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Salisbury City 1 Harriers 1

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Date: 29-03-14gif Venue: Raymond McEnhill Stadiumgif att: 2217gif away fans: 200 est
Nine man Harriers battle to the end

gif Report by Centre Foreword
On a spring like day with temperatures in the mid teens and the sun shining, Kidderminster Harriers made their way southwards to take on the previously lesser visited Salisbury City at the Ray Mac stadium.

Salisbury were having a good season and they still had thoughts of a possible play off place although they had lost three nil at Aggborough a couple of months previously whilst the ultimately doomed Andy Thorn was in charge and they had also lost three nil at home to Cambridge United a few days earlier in mid week.

This fixture was the mainstay of the Salisbury Challenge 2000 campaign, aiming to get at least 2,000 fans into the ground whereas normally attendances were less than 1,000.  Accordingly 6,000 free tickets had been given out to school children in the local area and the campaign succeeded with over 2,200 fans eventually turning out on the sunny afternoon.

Harriers' line up reflected Gary Whild's preferences.  Probably the most notable inclusion was Amari Bell at left back, leaving Mickey Demetriou to take his place in central defence in place of an injured Josh Gowling.  Also on the bench was the temporarily out of favour Danny Jackman.  For the Whites former Harriers star Chris McPhee was being held in reserve.

The match started in a fairly cagey fashion with neither side having an abundance of clear cut chances.  After a couple of minutes an early effort from Salisbury's Clovis Kamdjo flew over the bar on the angle then it was Anthony Malbon's turn with a low shot, following a deft lay-off by Jack Byrne but it was in fact a comfortable take for James Bittner as it lacked any power.

This was soon followed by a great cross from Malbon finding the head of Michael Gash but he could not get over the top of the ball and nodded over the bar.

A couple of free kicks just outside the opposition penalty area followed for the home side but the Carpet Men's wall held firm in the face of powerful drives.

Then on twenty three minutes came the away side's best chance to that point in the game.  The ball was played forward to the feet of Amari Morgan Smith who ended up in a one on one situation with the Whites shot stopper.  Bittner blocked well but with the rebound AMS had another opportunity to slot in from a tight angle though he could only shoot just wide.

Towards the end of the first half a flurry of referee brandished cards began.  Callum Gittings picked one up for a high foot but he then proceeded to make up for his misdemeanour with a fine strike.

It was Route 1 football.  A deep goal kick from Danny Lewis was nodded into the path of Gittings by Gash. Gittings made a bit of space for himself just outside the Salisbury penalty area before firing a fine shot just wide of Bittner and into the corner of the net.  1-0 Harriers after thirty five minutes.

Gittings had got the taste for long range goal scoring exploits and had another go a few minutes later but this time his weaker effort speared wide of the target.  The first half was pretty even with the away side probably just edging it.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half started in an odd manner.  Whilst the players took their places, Gittings fell to his knees and began vomiting repeatedly.  The only conclusion the astonished fans could come to was, given he had performed so well in the first half, he must have ingested something that disagreed with him at half time.

Callum has a history of not liking the warm weather.  When playing Rushden and Diamonds on the hottest October day on record – 1 October 2011 – he suffered badly with dehydration.  Moreover, against Southport the previous Saturday he had had to play in a rugby / Terry Butcher style head band.

Gittings seemed to temporarily recover and then on forty nine minutes Byrne's shot on the turn was held by Bittner and this was followed shortly afterwards when Kyle Storer shot just wide.  At the other end a good close range header from Kamdjo was well held by Lewis.

Gittings though could continue no longer and the much maligned Josh O'Keefe came on to replace him in the fifty eighth minute.  Up to this point play was fairly even but Harriers then seemed to retreat into their shell and began more and more to camp in their own half.  Another substitution followed for the visitors as Danny Jackman replaced Byrne.

On sixty three minutes a low shot from Dan Fitchett had to be well saved by Lewis and Morgan Smith then picked up another Harriers' yellow card for a high challenge.  Jamie Grimes met the same fate a few minutes later for what looked like a relatively innocuous foul.

The visitors' final substitution came early as Nick Wright then entered the fray in place of a tiring Malbon.  Unfortunately Danny Jackman then picked up a bad knock in a straightforward 50 - 50 challenge.

A stretcher was called for but when it finally arrived, about five minutes later, Jackman was hobbling off the edge of the pitch.  He tried to come back on but couldn't put any weight on the ankle at all and so had to limp off once more.  Hopefully it's just a bad sprain but the visitors then had to play with just ten men on the park having already used all of their substitutes.

Increasingly Whild's charges had become encamped in their own half of the pitch as the second period had progressed, with clearances just being booted up field and this reduction in numbers was not going to help.

Then in a typical clinging on type scramble, skipper Storer was deemed to have handled the ball on the goal line to keep out a home side effort.  A penalty was awarded and Storer was given his marching orders when a melee ensued and for apparent violent conduct Salisbury's Angus MacDonald was also sent off.

Charlie Sheringham netted the penalty (father Teddy was there to watch him in amongst the Harriers fans), Salisbury had equalised and the game finished one all - probably a fair result given the run of play.

Harriers cannot expect to camp for such long periods in their own half and not expect to concede and on this form a play-off spot is very much out of the team's reach.
  FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Salisbury: Sheringham 90 (pen)
 Goal for Harriers: Gittings 35


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Salisbury City  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Bittner     D Lewis  
Kamdjo     L Vaughan  
Amankwaah     Bell  
Brett gif     Storer
Clarke     Grimes
Wilson     Demetriou  
MacDonald   Byrne gif  
Fitchett     Gittings gif gif
Sheringham gif   Gash  
T Lewis     Malbon gif  
Frear gif   Morgan-Smith
SUBS:         SUBS:      
George     N Vaughan  
Flint     Jackman gif - 74  
White gif - 69     Wright gif - 79  
McPhee gif - 85     Blissett  
      O'Keefe gif - 58  

REFEREE:
Mr A Hopkins
Plymouth





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