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Match preview Vs Lincoln City

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Date: 09-08-14gif Venue: Sincil Bankgif Kick off: 15:00hrs

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We've had the World Cup, the friendlies and the Commonwealth Games have just come to an end.  Now the real excitement begins with the start of a new season tomorrow and it's a trip to Lincoln City to look forward to.  We have a host of new players to watch, as do Lincoln, and now we have to see if we can gel quickly to get an early win under our belts.

Jared Hodgkiss Up front we have a new look strike force with goal grabbers queuing up to get that all important starting place at Sincil Bank.  All that remains from last season is Michael Gash and Nathan Blissett following the departures of Anthony Malbon and Amari Morgan-Smith.  In have come three in place with Craig Reid, Reece Styche and Reece Hales all vying to start and it'll be interesting to see who the Harriers manager Gary Whild will choose.

In defence we also have a new look now that Lee Vaughan and Mickey Demetriou moved on to new pastures at the end of last season.  In place we have Jared Hodgkiss (left) for Vaughan and yesterday the spot vacated by Mickey D was filled by Kevin Nicholson following his signing on the dotted.  In goal Danny Lewis will now have Jas Singh breathing down his neck for a starting place after Nathan Vaughan joined Worcester City.  At least he gets to keep his seat in the dressing room.

It's in midfield that the Harriers have seen the least change with only Ahmed Obeng being added to the squad in place of Danny Jackman and Adrian Cieslewicz.  This is the source of the fans biggest worry that we no longer have a creative midfield player in the squad and could struggle to create any reasonable opportunities for the front men.

Luckily we have no major injuries to worry about with the only doubt being Josh O'Keefe after he picked up a couple of knocks during pre-season.

On the other hand Lincoln do have a couple of injuries to key players that we would do well to capitalise on.  Tom Miller and Karl Ledsham will both be missing with Miller out for six weeks with a knee injury while Ledsham has had a hernia operation that could see him out for even longer.  They have other injuries to Alan Power, Nat Brown, Jon Nolan and Todd Jordan but at least one of those is expected to be passed fit.

Their new signings are Jake Caprice from Blackpool, Hamza Bencherif (Macclesfield), Marcus Marshall (Morecambe) Jordan Burrow (Stevenage), Tony Diagne (Morecambe) and goalkeeper Nick Townsend (Birmingham City).  They'll all be hoping for first starts for their new club too.

Can we really get our season off to a winning start?  I think we can if the butterflies don't take over and we turn out a similar first day as we did at City two seasons ago when we lost out 1-0 to a Jamie Taylor first half strike.  As is well known that was the start of the infamous ten game run without a win that ended on a glorious night in Cambridge with a Ryan Rowe hat trick.

I'll be happy with a slightly earlier hat trick this time out.

Photo © KHFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Lewis, Singh, Hodgkiss, Green, Storer, Dunkley, Nicholson, Gowling, Grimes, Williams, O'Keefe, Byrne, Obeng, Johnson, Verma, Blissett, Gittings, Gash, Reid, Styche, Hales.

Lincoln City from:
Farman, Townsend, Newton, Jordan, Bencherif, Diagne, Kabba, Power, Burrow, Tomlinson, Mendy, Nolan, Marshall, Robinson, Caprice, Everington, Simmons, Brown.

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