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Harriers 2 Macclesfield Town 1


Date: 11-03-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1591gif away fans: 64
Harriers still fail to convince even though we win

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers got their first win for Gary Whild under their belts tonight with a hard worked but, at times, un-inspiring win over fellow play-off hopefuls Macclesfield Town tonight with a stunning opening goal from Callum Gittings.  Sadly that was as stunning as it got with Macclesfield showing us how to pass the ball round fluidly although once they got near our goal they did very little with all the possession they were having.  Former Macc man Amari Morgan-Smith scored our second goal of the evening before half time and Danny Whitaker reduced the arrears two minutes later.

We started the game with one enforced change following Kyle Storers tenth yellow card of the season on Saturday.  Josh O'Keefe took over for him while on the bench was our newest? signing, Nick Wright.  For Macclesfield Danny Andrew was returning to his old stomping ground.

In front of another sparse crowd of just under 1,600 the Harriers stormed into the lead in under a minute for the second home game in a row.  Last time at home AMS scored in the first minute of the game in the 2-0 win against Woking but this time Gittings took fractionally less time to spot the Macc keeper off his line and send a dipping shot over his head from some thirty five yards out.

It could have been double that scoreline just a few minutes later when Adrian Cieslewicz played the ball in to the area but Anthony Malbons shot hit a defender and was cleared away but only as far as Mickey Demetriou who then struck a thunderous volley against the crossbar from well outside the area.  The rebound was in the right place for Malbon again but this time he sent it skying over the bar.

On our next attack Cieslewicz chased the ball towards the goal but with Rhys Taylor also coming for it they collided and Cieslewicz came off the worst.  He tried to continue following lengthy treatment but couldn't and Marvin Johnson came on to take over from him.

Maccs first sniff of goal came on twenty minutes when they were awarded a free kick following a push on Chris Holroyd from Danny Jackman.  Paul Turnbull took it but it went just the wrong side of the goal and rippled the side netting.

The game hit a bit of a quiet patch then with the noticeable passing skills of Macclesfield while we chased around trying to get the ball off them and when we did manage to do so we failed to keep it but handed it straight back to them.  This lack of ball retention is worrying and really does need to be addressed.

Six minutes before the break we moved into a short lived 2-0 lead.  Marvin Johnson made a great run down the left and played the ball into AMS who then seemed to stumble slightly before poking the ball goalwards and then crossed his fingers as it went under the keeper and then bobbled slowly into the net with two Macclesfield defenders racing back to stop it.

Sadly we couldn't hold onto the two goal difference and we allowed the visitors back into the game two minutes later.

Town again produced a slick passing move to bring the ball towards our goal until Scott Boden slipped Danny Whitaker in to strike a well taken shot beyond the grasp of Danny Lewis.  The goal could be said to be down to our defenders backing off too much but it was no more than Macclesfield deserved.
  HT: 2 - 1
The second half belonged to Macclesfield.  We hardly got into our own half during the entire forty five minutes.

We are desperately missing someone that can put a foot on the ball and give some kind of control in midfield.  The defence are strong enough, heartstopping sometimes though when the begin to back track too much, but players like Malbon need the ball at the feet and not way up in the air all the time.  Midfield is once again being by-passed.

The closest we came to scoring early on in the half was when Josh Gowling forced himself into the area and got on the end of a Gittings free kick.  Gowlings power driver looked as if it had gone in but had only almost burst the side netting.

There were no further attempts on goal for us although one cross from Johnson swept across the face of the goal but neither AMS or Malbon could get that important touch on it.  Nick Wright came on for Malbon ten minutes from the end of the game but could only chase shadows due to his rustiness down to a lack of match practice while at Lincoln.

For that final ten minutes we just soaked up the Macclesfield pressure and hoofed the ball forward when ever we could.

Not pretty or inspiring but it's three points in the bag and a move up one place to ninth.  We'll need to be better than this when Barnet come to town on Saturday.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Gittings 1, Morgan-Smith 39
 Goal for Macclesfield: Whitaker 41

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Macclesfield Town  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Taylor  
L Vaughan   Connor  
Demetriou     Andrew  
O'Keefe     Halls  
Grimes     Pilkington  
Gowling     Turnbull  
Gittings gif     Kay gif  
Jackman     Whitaker gif  
Morgan-Smith gif     Holroyd gif  
Malbon gif     Boden  
Cieslewicz gif     Winn gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Martin  
Bell gif - 90     D Rowe gif - 64  
R Rowe     S Williams  
Johnson gif - 13 gif     Mackreth gif - 84  
Wright gif - 83     A Sodge gif - 75  

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