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Date: 01-03-16 gif Venue: Amlin Stadium gif att: 502 gif away fans: 37
Time is running out for Harriers

gif Report: Phil Lench
With this defeat at Braintree this evening and Torquays win at Macclesfield - both their goals from former Harrier Nathan Blissett - it's all looking bleak for the Harriers hopes of survival in the Conference National.  We're ten points from safety with ten games to go but that depends on us winning the majority of our games while others down there with us lose theirs and on Saturday we are at Torquay.

There was a bit of a disappointment for the fans just minutes before the start of tonights game when it was mentioned on the official Twitter page that Harry White had returned to Barnsley and in his place Evan Garnett was starting his first game for us.  You have to ask why this news was released so late when the club must have know about it before they set off for Essex.  If it was to give Braintree a false sense of security then I bet they were relieved at first but then quaking in their boots at the thought of Garnett leading the Harriers line.

There were other changes to the team that lost at home to Bromley on Saturday with Omari Patrick, Tyrone Williams and James McQuilkin going to the bench while Jordan Jones, Luke Maxwell and Ben Whitfield replaced them.  On to the bench came Zaine Francis-Angol after being out of favour for a few weeks.

The first half was frankly forgettable from both sides and strangely so considering we are desperate to regain our status while the hosts are bursting to get into the play off places by going into fourth place tonight.  It took all of twenty five minutes before any real action was seen by either side and it came our way when Whitfield pounced on Arthur Gnahouas' cross but his shot was deflected back towards Garnett but a defender got in before he could reach it.

Minutes late the home side, spurred on by our missed chance, took the lead.  They had just gone close when Simeon Akinola fired just off target but then a minute later Chez Isaac managed to get on the end of an un-cleared ball in the area and force it home.  Akinola had another chance to score soon after with a shot from range that forced Dean Snedker into a snap save.
  HT: 1 - 0
With the re-start of the game for the next forty five minutes the Harriers sent on Tyrone Williams for Jordan Jones in an effort to liven things up a bit.  At first it seemed to work with the Reds looking to attack the Braintree goal.  Williams himself was the first to try his luck in poking at a low cross fro Gnahoua but Tom King in goal saved it easily.  Williams then gave Ben Whitfield a chance to convert his cross but again King was equal to the shot.

It was just after that we suddenly found ourselves with a chance of getting something from the game.  Whitfield was instrumental yet again when he gave Luke Maxwell the ball and with it Maxwell fired goalwards and into the back of the net via the crossbar.  We should have gone on then to gain the lead but instead Gnahoua fired over the bar recklessly and then we seemed to think we had done enough and the point had been earned.

Braintree had other ideas and a defensive mix up that led to Snedker having to rush out of his area and head the ball away also led to Ousmane Fané and Ty Williams both slipping over on the greasy surface.  Matt Paine saw his chance and lofted the ball over Snedkers' outstretched hands and into the net from almost on the halfway line.  It was a gutting way to concede a goal but it needs to be asked what our keeper was doing out there in the first place.

It was now Braintrees' turn to sit back and hold onto the lead.  We sent on Omari Patrick in place of Fané but apart from a late chance for Gnahoua we never looked likely to score.  Braintree made some late changes to waste time and condemn the Harriers to another miserable evening.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Braintree: Isaac 29, Paine 61
 Goal for Harriers: Maxwell 49

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Braintree Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
King     Snedker  
Phillips     Hodgkiss  
Habergham     Kinsella  
Isaac gif     Maxwell gif
Paine gif     Langmead  
Woodyard     Lowe  
Brundle     Jones gif  
Davis   Fané gif  
Cheek gif     Garnett  
Akinola gif     Whitfield  
Sparkes gif     Gnahoua  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Crowe     Brown  
Marks gif - 69     Francis-Angol  
Gardner gif - 93     McQuilkin  
Miles gif - 67     Williams gif - 46  
Edgar     Patrick gif - 80  

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