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Alfreton Town 3gifHarriers 3

Date: 24-09-16 gif Venue: Image Arena gif att: 568 gif away fans: 200 (est)
Harriers substitutes claw it back from dead

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers came back from the dead at Alfreton today when poor defending allowed the hosts to surge into a 3-0 half time lead but then completely turned it all around after the break with what looked to be inspired substitutions.  Liam Truslove and Andre Brown came on for the second half and it was the three goals between them that allowed us to take well earned - by the final whistle - point.  It could so easily have been all three if Keith Lowe and Brown had driven home the chances they had at the end.

James McQuilkin returned to the side following his one game missing with a slight hamstring strain.  He replaced Ashley Carter in the starting eleven with Carter dropping to sit with the usual faces on the bench.  Alfreton were without the two former Harriers in their side with Evan Garnett having joined Buxton on loan while Dan Bradley was transferred to AFC Fylde during the week.

The first goal came just seconds after the start with many Harriers fans missing seeing it as they were making their way to the other end of the Impact 'Arena'.  They had already had a corner awarded to them that was cleared but only to the edge of the area where it crossed back into the mix for Craig Westcarr to rifle home through a bunch of Harriers defenders.

Seven minutes later and the fans looked on in shock as Alfreton surged into a two goal lead after the lanky Tom Allan powered home a free header from another corner.  This felt un-believable to be watching a team that had rattled ten goals past Tamworth last week and now we were sat looking at two goals going past us without even ten minutes on the clock.

During and after those goals we did actually look good passing the ball around but as in previous games losing out on the edge of the oppositions goal.  Twenty minutes in and we got our first shot on target when Tyrell Waite forced the ex Torquay keeper, Fabian Spiess, to push away while Elton N'Gwatala and Arthur Gnahoua both sent weak shots hopelessly wide.  Our best chance fell for the returning McQuilkin but he sent his shot just over the bar after making room for himself on the corner of the area.

That miss re-bounded on us straight away as the long kick from Spiess up to the other end of the pitch was collected by Keith Lowe but then hesitancy on the ball saw him robbed of it by Adam Priestley who fired the ball home from the edge of the area.

Now we know how it feels to be a Tamworth supporter.
  HT: 3 - 0
The second half was a complete about turn in terms of both our refreshed attitude and to the final score.  Liam Truslove came on for McQuilkin at the restart and it was assumed that Macca had having problems with his hamstring.  We began to take the game to Alfreton and played higher up the pitch than we had been and that way we could keep the pressure on them.  Seven minutes in and we got the goal that our superiority deserved when Truslove broke away from a defender and took the ball almost to the byeline before shooting.  It seemed to be going across the face of the goal but it crept in under the body of Spiess to land the right side of the upright and into the net.  We had responded the best way possibly but it still looked a big challenge to go on and score more goals.

It didn't help matters with our old failing of trying to find the perfect angle, the perfect pass or the perfect moment ending up with shots on goal that were high, wide and weak.

Two more subs were employed and surprisingly it was defenders who were sacrificed in the search for goals as Jordan Tunnicliffe and the hard working Tyrone Williams made way for Sam Austin and Andre Brown.  You could see the Harriers management teams thinking with the Alfreton attack being completely snuffed out by our use of the high line that we could risk throwing men forward in the search for more goals.

Truslove came close again with a free kick that skimmed the bar and then came the two rapid fire goals that saved the game for us.  A really nice passing move between Arthur, Truslove and Elton saw the ball played towards the box for Andre Brown to skip a challenge and then fire home for his first ever goal for us.

Hardly a minute later and we had drawn level against all the odds with Truslove bagging his brace after a pass through defenders in the box saw him pick it up then fire the ball home to great celebrations from players and fans alike.

We could have won the game three times over before and beyond the ninetieth minute as the referee seemed reticent in blowing the whistle on us.  Brown hurriedly snatched at a shot that was rising but still got deflected for a corner and just seconds before the whistle did blow Keith Lowe somehow contrived to send the ball way over the bar from just a few feet out.

What a winner that would have been but not to worry we managed to fight back and got a justly deserved point after the game had looked all but lost at the end of the first half.  Onwards to Lancaster next Saturday for the FA Cup and hopefully we'll play for the full ninety minutes there.
  FT: 3 - 3

 Goals for Alfreton: Westcarr 1, Allan 10, Priestley 35
 Goals for Harriers: Truslove 52, 85, A Brown 83

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gif Liam Truslove

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Latest table and stats here  

Alfreton Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Spiess     Hornby  
Wilson     Williams gif  
Kennedy     Francis-Angol  
Heaton     Croasdale
McGowan     Lowe  
Jordan     Tunnicliffe gif  
Monkhouse     Waite  
Mantack   McQuilkin gif  
Allan gif     Dieseruvwe  
Priestley gif gif     N'Gwatala  
Westcarr gif     Gnahoua  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Ottley     Austin gif - 79  
Clayton     Truslove gif gif - 46  
Smith gif - 73     Carter  
      A Brown gif gif - 73  

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