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Southport 3gifHarriers 4

Date: 30-04-16 gif Venue: Merseyrail Community Stadium gif att: 1473 gif away fans: 152
Harriers end the season with a winning bang

gif Report: Harry Taylor
In days gone by crowds would gather to watch a condemned man, woman or child climb the gallows, as they succumbed to their fate.  And so the crowd would watch as events took there course, the outcome already pre-judged.  The crowd wanted to be there, to say they were there and to see the lights go out.

The modern day equivalent, and an eminently more palatable than the medieval 'sport', was the two coaches and legions of fans who took to Haig Avenue in Southport to see the Harriers' swansong in the Conference.  Regardless of what happened we were down, but for a last game of the season, last game in the Conference there was a great turnout and they were rewarded with a surprising result as Harriers won 4-3.

Lewis Kinsella, loanee from Aston Villa, missed out through injury with Zaine Francis-Angol taking his place at full back.  Dan Sweeney partnered Ben Whitfield up front.

'Here we go again' might've entered the mind soon after the game kicked off as Louis Almond raced past the static back-line and Dean Snedker brought him down in the area.  The red card was avoided to the relief of fans but Almond dispatched the penalty underneath the body of the Harriers goalkeeper.

Yet there's fight in the Harriers side and some good interplay saw Francis-Angol whip the ball over to an unmarked James McQuilkin, who had an eon to watch the ball onto his foot as he drove it into the corner of the goal from inside the area.  How many times have we seen those missed over the years?

The Harriers continued to have the better of the half and produced some good interplay only to be stifled by a Southport defence, however they couldn't stop Harriers taking the lead just before half-time.

Once again Francis-Angol had the ball out wide, but instead of the lofted cross for McQuilkin previously, this one was driven in and met by Elton N'Gwatala who beat his marker and drilled the ball past Max Crocombe.
  HT: 1 - 2
Into the second half and the Harriers took their usual role in the backseat for the second half, as we've seen a few times this season.  Southport seemed to have the better of the play and were threatening the Harriers goal with Almond testing Snedker.

Southport's equaliser came through Harriers trying to play the 'right-way'.  Whilst it looks fantastic when in the opposition half, and can be effective, in defence it's like jumping into a bath with a toaster at this level.  Defenders aren't Italian Libero's, and Ousmane Fané isn't Andrea Pirlo.  The Harriers midfielder, struggling in possession, was robbed by Mike Phenix who advanced on the Harriers goal and scored to make it 2-2.

Fans might have been forgiven for thinking that Harriers were done but they were wrong.  The introduction of Evan Garnett for Whitfield saw Harriers' most influential player this season taken off, to be replaced by one who has been a bit of a footballing enigma.  The former Belper man, however, went on to be involved in two of Harriers goals.

Firstly, some interplay saw a cross across the box to be finished by Harriers academy graduate Tyrone Williams and soon after Garnett was played through by Arthur Gnahoua to put the ball past Crocombe.  Harriers scoring four goals, and winning?

In injury time Southport clawed another goal back but the Harriers held on winning the game 4-3.  It was a strong result, great performance, and nice to see us scoring a hatful of goals.  If we could get rid of our errors we could be a very formidable side next season.
  FT: 3 - 4

 Goals for Southport: Almond 5 (pen), Phenix 64, Ryan 93
 Goals for Harriers: McQuilkin 9, N'Gwatala 39, Williams 77, Garnett 84

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gif James McQuilkin

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Southport  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Crocombe     Snedker
A Jones     Williams gif  
Whittle gif     Francis-Angol gif  
Nolan gif     McQuilkin gif  
Thompson     Langmead  
Blakeman     Lowe  
Rutherford gif     Fané  
Wright     N'Gwatala gif  
Phenix gif     Sweeney gif  
Almond gif     Whitfield gif  
G Jones     Gnahoua  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Coughlin     Brown  
Challoner     Garnett gif gif - 74  
Westcarr gif - 86     Patrick gif - 46  
Hewitt gif - 46     Hodgkiss gif - 86  
Ryan gif gif - 82     Tunnicliffe  

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