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Date: 28-01-14gif Venue: Edgar Streetgif att: 2014gif away fans: 340
Harriers held at the Street

gif Report by Phil Lench
The headline might say that the 'Harriers were held at the Street' but in truth it was nothing like.  We were damned lucky not to have come away on the wrong end of a big defeat such was the domination at times of the Bulls and such was the total negativity of the Harriers that again saw Michael Gash as a lone front runner trying to feed off the scraps that weren't being thrown his way.

In the whole of the first half we failed to work a single shot at goal, close or far, and it wasn't until Hereford had opened the scoring through Josh O'Keefe that we actually started to try and get into their area.  We could have come closer on two occasions earlier but I don't count rolling the ball to the keeper as resembling anything like a goalscoring chance.

In front of a less than expected visiting crowd of just 340, or in other terms 3400 less than went to Sunderland, the Harriers chosen starting eleven consisted of those that started on Saturday with the exception of Amari Morgan-Smith and Marvin Johnson.  Coming in was Freddie Ladapo and Adrian Cieslewicz instead while AMS went to the bench and Magic Marvin sat in the stands.  No where in view was Lee Fowler or Anthony Malbon strengthening the general view that both would be heading Deeside before the week is out.

With the pitch wet from a downpour half a hour earlier the game got underway and, fair play to the groundsman, the pitch held up very well except in front of the dug outs where it was a bit boggy.  From the off Hereford took the game to the visitors and were obviously looking for an early claim to bragging rights.  O'Keefe, the scorer of their goal in their 2-1 defeat at Aggborough over Christmas, looked like he was going to do it again but his shot early doors went just wide of Danny Lewis' upright.

He had another chance later on with a header, from one of the hundreds of corners they won, but that too went wide.

The Bulls best chance of scoring came the way of Frankie Artus when Michael Rankine set him up with a ball that pierced our defence but Artus's shot balloned wastefully over the bar.  Minutes before the end of the half Danny Jackman came to our rescue when he made a goal line clearance over the bar from Dan Walkers shot.

With Gash unable to even feed off any scraps it was down to an un-creative midfield either lumping the ball over his head or shooting from long range with the ball not even reaching the intended target due to a defender being in the way.  The halftime whistle blew and thankfully we could find something better to do for twenty minutes: like go to the loo, drink coffee or just look at our watches to see how far the end of the game was away.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second period was better (was it?) and proved that we seem to be a holding side in the first half now and then go all out attack in the second half.  Oh sorry, that was just at Peterborough.

No, the second half was just a continuation of the first with just the one flurry that came after they scored and then we scored.  Then it went back to the old ways once more.

Freddie Ladapo came close to touching the ball and was then subbed soon after for Morgan-Smith.  He did look slightly better and was seeing more of the ball but still doing nothing with it.

Hereford began to get on top more and with the amount of corners they were still winning it was only going to be a matter of time before one got converted.  Michael Rankine had a shot deflected wide and from the corner Rod McDonald sent the ball over and O'Keefe looped the ball into the back of the net.  We saw the goal as a signal to start playing and within minutes we had pulled the goal back.

With the Harriers just making a substitution, Callum Gittings on for Jack Dyer, thankfully, the Harriers were given a free kick outside the area.  Taken by Kyle Storer it was, for once, played perfectly for Josh Gowling to head home into the back of the net.

From the restart Artus should have regained the lead for the home side but Danny Lewis saved his shot superbly to push it for, yes, a corner.  We also came close to increasing our lead too with probably the best piece of skill of the evening when Danny Jackman sidestepped his marker on the edge of the area and skipped past him to send a sharply angled shot just wide of the far post.

With time now running out we seemed to be happy with the draw and didn't venture forward again.  Just soak up what little pressure the home team were applying.

On an evening when Cambridge lost at home to Grimsby it would have been good to have come away with all three points from Edgar Street but that was never going to happen.  Drop these negative tactics.  Get someone up alongside Gash to help him out and one day, just one day, we might show the spirit and endeavour that saw us thrash Peterborough in the second half of the recent cup tie.

It might be a long wait.
  FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Hereford: O'Keefe 61
 Goal for Harriers: Gowling 65


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Hereford Utd  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Lloyd-Weston     Lewis  
Collins     L Vaughan
Bush     Jackman  
Artus     Storer  
McDonald     Demetriou  
Graham     Gowling gif  
Brown     Byrne  
O'Keefe gif     Dyer gif  
Walker gif     Gash  
Sharp gif     Ladapo gif  
Rankine     Cieslewicz  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Williams     N Vaughan  
Leadbitter gif - 70   Dunkley  
Purdie     Morgan-Smith gif - 54  
Edge gif - 46     Gittings gif - 66
Smith     Aloi  

REFEREE:
Mr L Swabey
Plymouth





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