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Harriers 3gifCurzon Ashton 2

Date: 11-02-17 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 1560 gif away fans: 14
Harriers hold on for the win

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers raced into a 3-1 lead within the first quarter of the game at home to Curzon today then, mysteriously, decided enough was enough and there was no point in trying to increase the lead further.  That attitude gave the visitors the signal that the game wasn't lost and that they could actually get something from it.  In a shambolic second half we gave them that opportunity and they took it with both hands thanks to two defensive errors from the normally reliable pairing of Jordan Tunnicliffe and Keith Lowe.  Thankfully they could add to the two gifted goals and at the end we had collected all the points and also gained ground on AFC Fylde who had been held at home by Telford and Lee Hughes.

Ryan Croasdale returned to the side following injury along with Andre Brown and Darryl Knights.  They replaced Ashley Carter, Mani Dieseruvwe and Tyrell Waite from the Barrow game last Saturday with all three going to the bench.

In proper February conditions of drizzly mist the game kicked off with the Harriers facing the wrong way.  Normally that makes the fans uneasy with the un-familiarity of it but that feeling was soon assuaged when we raced into a second minute lead.  Slow build up meant that for the first minute the ball was passed around in our own half until launched out wide by Lowe and then passed around the Curzon area until Darryl Knights laid the ball off for McQuilkin to slide the ball home.

We kept up the pressure and three minutes later we were two to the good.  Elton N'Gwatala won the ball and played in Andre Brown to try his luck but his first shot was parried away by the Curzon keeper Hakan Burton but only back to the Harriers number nine.  He made no mistake with his follow-up and the ball nestled in the empty net with the keeper stranded.

The Curzon players found themselves being called over to the touchline for a lecture by their manager but it must have fallen on deaf ears.

On the opening day of the season we had won the game 6-1 with our first two goals coming in the opening fifteen minutes but today we bettered that with three.  Again we broke through the tissue thin Nash defence with ease and this time it was McQuilkin with his second of the game and looking good for a hat trick when his shot from just inside the area literally fizzed into the net.

Curzon began to realise that they were heading for another thrashing and had to do something about it.  They began to close us down and force us into giving the ball away cheaply and from that time on we had lost the impetus.  They had a shot that Alex Palmer saved, if a little clumsily, and we responded with chance for Arthur Gnahoua and Knights but both were snatched at and sailed over.

The game was now being played out by two equally matched sides although we never really looked like giving a goal away.  Curzon had two chances but our defence stood strong and kept them from shooting and we could have made it four going into the break when Brown sent in a shot that the keeper parried again instead of collecting.  It ran out to Knights but his shot was going wide until a deflection sent it goalwards until Burton, this time, made the ball safe.
  HT: 3 - 0
The second half was an anti-climax compared to the first.  We never got going and Curzon took advantage of that without really making it tell.  We had chances to score but none of them on target and even an easy chance for Brown, following excellent build up play, was wasted when he headed over with the goal at his mercy.

We tried to change things a bit with subs coming on but the Curzon defence had tightened up and we weren't being clever enough.  Eventually you could see the players running out of ideas when the ball spent more time being passed back to our own half that in the oppositions.  You could also sense that given a goal that Curzon could easily up their game.

That proved so in the seventy fourth minute when a mix up in defence saw Jordan Tunnicliffe give the ball away to a Curzon player who then played the ball through for Ryan Hall to run on to and slip under the advancing Palmer.  Five minutes later it all happened again and this time it was a poor pass back from Keith Lowe that saw substitute Jordan Wright nick the ball off him and head for goal to finish from close in.

We finally woke up to what was going on and began to make sure that we kept possession.  The urge was more to keep what we had rather than add to it and the only chance we had of scoring was down to the busy Sam Austin who fired wide just before the ninety minutes was up.  Three minutes were added on that we coped with and finally saw the three points come our way.

We were very close to seeing our three goal lead squandered due to complacency and with Fylde being held to a draw at home, Chorley grabbing a last minute equaliser and Salford losing that could have been disastrous.  Instead we now find ourselves two points closer to the leaders and with two games in hand.

Next week will be a tough game at Chorley and we'll have to be more committed to the task if we hope to get all three points up there.
  FT: 3 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: McQuilkin 2, 13, Andre Brown 5
 Goals for Curzon: Hall 74, Wright 81

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Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Curzon Ashton  goals   subs   cards 
A Palmer     Burton  
Williams     Baillie  
Ezewele     Guest  
Croasdale     Hunt  
Lowe     Shaw  
Tunnicliffe     Stott  
Knights gif     Hall gif  
McQuilkin gif     Clarke  
Andre Brown gif gif     Cummins gif  
N'Gwatala     Warburton  
Gnahoua gif     Rowney gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Dieseruvwe gif - 70     Alex Brown gif - 79  
Truslove     Wright gif gif - 72  
Waite gif - 65     Flynn  
Austin gif - 60     Howard  
Carter     Jennings  

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