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Harriers 2 Lincoln City 1

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Date: 20-12-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1784gif away fans: 207
Harriers leave it late to win

gif Report by Phil Lench
Harriers left it till late to grab the winning goal in this ill tempered, poorly refereed game at home to ten man Lincoln City.  With the game looking likely to end in a stalemate up popped Ahmed Obeng in the final minute of the three minutes of extra time to slam home his first ever goal for the Harriers.

In the first half City had been reduced in numbers after Alan Power went in hard on Jack Byrne in front of the East Stand.  The referee, Mr Hopkins from Plymouth, immediately brought out his red card as he ran towards the scene of the foul and then appeared to change his mind after being surrounded by players from both sides.  Media reports were telling the fans watching that he had originally sent Byrne off and then that the card was for abuse.  To be treated as abuse from the distance he was standing seemed unlikely so it must have been the Byrne version.

In his confused state he called the far side lino over who must have told him to man up, get a grip and stick to his original decision.  Power walked.

Up until then the game had been poor with sporadic attempts of playing football but once Power went off Lincoln took control of the remainder of the first half.  We came close with a diving header from Reece Styche that went wide of the far post and then Craig Reid had a similar scenario that went straight at the Imps keeper, Paul Farman, that he saved easily enough.

The game changed with the dismissal and City seemed inspired by the happenings enough to pressurise the Harriers midfield into mistakes and give the ball away continually.  A shot from Jake Caprice was the first warning shot and then a powerful header from Hamza Bencherif forced Danny Lewis into an exceptional save to keep the ball out before the opening goal arrived as the seconds ticked towards half time.

A corner, one of many won by Lincoln compared to our none, was drifted over by Sean Newton onto Tyrell Waites head.  From there in was played towards goal for the unmarked Delano Sam-Yorke to easily head home.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half saw the Harriers return to the field with an obvious flea in their ears and raring to go with the equalising goal coming just six minutes after the re-start.

Marvin Johnson, with a typical jink and run into the area, took the ball forward and then fired in a shot from a narrow angle that beat Farman ends up to nestle in the far corner of the City goal.  That was Johnsons seventh goal of the season and must surely be added to his value come the inevitable sale of him in January.

Two chances for Callum Gittings and Jamie Grimes to give us the lead followed soon after.  Gittings should have done better with his shot that flew across the face of the City goal and then immediately after Grimes sent a header narrowly over the bar.

Two quick free kicks then followed, both taken by Kevin Nicholson, with the first to Craig Reid who saw his header saved by Farman while the second was knocked on for Styche to put his header wide.  A minute later Styche made way for Akwasi Asante to come off the bench for his Harriers debut.

More changes took place for both sides with Lincolns' Ben Tomlinson coming on for Tyrell Waite and then Ahmed Obeng on for Craig Reid.  With both our starting strikers now removed from the action it seemed to the fans that Gary Whild was settling for the draw once again.  Personally I would have preferred to see the tiring Jack Byrne making way for Obeng instead of Reid but then would we have seen a winning goal at all?

With the ninety minutes drawing close the Harriers stepped up a gear and we came close to scoring from an unlikely source when Josh Gowling pounced on a misplaced City pass to drive forward and fire at the keeper.  His fierce shot was bundled away by Farman but only as far as the waiting Gittings who could only slide in and try to push the ball under the keeper but Farman managed to smother the ball securely.

With the three minutes of extra time announced Gowling again burst forward but was fouled in the area and left lying on the ground as the ball went out to Obeng who fired it back in a past the static keeper.  The City defenders appealed for offside seeing as Gowling was supposedly lying in an offside position and could be interfering with play but the ref waved the appeals away and rightfully so.

That win made it three in a row for us now, the best of the season so far, and moves us up into seventh place and ready for the Christmas games against Forest Green and Southport.  All winnable games.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Johnson 51, Obeng 90
 Goal for Lincoln: Sam-Yorke 45


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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Lincoln City  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Farman  
Hodgkiss     Miller
Nicholson     Newton
Storer     Caprice
Grimes   Bencherif  
Gowling   Adams  
Byrne     Nolan gif  
Johnson gif     Power
Reid gif     Sam-Yorke gif  
Gittings     Marshall  
Styche gif     Waite gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Mayebi     Townsend  
Green     Diagne  
Obeng gif gif - 80     Burrow  
Hales     Tomlinson gif - 58
Asante gif - 71     Mendy gif - 23  

REFEREE:
Mr A Hopkins
Devon




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