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Gateshead 3 Harriers 1

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Date: 01-02-14gif Venue: The International Stadiumgif att: 625gif away fans: 90
A second half collapse sees Harriers lose at Gateshead

gif Report by Phil Lench
Andy Thorns baptism of fire continued today at Gateshead when the Reds crashed 3-1 in a shocking second half showing that came as completely the opposite to a first half in which we could have gone into the break with our own 3-0 lead.  As it was, again, the half time team talk seemed to have backfired and the Harriers that came back out of the dressing room was not the one that went in fifteen minutes earlier.

Our second trip to the North East was again a bitter cold experience with the wind blowing off the Tyne into Gateshead, a suburb of 'NEWCASTLE' for our friends from those parts reading this.  Inside the ground the wind howled around the running track and into the stands to chill the ninety Harriers fans to the bone.  They needed something to warm them up and the Harriers line up could have done just that with the news that Callum Gittings was back in the starting eleven and that Freddie Ladapo was no where to be seen but he could have been out with injury.  On the bench was new signing Josh O'Keefe and also Marvin Johnson but out of favour Anthony Malbon was no where to be seen once again.

The Gateshead side contained two former Harriers in goalkeeper Adam Bartlett and wideman Colin Larkin.

It was the Reds who were to get the first sight of goal when Amari Morgan-Smith crossed over a fine ball for Michael Gash to run onto.  The lone ranger up front got his head to the ball and aimed it goalwards only for Bartlett to make a smart stop to keep it from going in.  Gittings was the next to come close drawing another fine save from the former Harriers custodian when he shot from long range and later on Lee Vaughan sent an effort over the bar.

Mid way through the half, with Gateshead struggling to get out of their own half, we were awarded a free kick well outside the area.  Too far out to achieve anything worthwhile some might say but not Gash though as his take was only just tipped around the post for a corner.  From that corner Bartlett again saved well, this time from Kyle Storer.

Minutes before the break Callum Gittings again had a chance to open the scoring but again the Heed keeper saved his shot from distance well.
  HT: 0 - 0
What happened?

That first half display had been consigned to the wastebin within minutes of the start of the second half.  We came out kicking into the wind and that seemed to be our downfall because we just didn't know how to cope with it.  Five minutes in and a mistake from Adrian Cieslewicz allowed Colin Larkin in to rob him of the ball on the edge of the area and move it on to the former Everton and Sunderland striker John Oster who needed no second invite to fire the ball beyond Danny Lewis into the bottom corner.

In response to that Thorn bought on O'Keefe to replace the guilty party, Cieslewicz, a minute later so replacing a wideman with a midfielder and then just a few minutes later bought on a winger once more when Marvin Johnson replaced AMS.  He's confused? so are we!

it was to be a waste of time anyway because a minute after Magic Marvins introduction we went down two goals to the bad.  James Marwood picked up a ball in the middle of the park and, with nothing seemingly on for him, he sent a lobbed shot goalwards that was then caught be the wind and, curling away, caught Lewis by surprise as it dropped into the back of the net.

Shell shocked Harriers, and the fans, couldn't believe what they were seeing.  In the space of minutes a solid first half display was in tatters and we were staring defeat in the face.

The Heeds third and final goal came seven minutes later and just one minute after they bought on Ryan Noble.  His first touch of the ball set up Marc Maddison to fire the ball at a narrow angle into our net.

With the Harriers now well beaten heads appeared to drop but luckily we weren't going to be punished any further.  Santiago Aloi came on for his few minutes but the 'fame' was for Marvin Johnson who managed to grab us an undeserved consolation goal.

A mistake by Bartlett led to a poor clearance by the keeper and the ball fell for Johnson to rifle a return shot past him.

Maybe the result isn't entirely down to Thorns lack of knowledge at this level or his naivety when it comes to the substitutions that he makes or his un-inspiring half time talks but to the players themselves and inability to adapt to the conditions.  Whatever the reason if we don't get it sorted soon we could well lose our big game at home to Cambridge Utd this coming Thursday and then the big slump down the table will surely begin to kick in with promotion quickly becoming a distant dream.
  FT: 3 - 1

 Goals for Gateshead: Oster 52, Marwood 63, Maddison 70
 Goal for Harriers: Johnson 90



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Latest table and stats here  

Gateshead  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Bartlett     Lewis  
Sirrell     L Vaughan  
Maddison gif     Jackman  
Baxter     Storer  
Curtis     Demetriou  
Clark     Gowling  
Larkin gif     Byrne gif  
Turnbull     Gittings  
Marwood gif gif     Gash  
O'Donnell gif     Morgan-Smith gif  
Oster gif     Cieslewicz gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Holt     N Vaughan  
Walker     Johnson gif gif - 62  
Chandler gif - 73     O'Keefe gif - 57  
Brown gif - 56     Aloi gif - 80  
Noble gif - 69     Dunkley  

REFEREE:
Mr K Evans
Lancashire





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