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Welling Utd 1 Harriers 2

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Date: 07-09-13gif Venue: Park View Roadgif att: 911gif away fans: 100 (est)
James leads the Wings a merry Dance

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a dry and bright September afternoon, for the first time in a number of seasons, Kidderminster Harriers paid a visit to Park View Road for their latest game of the season in the Skrill Premier league.  With it being an international weekend, it was once again 'Non League Day' in the footballing world and the Welling United website promised bundles of pre match entertainment.

In an attempt to encourage all the extra fans to attend who would normally be at Arsenal, Tottenham or West Ham, a reduced entrance fee of £10 before 2pm was promised.  It meant rising and shining even earlier for the 200 or so Harriers fans making the 170 mile trip if they wished to save themselves a fiver.  Someone forgot though that it was customary for both sets of players to warm up on the pitch before the game and so whilst the reduced entry price stood, the additional entertainment was hastily abandoned.

The pitch was generally in good shape as one might expect so early in the season but the goal mouth at the far end away from Park View Road was already beginning to cut up as it was largely in the shade of some tall trees which were inhibiting the growth of the grass.

Harriers started with the usual suspects up front: Michael Gash and Anthony Malbon.  On the wing was the so far under-utilised James Dance and in midfield we saw Danny Jackman, Lee Fowler, and Kyle Storer with the normal back four bringing up the rear: Mickey Demetriou, Josh Gowling, Chey Dunkley and Lee Vaughan.  Perhaps not that surprisingly, Nathan Vaughan was given his first start of the season after Danny Lewis had handed a penalty to Luton the preceding Saturday.

On the bench were Nathan Blissett, the newly arrived Amari Morgan Smith, Danny Lewis, Dior Angus and Marvin Johnson.  Still no defenders ready to come on if needed and little in the way of midfield back up - in many Harriers fans' eyes, a very risky Burr / Whild strategy.

The game kicked off at fairly modest pace.  Welling were clearly confident given their home record so far in the 2013/14 season and, accordingly, they played with a very attacking formation and so right from the start the home side looked like they could be caught on the break and that's exactly what happened after ten minutes.

Anthony Malbon and James Dance linked well and the ball then fell to Dance who powered in his shot from about ten yards to open his Harriers account.  1-0 to the joyful visitors however, just a few moments later Welling had an excellent chance to level the scores.  Alex Dyer let loose a superb effort across goal and Nathan Vaughan just about managed to watch it edge wide.

Then on seventeen and twenty minutes Malbon had two more really good opportunities to extend the lead.  Firstly Michael Gash set him loose down the left but instead of blasting a left footer, Malbon chose to dink the ball past the keeper and it inched just wide.

A few moments later Mickey Demetriou instigated a neat run and pass but again the lacking in confidence forward, Malbon, shot wide.

Another goal then came from a great Carpetmen move.  Lee Vaughan was released on the right and he laid the perfect cross to the far post where Dance just needed to be in the right place to nod it in.  2-0.

It wasn't all just Harriers though and Ross Lafayette let loose a couple of wicked efforts at the away sides goal at various junctures throughout the first period which on both occasions Nathan Vaughan eventually just about managed to gather.
  HT: 0 - 2
The Wings manager, Jamie Day, gave his side a real grilling at half time and the chastisement did in fact seem to work as the half wore on.  Nonetheless a minute into the second period the Harriers captain Kyle Storer delivered an excellent free kick which Chey Dunkley nearly managed to nod in at the far post but the ball flew just wide.

At the start of the second half the game had a bit of a training ground feel to it.  The quick-footed Worcestershire outfit were knocking the ball around at leisure and running the home side somewhat ragged.  A good chance fell to Lee Vaughan whose long range effort was well held by the Welling stopper and some good interplay between Lee Fowler and Dance nearly set up a fine chance for Gash.

However, as the second period wore on, the home side came more into the contest.  They made all three changes before the hour mark and on sixty five minutes, Malik Ouani set up Lafayette really well but the latter could only blaze over.

On seventy minutes the Harriers management team decided it was time to change the frontline.  On came Amari Morgan-Smith and Nathan Blissett for their 13/14 season debuts in place of an increasingly less effective Malbon and Gash.

In the seventy fourth minute Kurtis Guthrie made a great run at the Harriers defence but his shot flew well over the bar and then Marvin Johnson came on for Lee Fowler to provide the visitors with another pair of fresh legs.

It was the Wings though who became more and more of an attacking threat and so it was no surprise that in the eighty second minute Loui Fazackerley got a goal back for the hosts.  With his back to goal he turned neatly and shot well, hard and low beyond a stranded Nathan Vaughan.  1-2.

The last ten minutes were then largely, as one might expect, an onslaught on the Harriers back line.  The crowd were invigorated by the Fazakerley goal and it reflected in the Wings' play.  The closest the home side came though to levelling the scores was when the Harriers keeper had to touch a dangerous Guthrie cross over the bar for a Welling corner kick.

Marvin Johnson tried to run the ball into the edges of the playing arena on a number of occasions but to little avail.  In the end though the Harriers hung on for what was just about a deserved away win.

At times the Carpetmen looked good.  At other times their play was indifferent.  In the plus column the boys in amber and purple tried mostly to attack by playing the ball along the floor and patiently building their moves forward.  However, the confidence that was the mainstay of the success in the 2012/13 season is still largely to return.

A win is a win but the game could easily have ended in a draw had the referee given a penalty when Josh Gowling held Lafayette down when he stumbled in the box towards the end of the game.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Welling: Fazakerley 81
 Goals for Harriers: Dance 10, 25


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gif James Dance



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Welling Utd  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Butcher     N Vaughan  
Hudson   L Vaughan  
Jack Obersteller     Demetriou  
Gallagher gif   Storer  
Franks     Dunkley  
Bergqvist     Gowling  
Dyer     Jackman  
Clarke gif     Fowler gif
Healy     Gash gif  
Lafayette     Malbon gif  
Pires gif     Dance gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Mott     Lewis  
Joe Obersteller     Morgan-Smith gif - 70  
Fazakerley gif gif - 62     Johnson gif - 76  
Guthrie gif - 58   Angus  
Ouani gif - 58     Blissett gif - 70

REFEREE:
Mr N Kinseley
Essex




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