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Date: 18-08-15 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 2620 gif away fans: 1031
Ten man Harriers rally but can't quite make it

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers continued their poor start to the season with this home defeat to much fancied Wrexham but even though we lost and Reece Styche was sent off there were glimmers of hope for the future.  Luke Maxwell played his heart out and the young loanee from Peterborough, Andrew Fox, looks to be a real gem.  Sadly the game won't be remembered for those tow. Just for the sending off.

In my eyes it seemed a bit harsh on Styche when he had been booked just a minute earlier after being sent crashing into the barriers by Manny Smith.  The card for Smith was just but how can the referee also give the victim of the assault a yellow card too.  Even if Styche had said something then it would have been in reaction and should not warrant penalising.  The stupid retaliatory challenge on Smith straight after was worthy of a card though but if it hadn't been for the earlier one he would probably have stayed on the pitch.

Ironically we raised our game once we had gone down to ten men and could have earned a point.

We started the game without Kelvin Langmead once again but there was a return to the side for Aman Verma following injury.  As mentioned Andrew Fox started the game at left back in preference to Jake Green, who went to the bench.  In the middle of the park Joe Clarke was playing against his old team mates from Wales.

The game kicked off with the Harriers playing towards the vociferous Wrexham fans (the second home game running that we have seen a packed out South Stand) and it was us that held the upperhand for the first twenty minutes of the game.  Wrexham were being closed down quickly as soon as they had the ball and, by not being given any time to settle, they became a little too physical in their approach and the referee made some early bookings and lectures.

The first real chances of note both came the Dragons way though with James Gray firing one over then heading another chance just wide.  We responded with a strike from Styche then skimmed across the face of goal and then a free kick from Adam Dawson that Tahvon Campbell sent narrowly wide.  Just after twenty minutes, with the Harriers on top, Wrexham delivered a killer blow.

Wrexham had been awarded a free kick outside the area and Sean Newton took it.  The ball went through the hands of the poorly positioned Dean Snedker to fall just right for Manny Smith at the far post behind to head home.

The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of us and Wrexham took charge for the remainder of the half.  We had a couple of chances with a Dawson free kick headed to safety by a defender and a header from Jordan Tunnicliffe that also went over the bar but we went into the break trailing by the single goal and the chance to put that right in the second half.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second period started in front of a beautiful sunset, the kind you can only see in Worcestershire, and we did start the half with more enthusiasm but sadly that enthusiasm gave way to a physicality that wasn't pleasant to watch.  Maxwell went in too hard on one Wrexham man and then came the Styche affair that ended in an early bath for our sponsored player.  Luckily it meant that the team would need to be re-shuffled so Gurjit Singh came on with Tahvon Campbell making way for him which was a bit harsh on Campbell because he'd had a decent game so far.

Within minutes came a second blow to the Harriers hopes of a first win of the season.  Another free kick was handed to Wrexham and again Newton took it but this time he didn't bother letting anyone finish it off for him because it went straight into the back of the net leaving Snedker rooted to the spot and never getting a chance to stop it going in.

To the Harriers credit we didn't give up and kept pressing for a goal in reply.  Maybe Wrexham had taken their foot off the gas a little but it was still a pleasure to see the Harriers passing the ball around at last with less emphasis on the long ball routines that Gary Whild seems to think we enjoy.

Aman Verma sent a header just wide and soon after he had another header well saved by the opposition keeper Cameron Belford.  In the eightieth minute a lifeline was thrown our way.

Another free kick was awarded to us to be taken by Dawson and this time Andre Wright, on for Verma a few minutes earlier, got on the end of it to bury it beyond Belford for his first goal in Harriers colours.  From that moment we began to take control and went in search of a second, hoping to emulate the result against Grimsby a few weeks earlier on opening day.

The danger in going all out for goal though is leaving yourself exposed at the back and the removal of a full back, Jared Hodgkiss, for Craig Reid was naive by the management to say the least.  The third goal had to come and come it did with a few minutes left on the clock.

Adam Smith, on for Wes York a few minutes earlier, had already tested Dean Snedker with a shot that the Harriers keeper got down to and saved well but his short lob over Dean a minute later was never going to miss the wide open goal and that finished us off much to the enjoyment of the massed ranks of Welshmen.

We now have another tough game to look forward to with the long trip to Gateshead on Saturday.  At least we should see a change upfront now that Styche is un-available and hopefully Gurjit Singh will grab his chance with both hands.  Sadly it'll be nailed on that Craig Reid will get the nod.
  FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Harriers: Wright 80
 Goals for Wrexham: M Smith 21, Newton 55, A Smith 90


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gif Luke Maxwell



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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Wrexham AFC  goals   subs   cards 
Snedker     Belford  
Hodgkiss gif     Vidal  
Fox     Newton gif  
Maxwell   M Smith gif
Rowe-Turner     Evans  
Clarke     Fyfield
Campbell gif     York gif  
Verma gif     Vose  
Styche   Gray gif  
Tunnicliffe     Jennings
Dawson     Moké
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Palmer     Hudson  
Singh gif - 56     Fowler  
Reid gif - 90     Jackson gif - 84  
Green     A Smith gif gif - 72  
Wright gif gif - 73     Royle  

REFEREE:
Mr A Holmes
W Yorkshire





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