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Harriers 0 Grimsby Town 1

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Date: 05-04-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2176gif away fans: 447
Gary Whild suffers his first defeat in charge of Harriers

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers slipped slowly to their first defeat under Gary Whild today and are now also slipping slowly away from any chance of a play-off spot with this narrow, but emphatic, defeat at home to third placed Grimsby Town.

On a chilly early summers day it was plain for all to see that the Harriers had neither the quality of players or the quality of skill that Grimsby had and we never really looked like scoring once Town had taken the lead with a well taken goal after Alex Rodman spotted Danny Lewis off his line.  His lob from outside the area was the only goal of the game.

The Harriers started the game with Chey Dunkley returning from injury meaning that Mickey Demetriou moved back into the left back position while Amari Bell moved into the place that the injured Josh Gowling would normally occupy.  Up front Josh O'Keefe replaced the suspended Callum Gittings while Nick Wright came on for his first start since his return to us.  On the bench was Adrian Cieslewicz coming back from injury and also Aman Verma hoping to make another debut for us since he left us three years ago.

The game started scrappily, in fact it was scrappy throughout, and it was the visitors who were the first to gain a scoring chance but Ross Hannah wasted a free kick after a foul was awarded to them on the edge of the area.  Soon after Lenell John-Lewis broke through but he couldn't quite connect to the ball as Danny Lewis saved at his feet with the Grimsby fans calling, hoping, for a penalty.

Our first effort on goal came soon after when Amari Morgan-Smith played in Michael Gash but the central striker sent his shot just over the bar.  A minute later and it was an early 'game over'.

Without there seeming much danger the Harriers failed to put a challenge in as Rodman saw Danny off his line and sent a super lob over his head and into the goal.  Danny has been guilty of straying to far off his line in recent games and today he paid the price.

Our best chance of the first half came Nick Wrights way when he picked up a pass and ran towards the Grimsby goal with the ball but sadly he left it too late to shoot and the Grimsby keeper, James McKeown, saved it easily enough.  Wright turned provider later on when he sent over a cross for Bell to head goalwards but the keeper was alert to it and pushed it against the post and then back into his hands.  Lee Vaughan had our last chance of the half with a shot from outside the area that McKeown also pushed away effortlessly.
  HT: 0 - 1
The Harriers looked better in the second period but still lacked that vital quality and spark even though Town made most of the early running for the first ten minutes of the half.  The game was still very scrappy and it took the exchange of Wright for Cieslewicz to give the Harriers fans any hope of gaining a result from the game.

Right from his first touch of the ball he began to worry the Grimsby defenders with his pace and trickery.  It took a two man sandwich to stop him at one stage when he burst into the area with the ball at his feet, lost it, regained it and then found himself pulled over backwards with the referee waving away our penalty claims.  The ref made up for that mistake a minute later when he awarded us a free kick on the edge of the area for a foul that never was.

On sixty eight minutes Josh O'Keefe came close to getting the equalising goal with a powered shot from distance but, with the keeper beaten, it went the wrong side of the bar and onto the top of the net.  Cieslewicz almost grabbed a goal too but his shot was blocked on the line and he then faded out of the game after his busy ten minutes.

After that we threw on Nathan Blissett for Gash and Aman Verma for Bell but Grimsby were comfortable with that and just played out the final fifteen minutes or so with ease.  They had a late chance to double the lead in extra time but by then it didn't matter and the points were safe knowing that we were just not good enough for them and that they had no real reason to raise their game above a sweat.

On to Forest Green this Tuesday coming and hopefully three points but don't get holding your breath for too long.
  FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Grimsby: Rodman 20


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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Grimsby Town  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     McKeown  
L Vaughan     Hatton  
Demetriou     Thomas  
Dunkley     Kerr  
Grimes     Pearson  
Bell gif     Boyce  
Byrne     Rodman gif  
O'Keefe     Disley
Gash gif     John-Lewis  
Morgan-Smith     McLaughlin  
Wright gif     Hannah gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     McDonald  
Malbon     Thanoj  
Cieslewicz gif - 58     Tounkara  
Verma gif - 81     Neilson  
Blissett gif - 74     Jennings gif - 78  

REFEREE:
Mr K Evans
Manchester




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