant & Steve Williams
In this battle against relegation the Harriers came up against the bottom club Nuneaton Town and eased to a 1-0 victory despite looking poor throughout.  Josh Gowling rescued the match late on to send the Harriers up to seventeenth in the table and two points clear of the relegation zone.

We started the game with an unexpected change to the starting lineup when Nathan Vaughan was withdrawn after suffering an injury during the warm up.  He had cut his foot during training in the week preceding the game and it looked as if it had taken a knock and reacted badly.  Danny Lewis came in for him while Ricky Shakes was quickly drafted in to occupy a space on the bench.

The Reds, in need of a win, were faced with a good opponent in Nuneaton.  The side from Warwickshire had found themselves bottom of the table with the equal worst goal difference before going into this match.

The Harriers started the game better, with Callum Gittings getting the first chance of the match.  Good play between himself, Ryan Rowe and Anthony Malbon saw the later tee up Gittings for a shot from range but the effort was comfortably edged around the post by the Town 'keeper Adam Smith.

Despite Nuneaton pushing for a breakthrough through Andy Browns header they couldn't find Lewis' net and the Harriers slowly went looking for a goal of their own, although the chance wasn't from a shot.  Lee Vaughan put in a deep cross from his channel and it almost dipped in at the back post, but Smith clawed it over to deny the defender.

The Reds pushed on through Mickey Demetriou later in the half.  He firstly made a bursting run through the visitors defence and slid Rowe through but his back heel attempt to Malbon was missed and left his fellow striker frustrated in the box.  Soon after Demetriou hit a powerful shot across goal, but it was comfortably dealt with by Smith.

This ended a pretty dire half of football where the Harriers looked comfortable, but didn't really attempt to play well and take a grip on the game.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half failed to be much different though and it wasn't until the final twenty minutes, and the introduction of Marvin Johnson, that the game became watchable.

It was Nuneaton who had the first real chance of the half, a full twenty minutes in.  Connor Taylor burst through the defence on the counter attack and Lewis 'ummed and arred' about coming for it.  He slipped as he headed back into his box but recovered well to make an excellent save from the striker on loan from Walsall.

Nearly ten minutes later and we had another chance, this time the Reds tried to score.  Marvin Johnson, a substitution the fans warmed to by pointedly cheering his arrival, crossed into the middle.  It was ping-pong stuff as Malbon headed back in to Gittings who fired a shot in but it was straight at Rowe and he couldn't move out of the way quickly enough.

With less than five minutes left of the game Nuneaton seemed to be settling for their precious draw, but that didn't stop them pushing.  A corner was badly cleared and it fell into sub Wez Yorks path, but Danny Lewis smothered well and quickly.  He then unleashed Marvin Johnson down the wing and he tried to run the length of the pitch and score, but his shot wasn't quite good enough.

Two minutes later the Carpet Men pushed again and it the on-loan Richard Peniket, on for the disappointing Nathan Blissett, who forced a good save out of Smith.  He latched on to a ball over the top and turned well to hit a powerful shot into the top corner, but couldn't beat the diving keeper.

Yet, with two minutes to play, Josh Gowling saved the Reds (and Steve Burr's (?)) bacon, as he scored from what else but a header.  The corner that followed on from Peniket's shot was played short to Lee Vaughan and he crossed into the centre for the unmarked Gowling to get on the end of it to power home past Smith to seal the three points for the Harriers.

This was probably a deserved win on the balance but we failed to look like a football team all afternoon.  The switch to 4-4-2 gave the Reds more width and must be food for thought for Burr going into the next game at Telford, where we will more than likely stay with 4-3-3 and draw, so watch this space!
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: Gowling 89

Arno & Steves MotM is:

gif Josh Gowling

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Nuneaton Town  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Smith  
L Vaughan     Forsdick  
Demetriou     Malaga  
Storer     Cowan  
Dunkley     Dean  
Gowling gif     Walker  
Gittings gif     James  
Vincent     O'Halloran gif  
Rowe gif     Sleath  
Blissett gif     Brown gif  
Malbon     Taylor gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Peniket gif     Gordon  
Williams     Armson gif  
Shakes     Thompson-Brown  
Johnson gif     York gif  
Pilkington gif     Waite gif  

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