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AFC Telford Utd 0 Harriers 2

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Date: 17-11-12gif Venue: The New Bucks Head Stadiumgif att: 2160gif away fans: 443
The Harriers turn on the style along with the new formation

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers turned in what could well have been their most accomplished display of the season today when they travelled the few, short miles to Telford.  With rumours of a change in formation in the offing from the narrow and negative 433 to the ambitious and wide 442, along with the possible long overdue return of Jamille Matt to the side, the hope and feelings amongst the fans was high that we could get a positive result today.

As it turned out all the omens fell into place and what we saw today at the New Bucks Head was the kind of football we have come to expect from a Steve Burr side. And along with that the result too.

Matt, as expected, was on the bench while Marvin Johnson came in out wide for Keith Briggs and Danny Pilkington made a rare start in place of James Vincent, who was injured.  After last weeks terrible game against Nuneaton the fans had been clamouring all week for Johnson to start a game but it was Pilkington that looked to be the dangerous wide option and he staked his claim to a regular starting place today with non stop running and some superb movement.

In cold, but bright late Autumn sunshine the Harriers got out of the blocks straight away and within minutes we were testing Ryan Young in the home goal.  Cheyenne Dunkley got the highest to a corner and flashed it just over the crossbar.  We continued to pressurise the Telford goal and both Nathan Blissett and Marvin Johnson could have opened our account but for some heroics from the keeper, a performance throughout that bought deserved praise from the Harriers fans.

His best save of the day was reserved for a Callum Gittings shot midway through the half when he somehow managed to fly across his goal to tip an almost certain goal away for a corner.

The Harriers were leaving their hosts speechless with their passing and movement.  Quick, decisive passing that Telford had no answer to apart from Ryan Valentine scything Pilkington down after running ten yards across the pitch to carry out his assault.  The deserved red was only worthy of a yellow card being issued by the, sometimes, baffling referee.

It wasn't all going the Harriers way and the hosts almost came close to taking a shock lead thirty minutes in when the cumbersome Keiron St Amie unleashed a shot that struck the base of Danny Lewis' post just beyond the reach of the diving keeper.  They struck the other post later on in the half and again it came against the run of play and again Danny would never have reached it.  Two extremely lucky let offs for the Reds.

  HT: 0 - 0
The second half commenced without the expected change of line-up.  The fans were hoping that Matt would come on after the break in place of an, again, disappointing first half display from Blissett.  The lad's young though and has been thrown in at the deep end and that now seems to be catching up with him.

The home side started the game much more strongly this time out and had obviously been subject to an ear bashing from Andy Sinton, the manager, at the break.  They still didn't achieve much with their new found dominance though and, apart from a corner flipped over the bar by Lewis, failed to really test the Harriers.

Just under ten minutes in and the Harriers fans hopes became raised with the sight of Matt going down the line for a warm up and then after a few minutes returning to the bench and stripping his trackie top off.  He entered the field of play to a loud cheer from the 250 (est) strong travelling army.  Blissett, as expected, made way for the returning hero.

The move seemed to inspire both fans and players alike and the Harriers moved their game up a notch.  Telford may as well have gone home after that.  Lee Vaughan blazed a shot narrowly over the bar and then soon after Josh Gowling broke into the area to send in a powerful shot only to see it pushed away by Ryan Young.

During many stages of the game we passed the ball round between their clueless team and we were beginning to look a little like the Dutch masters of old, Ajax, or even Brazil and Barcelona rolled into one.  A goal had to come soon and it did.

Lee Vaughan made a lung bursting run through the middle of the park and at just the right moment he slipped the ball forwards to Marvin Johnson who then jinked to one side, set himself up, and unleashed a shot beyond the rooted Young and into the bottom corner of the net.

The Harriers fans went ecstatic.  The Telford fans left the ground.

It was just a matter of time before the second goal came but first there was a deserved substitution.  Anthony Malbon, who had run himself into the ground, was replaced to great applause by Ryan Rowe and it was a combination of Rowe and Jamille Matt that gave the Harriers their second goal to kill Telford off completely.

Yet another foray into the home goal area saw the ball fall to Matt but he unselfishly moved it sideways to Rowe who made no mistake in sidefooting the ball into the net between the keepers legs.

The game finally drew to a close, if only to save United any more embarrassment, and a stunning 2-0 win for the Reds.  A second three points in a row that sadly only lifted us up one place to sixteenth place.  Any more performances and wins like this and we'll be knocking on the play-off doors by Christmas.
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Johnson 82, Rowe 90


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gif Danny Pilkington & Anthony Malbon



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AFC Telford Utd  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Young     Lewis  
Salmon     L Vaughan  
Valentine   Demetriou  
Rose     Storer
Preston     Dunkley  
Leslie     Gowling  
Taylor gif     Pilkington gif  
Trainer     Gittings
Sharp gif     Blissett gif  
St Amie gif     Malbon gif  
Brown   Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Collister     N Vaughan  
Chilvers     Williams  
Rooney gif     Briggs gif  
Spray gif     Rowe gif gif  
Byfield gif     Matt gif  

REFEREE:
Mr C Breakspear
Surrey




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