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Harriers 0 Eastleigh FC 1    FA Cup 4th qual rd (25-10-14)


Date: 25-10-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1489gif away fans: 68
Harriers crash out of the FA Cup

gif Report by Phil Lench
The Harriers went crashing out of this seasons FA Cup today with what can only be described as one on the very worst performances seen from ANY Harriers side in the past ten years.  I couldn't even begin to think which game was worse than this pile of poo.

Eastleigh came to us as an unknown quantity but laden with quality players so what does the clueless Gary Whild do? he picks quite possibly the weakest and most defensive team he can think of.  I was, and still am, that you always start with your strongest team and not leave your best players, like Marvin Johnson, on the bench.  Josh O'Keefe? Do me a favour.

Right from the start the newly promoted Eastleigh came at us and proceeded to out pass and out think us.  They were better in all departments and not once did they resort to our trademark tactics of late.  The hoofed ball over the top.  Can't Whild and Creighton see what we can see all too clearly that we need a creative midfielder and possibly a creative defender too.  Chey Dunkley is not that creative defender.

Do we have a creative striker on our books?  Again, sadly, we do not.  Reece Styche runs headlong into an opposing player in the first few minutes of the game and get's himself carded leaving himself on a knife edge for the remainder of his time on the pitch while Michael Gash refuses to run more that a few yards for the ball and wants it at his feet all the time.  The problem with that is the lack of service from our non-existent midfield and the hoofed ball from deep in defence.

The only goal of the game was scored by a one time interest of ours when he was with Cambridge.  Jai Reason, looking much leaner now, was never going to turn down O'Keefes gifted ball towards him, and our defenders giving him the room in bucket loads, to unleash a superb strike towards Danny Lewis that the Harriers keeper had no chance of stopping.  That was in the fifteenth minute and that was game over for us.

When we did get near their goal some poor decision making and half-hearted attempts were never going to beat the rarely troubled Ross Flitney in the Eastleigh goal.

Maybe the second half would see the improvement that has become the norm of late although Whild, Jared Hodgkiss and Kyle Storer did say to the press leading up to the game that we have learnt our lessons, going back to the basics, and will be going for the throat from the off.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second period did see a slight improvement but not a lot.

We started to use the pace of Ahmed Obeng more in this half and it was through him that we came close on a couple of occasions.  It was a pity that the incompetent officials didn't spot the blatant handball in the area five minutes into the half.  With his trickery he managed to get himself into the area and teed up a cross for hopefully someone to get o the end of but instead it struck the hand of Paul Reid, not intentionally from the Spitfires defender, but the referee deigned not to see it or want to see it.

We actually had the ball in the net later on when Chey Dunkley headed home but our top scorers effort was rightly ruled offside.

As the game moved on we began to make changes to the side and bought on Nathan Blissett for Gash in an attempt to get more height to meet the high balls still being continually pumped into but his poor ball control lets him down anyway so that idea didn't work so we tried the option that should have been made from the start by bringing on the mercurial Marvin Johnson for the anonymous O'Keefe and finally we began to look as if we could actually rescue the game.

We upped our pace a bit and started to attack the Eastleigh goal and for the first time in the game Flitney found himself being called on to do some work.  The best chance fell for Styche when he somehow fired the ball straight at the keeper with his head/face although it's thought that he didn't know much about it anyway.  Minutes later he was withdrawn from the game, in favour of Craig Reid, due to his possibility of picking up a second yellow card.

Time was running out quickly by now and Eastleigh decided that they had done enough and shut up shop by timewasting, with the permission of the ref.  We battled on a little longer but the spirit had gone out of the team as the Harriers fans drifted away.  Some of those that stayed to the end booed the team, rightfully, off the pitch while others thought about the financial consequences of this skilless, spineless, indifferent defeat that could see cash flow problems heading towards Aggborough any day now.
  FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Eastleigh: Reason 15

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gif Ahmed Obeng

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Eastleigh FC  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Flitney  
Hodgkiss     P Reid  
Nicholson     M Green  
Storer     Collins gif  
Grimes   Beckwith  
Dunkley   Evans
Obeng     Strevens  
Gittings     Stanley
Gash gif     Fleetwood  
O'Keefe gif     Reason gif  
Styche gif   McAllister gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Singh     Helm  
Reid gif - 74     Spence  
J Green     Todd  
Johnson gif - 61     Odubade gif - 69  
Blissett gif - 58     Constable gif - 44  
Verma     Wright  

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