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Harriers 1 Eastleigh FC 3


Date: 10-03-15gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1225gif away fans: 55
Harriers made to look second rate

gif Report by Phil Lench
After weeks of failing to score, and failing to win, the Harriers boss Gary Whild changed things around against high flying Eastleigh tonight and still we failed to score or win.  Well actually we did score, twice, but the one that stood was an own goal while the other was ruled out for offside.

Academy player Kennedy Digie came in for his first start in place of the missing Aman Verma while three other changes to the side that lost at Alfreton saw Craig Reid return to the starting eleven in place of Danny Wright, Keyon Reffell replaced Callum Gittings and Kevin Nicholson reclaimed his place from Jordan Tunnicliffe following the failed wing back experiment at Alfreton.

For the visitors the Harriers former goal scoring ace James Constable started.  Don't you wish we had someone like him here now?

The first half was a scrappy affair but still an improvement on three days ago.  The will to play and run was there but not the passing ability with the ball spending most of the time in the clouds.  Eastleigh were guilty of this at times too but once they did get the ball on the floor their class showed as the passed the ball around easily.

Following the only real chance of the game, Lee Hughes header being superbly saved by the visitors keeper it came as something of a surprise when the Harriers took the lead.  Seemingly under no pressure Joe Partington headed Craig Reids cross into his own net to give the Harriers the lead.  Somehow it didn't seem like a real goal seeing as we hadn't actually scored it ourselves.

The goal didn't slow Eastleigh down and they tried to make amends straight away by surging down on our goal.  Constable with a chance that was well saved by Danny Lewis.

We tried to add to the goal but couldn't break through the solid Eastleigh defence whereas ours was being breached far too easily for comfort.  We went into the break leading 1-0 and everything to play for in the second half.  Surely with a bit of tweaking by Gary Whild we could go on and score a few more?
  HT: 1 - 0
We couldn't.  We were shocking.

Eastleigh took total control of the game and we just couldn't get a look in, or the ball off them.  They passed the ball around easily once more and left us chasing the scraps.  Our only chance of scoring had fallen to Lee Hughes once more and he was being marked heavily while Craig Reid who you would have though would be crashing through fences to earn himself a longer spell in the side looked as if he didn't want to be there.  I had called for Reid to be given a chance in my preview of this game and he let me down.

Whild made the first of his two strange substitutions just then.  Firstly off went Lee Hughes for Danny Wright so you would expect Wright to be given the chance to work with Reid.  Something might click and we could get back into the game? Maybe score a second goal?  No, Whild took Reid off two minutes later and replaced him with the also ineffectual Dominic Knowles.  Another strange decision from the manager.

It didn't take the visitors long to get the first goal of their comeback.  We failed miserably with a free kick and and the ball fell in the middle of a ruck of players for Dan Walker to force it over the line.  1-1.

It got worse when seven minutes later they grabbed a second goal from another free kick when the former Hereford star Harry Pell headed the ball down, un-challenged, for Jack Midson to slide it home.  A few minutes later and the game was over.

Jai Reason, who also put us out of the FA Cup in the qualifying round, scored their third goal from another free kick.  This one cleared the wall completely and also cleared Danny Lewis.

Cruising to victory they now sat back and let us play pretty football for ten minutes.  We did actually get the ball in the net via a player of our own but Jamie Grimes header was ruled out for offside and the game lumbered to it's inevitable end.
  FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Harriers: Partington 9 (og)
 Goals for Eastleigh: Walker 59, Midson 66, Reason 70

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Eastleigh FC  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Flitney  
Hodgkiss     Spence  
Nicholson     M Green
Digie gif     Partington gif (og)  
Grimes   Beckwith  
Gowling     Walker gif gif  
Byrne     Pell
Reffell     Stanley gif  
Hughes gif     Constable  
Reid gif     Reason gif  
J Green     Midson gif gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Wright gif - 62     McAllister gif - 84  
Obeng     Strevens gif - 77  
Gittings gif - 73     Evans  
Tunnicliffe     Howard gif - 68  
Knowles gif - 65     Burton  

Mr R Wigglesworth
Sth Yorkshire

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