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Harriers 1 Barnet 0

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Date: 15-03-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1950gif away fans: 158
The Reds win as Barnet see red

gif Report by Philip Lench
A dramatic second half from the Harriers at Aggborough against play off chasing Barnet saw Michael Gash crown his comeback from injury with a typical poachers goal while the visitors had keeper Graham Stack sent off for a foul almost on the halfway line on substitute Marvin Johnson.  The game needed that excitement because, frankly, that was one of the worst first half displays from the Harriers in a long time.

Gary Whild, the Harriers manager, said earlier in the week that he wanted our players to play the game with a smile on their faces but maybe it should have been play to put a smile on the fans faces because we had nothing to smile about at that stage.  It wasn't until the second half replacement of Jack Byrne for the in-effective Josh O'Keefe that we looked in the remotest interested in getting something from the game.

With Barnet in fifth place in the table and us four behind, but only by three points, this was a game that needed to be won if we had any hopes of creeping up behind them into the sixth spot.  We were going to have to do it without Adrian Cieslewicz following his injury against Macclesfield in midweek and also Ryan Rowe who found himself off the bench completely.  As mentioned Michael Gash was back for us following his hamstring injury picked up a month ago at Lincoln.

As also mentioned the first half was bad, bad, bad from a Harriers perspective and continual poor passing from us was giving the visitors all the possession but they didn't seem capable of doing much with it.  Again our midfield was absent for long periods of the half and Barnet were targeting both shortcomings by winning so many corners it was becoming embarrassing.

Apart from some half arsed attempts on goal from us we only managed to muster the first real chance of a goal on the stroke of half time when Anthony Malbon showed some initiative to break through the Barnet defence and send an effort just wide of their goal.  Barnet had earlier drawn a good save from from a free kick taken by Keiron Cadogan but that was also the nearest they came to scoring too.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second period started just as badly as the first had been for us and Barnet continued to threaten Danny Lewis' goal without really achieving much.  It wasn't until the appearance of Jack Byrne in place of O'Keefe ten minutes into the half that we suddenly came alive.

At least some cohesion began to emerge and the confidence began to flow back into the team.  Within a minute of Jacks appearance Malbon set free from his marker and made a beeline for goal before shooting across the face of the goal.  Six minutes later and we had got the goal that had seemed unlikely fifteen minutes earlier.

Danny Jackman found space in midfield and slipped the ball to Callum Gittings who then played the ball over to Gash who was lurking on the left side if the area.  Seeing a gap he sidefooted the ball between Stack and his post to send the ground into raptures.

Barnet didn't give up though and continued to press our defenders into making panic clearances and giving away even more corners.  How Barnet never came close to scoring from one of their thirty (est) corners was something of a miracle.

We were also pressing them hard too and the game had now moved on from the dire spectacle of the first half into an engrossing and combative game.  Chances fell for Amari Morgan-Smith and Malbon again but without really testing the keeper too much.  It took the appearance of Marvin Johnson to break the North Londoners down as within seconds of his coming on in place of the injured Gittings the game took a twist that finally broke Barnet.

Magic chased a long ball down and then, within twenty yards of the goal, Stack rushed out and appeared to collide with him and catching him in the face with his fist.  The referee had no option but to brandish the red card as quickly as he had for the five yellow cards that he had given out to us during the course of the game.  Barnet quickly sent on reserve keeper Nick Jupp and sacrificed Jon Nurse.

Minutes from the end of normal time we could have made it two nil when Nick Wright, on earlier for Gash, broke free to collect a pin point pass from deep, and beat the offside trap, and fire the ball straight at Jupp who saved easily.  Six minutes of extra time was played and in that time Barnet should have equalised through Harry Crawford but his powerful header was just about punched over the bar by Lewis.

We only moved up one place on the back of this win but it's now three games undefeated for us since Gary Whild came back and, hopefully, we can continue this run at Aldershot on Tuesday evening.
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: Gash 60


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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Barnet  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Stack
L Vaughan     Yiadom  
Demetriou     Stephens  
Jackman   Weston  
Grimes     Gjokaj  
Gowling   Abdullah gif  
Gittings gif   Vilhete  
O'Keefe gif     Cadogan gif  
Gash gif gif     Nurse gif  
Malbon   Crawford  
Morgan-Smith   Mengerink  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Jupp gif - 82  
Byrne gif - 54     E Johnson  
Wright gif - 70     Marsh-Brown gif - 74  
M Johnson gif - 81     Warren  
Bell     Gambin gif - 78  

REFEREE:
Mr P Rees
Somerset




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