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FC Halifax Town 1 Harriers 1

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Date: 26-04-14gif Venue: The Shaygif att: 2089gif away fans: 121
Harriers close their account at the Halifax

gif Report by Harriershane
The curtain has finally come down on the Conference season but it's Halifax, not Harriers, who are invited back for the encore.

The Harriers travelled up to The Shay in what could have been a last day play-off shoot out but in reality was just a dead rubber, barring a mathematical catastrophe on the part of Halifax.  Manager Gary Whild, recently anointed as the Chosen One for next season, made three changes with Kyle Storer partnering Jack Byrne in the centre of midfield, Aman Verrma coming into the side in a wide position and finally Amari Morgan-Smith taking the place of the injured Michael Gash.

The atmosphere was that of a resignation of a meaningless game and Harriers fans' fears that their players would have their minds on a beach or bar abroad were confirmed when inside a minute Adam Smith, who would look lively for the first forty five minutes, whipped in a dangerous ball towards the back post where Josh Wilson headed home unmarked.  Five minutes later it really should have been 2-0.  The Shaymen have a reputation for being highly proficient from long throws and set pieces, and it was from the former that they nearly benefited, but Simon Ainge could only head over from Marc Roberts' bullet throw.

The Harriers, to their credit, began to come into their own and after fourteen minutes Kyle Storer teed up Morgan-Smith who swept home following a good team move.  Sadly for the visitors AMS was adjudged to be offside.

The next ten minutes or so were much more even with half chances for both sides before the second goal of the day was scored.  On the half hour mark a lovely team move from Harriers saw the ball moved from left to right thanks to messrs Bell and latterly Storer, finding Lee Vaughan who whipped in a delightful ball into the danger area that Nathan Blissett headed home, beating veteran stopper Matt Glennon to the punch.  To be completely frank it was what was needed to liven what had become a very processional encounter.

As the first half entered its final five minutes both sides had chances to take the lead with the home side having the best chance when Matty Pearson's long range effort was parried by Danny Lewis into the path of Scott Spencer who contrived to sky the rebound, much to the delight of the Harriers.  The last notable action of the half at The Shay went to its namesake, Chey Dunkley that is.  A free kick hung up in the box by Kyle Storer was met by the former Hednesford centre back, but the header flew over the bar.
  HT: 1 - 1
A special mention here for one of Harriers favoured sons who has left home, namely Joe Lolley.  Joe had come off the bench for Huddersfield after seventy five minutes in their game against Championship winners Leicester City just an hour or so before and then made his way to The Shay, looking resplendent in his grey suit, as he mingled and chatted to Harriers fans glad to see him back supporting his former team-mates.  A touch of class from the popular winger.

The home side made a half time change with Matt Glennon, presumably having taken a knock, replaced in goal by Phil Senior, who was made to work almost immediately as Vaughan's clever dink found Blissett who let fly with a venomous volley forcing Senior into a save that was universally applauded.  Moments later Senior was at it again, this time making a smart save at his near post to deny AMS who had been fed by the lively Vaughan.

The fifty fifth minute saw the denial of what could have been a goal of the season contender by Halifax's Josh Wilson who made the sweetest of connections from the edge of the area, leaving Lewis all ends up, although thankfully Harriers were saved by the woodwork.  Harriers then went up the other end and contrived to enter the 'miss of the season' competition which had already seen one entry today.  The lively Nathan Blissett was tenacious enough to press the defender in possession and duly rob him, before drawing Senior out and cutting the ball back to AMS who somehow managed to blaze over from all of six yards.  The less said about that, the better.

The second half was almost exclusively Harriers pressure, with Lee Vaughan and Nathan Blissett both going close.

Gary Whild made his first two changes just shy of the eighty minute mark with the creative sparks of Aman Verma and Kyle Storer replaced by Josh O'Keefe and Callum Gittings and in doing so Halifax began to control the game once more with our energy now sat on the bench.  The final change was made just a couple of minutes later with Adrian Cieslewicz replacing AMS.

As at Hyde on Good Friday, Cieslewicz very nearly made an immediate impact, dinking past a couple of defenders before being brought down on the edge of the box by the Town goalscorer Wilson.  Referee Kavanagh refused to oblige the Harriers winger as he pleaded for a free kick and this led to a break in play as the defender who had put the challenge in was stretchered off with a nasty looking leg injury.  The Harriers kept pushing forward but ultimately couldn't find the winner.

121 loyal fans made the trip and, upon the final whistle, captain Kyle Storer directed the squad over to where the fans were situated allowing the players the opportunity to thank the fans for their support, and for some lucky members, the reception of some match worn memorabilia.

All in all a surprisingly entertaining spectacle to close out the season for Harriers, whilst Halifax go on to play Cambridge in the play-offs.  It's been a season of up's and down's for the Carpetmen, taking in the depths of heavy defeats at Cambridge and Luton, the highs of Peterborough away and for a time we even became the darlings of the media in our epic cup run where we fell at The Stadium of Light.  Another excellent young player has gone on to bigger and better things in the aforementioned Mr Lolley.

Oh, and did I mention a departing chairman, baffling decisions and three managers?

As a recently retired manager once said, "Football...Bloody Hell".  Now, when do those fixtures come out?


  FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Halifax: Wilson 1
 Goal for Harriers: Blissett 30


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Lee Vaughan



Vote for your Man of the Match here  
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Editors thanks and bouquets.

I want to thank Shane Wilkinson (Harriershane) for being my Northern Correspondent this season and a fine job he's done too, including the epic Sunderland game.  Some very good writing.

I also want to thank Centreforeword for his reports sent from some luxurious hotel in the early hours of the morning (how the other half live :) and also to Harry Taylor for his reports fitted between the end of a game and dashing to the station to catch a train back to some seaside resort in West Wales.

To Steve Williams for a couple before he left to further his education in Lancaster and then coming back to cover the Peterborough home game for me.  And finally to Ciaran (Richard Cranium) for his reports and also for helping to control this website from wind up merchants.

Thanks guys and with a bit of luck you'll be begging me to let you do it all again next season.  Meanwhile if anyone would like to contribute to the site then please do contact me and offer your services.

To all you fans that have read these reports and made comments on the message board, voted in the MotM polls then I thank you too.  It's just a shame we won't be seeing any more reports this season due to scurrilous politics and boardroom shenanigans.

Phil...

FC Halifax Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Glennon gif     Lewis  
Ainge     L Vaughan
McManus gif     Demetriou  
C Smith   Storer gif  
Pearson     Grimes  
Lowe     Dunkley  
A Smith   Byrne  
Roberts   Verma gif  
Spencer     Blissett gif  
Maynard gif     Morgan-Smith gif  
Wilson gif     Bell  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Senior gif - 46     N Vaughan  
Gregory     Gittings gif - 76
Marshall gif - 77     Williams  
Marie gif - 65     O'Keefe gif - 76  
Crowther     Cieslewicz gif - 84  

REFEREE:
Mr C Kavanagh
Lancashire




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