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Harriers 1 Wrexham 3  (2-5 agg) Play offs 2nd leg


Date: 28-04-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 6202gif away fans: 1650
Harriers Wembley dream is over

gif Report by Arno Bryant
In front of another packed Aggborough, but managed somewhat better than last weeks fiasco, Kidderminster Harriers limped out of the playoff's after their promotion dreams were crushed by a professional Wrexham display.  Trailing 2-1 from the 1st leg game at The Racecourse ground on Tuesday evening the Harriers knew that they would need to score at least two goals, and score them early, if they hoped to gain the upperhand against a side now on their fourth appearance in four years of the playoff's.

By one o'clock Aggborough was packed and bouncing as both towns had turned out in force.  Half an hour later the players were greeted by a wall of noise in front of two noisy sets of fans.  This seemed to fuel both teams as the home side kept up the tempo from the second half of the first leg.

We started with the shock news that Mickey Demetriou wouldn't be playing.  It was rumoured that he was injured in training yesterday so Mike Williams got his first start in ages.  Martin Devaney is in for Marvin Johnson following his cameo performance in the first leg while Danny Pilkington came in for the injured James Vincent.

The Harriers started like a house on fire but it took until the twelfth minute before we had our first real chance of the game.  Something to show for our early dominance.  A free kick routine straight off the training ground saw Danny Jackman release Lee Vaughan who's cross was then met by a fierce Michael Gash header that crashed against the far post to be cleared to safety.

Danny Jackman was controlling the midfield and he was obviously a danger man to be dealt with.  That surfaced when he was crashed into from behind but the referee chose to ignore the incident yet a minute later lectured Danny when he went in on hard on Harris with the Wrexham man staying on his feet.

The referee continued in the same vein for the remainder of the game by giving some strange decisions against both sides but more so against us.  Chey Dunkley was hauled down by Joe Clarke in the area but no penalty was given.

The home side kept up the tempo but struggled to find the killer touch as both full centre backs, Josh Gowling and Chey Dunkley, saw efforts come desperately close to breaking the deadlock.  It wasn't to be though as Wrexham were the first to find the net with a quick counter attack.

Following a wasted Harriers free kick Jay Harris broke away from the Wrexham half to let Brett Ormerod beat the offside trap.  The former Blackpool man then drew out Danny Lewis before slotting home to give the Welsh side a two goal cushion.

This didn't deter the Harriers and, now needing three goals, they kept going forward.  On thirty eight minutes Anthony Malbon opened up the Wrexham defence once again but ignoring runs from both Gash and Vaughan he needlessly shot wide.

With the break drawing near the game became more settled with no further attempts on goal.  Although the Harriers had the lions share of the game they just could not get behind the Dragons defence with both Devaney and Pilkington not having much joy against two big fullbacks.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half continued very much like the first with the home side in control but struggling to create anything other than a string of dubious penalty appeals.  Harriers fans were venting their frustration through Handball? being screamed at every contact with a Wrexham shirt no matter the limb.

We were trying hard to get something on the scoreboard with Devaney going close after a ball over the top beat Dave Artell ends up.  Devaneys shot was straight at Maxwell though when it should really have been better.  A minute later and shouts of handball went up again when Artell appeared to block Danny Jackmans shot with his arm.  As expected the referee waved it away once more.

Just as it looked like they were never going to catch a break the Carpetmen got that elusive lifeline.

A spate of bookings to Storer and Williams was followed by both sides making substitutions.  For the Harriers Marvin Johnson replaced the unfit Pilkington while Brett Ormerod went off to an ovation from the Wrexham fans and was replaced by Adrian Cieslewicz.

The Harriers were given the chance they wanted just after following an infringement on the edge of the area.  Kyle Storer's free kick was met by a Chey Dunkley header that could only be weakly parried by the visitors keeper, Chris Maxwell.  Fortunately Dunkley didn't give him any chance with the follow through.  Cue pandemonium among the 4,500 home fans.

Now with the bit between the teeth the Harriers went all out for another goal.  Lee Vaughan delivered a great cross in from out wide but Malbon couldn't quite get the right angle and force on it and it went out wide but it was all too late.

The next move of the game saw Wrexham awarded a free kick following a needless challenge by Devaney almost on the byeline.  Joe Clarke took it and it somehow deceived everyone, including his own team mates, before taking a touch off Vaughans outstretched leg and thence diverted between Danny Lewis' legs too.

It was a crushing blow for the Harriers and they didn't give up and continued to press even with the noise coming from the away end.  Changes were made for both sides with Dele Adebola coming on for Wrexham player/boss Andy Morrell while for the Harriers Ryan Rowe replaced Devaney.

Rowe tried hard to make an impression when he came on but he found himself, like Malbon and Gash, subject to intense attention from the Wrexham defenders.  Gash did manage to free himself some room just after when he went on a mazey run that beat defender after defender before, sadly, culminating in a weak shot that Maxwell collected easily.

A few minutes later, and just four minutes remaining, it was all over for the Harriers dream.

The tricky Cieslewicz stormed across the area and evaded one tackle before Josh Gowling stuck a leg out to push the ball away.  Cieslewicz went over easily and the ref didn't hesitate in pointing to the spot in awarding a second penalty against us in five days.  Both ceded by our normally precise defender.

As on Tuesday Neil Ashton converted the ball powerfully and with Danny Lewis going the wrong way.

The five minutes of extra time soon ran down and with it our dream of possibly returning to the Football League this season.  You can't take it away from Wrexham though.  They knew what they had to do to beat us and that was to use the experience gained in previous years and also the experience inherent in the more older members of their team.

They will now meet Newport County in an all Welsh final at Wembley next Sunday while we now prepare to play Welling Utd and other such nonentities coming up, or down, next season.

It has been a rollercoaster of a season that started in such a bad way before we found our feet at Cambridge last September and went on such a stunning run that has taken us to the edge of glory.  Many thanks must go to Steve Burr and his team while thanks must also go to the members of that team that have performed so well for us, except the one traitor of course.

Hopefully we can go one better next time around and finish in top place and not be forced to endure this kind of torture anymore.
  FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Harriers: Dunkley 64
 Goals for Wrexham: Ormerod 29, Clarke 69, Ashton 85 (pen)

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gif Michael Gash

It's now also thank you time for my 'staff'.

I want to thank Stevie Williams and his mate Arno Bryant for the reports they have sent my way.  To Harry Taylor for sometimes remembering that I asked him to do a report then promptly forgetting and finally to Centreforeword for his reports earlier in the season before having Omertà forced on him from above.

Thanks guys and hopefully you'll allow me to put you through the mill once again next season.  Meanwhile if anyone would like to contribute to the site then please do contact me and offer your services.

To all the fans that have read these reports I thank you too.  Without you we are nothing.


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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Wrexham  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Maxwell  
L Vaughan     S Wright  
Williams gif   Ashton gif
Storer   Keates gif  
Dunkley gif     Artell
Gowling     Riley  
Pilkington gif     Hunt  
Jackman     Harris  
Gash     Morrell gif  
Malbon     Ormerod gif gif
Devaney gif   Clarke gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Coughlin  
Gittings gif     Clowes  
Briggs     Cieslewicz gif  
Rowe gif     Little gif  
Johnson gif     Adebola gif  

Mr S Stockbridge
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