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Harriers 0gifFC Utd of Manchester 2

Date: 22-10-16 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 2177 gif away fans: 342
Harriers come back down with a bump

gif Report: Phil Lench
Following loads of high scoring games in recent weeks it was disappointing to see the Reds fail to hit the net for the first time since AFC Telford away at the beginning of September.  We've seen two 6-0's, two 3-3's and a 4-0 but today despite our greatest efforts the ball refused to go in.  Most of that was down to a decent keeper in the FC United of Manchester goal but then again it could be down to weak shooting in the first place that made it easier for him.

By the time their fortuitous first goal went in we should have been at least 4-0 up and cruising.  Our passing was good once again and at times our overall play was of a level much higher that non league football should be.  Then in the second half FCUM closed us down far more than in the first period and by the end of the game we had run out of ideas.

There was an enforced change for the Harriers with Elton N'Gwatala ruled out with a shoulder injury so Liam Truslove made his first start for us.  FCUM, backed by almost 350 vociferous fans set the game on its way.

Tyrell Waite - on fire out wide - was the first to show for us when Tyrone Williams ran with the ball down the wing and crossed in for James McQuilkin to take aim.  His shot hit a defender and then onto the upright where it rebounded out to Waite who took aim but hit another defender and out for a corner that landed just right for Keith Lowe but his header was a bit wayward and went the wrong side of the post.

Waite again should have fired home but again the ball went wide and then a poor kick out by the FCUM keeper Dave Carnell landed in front of McQuilkin who took aimm and struck but not hard enough and Carnell saved easily.

Truslove then got into the weak shot routine and his shot from the edge of the area was easily dealt with and blocked out for another corner.

That was the story of our game and it came back to bite a couple of minutes later when FCUM took the lead totally against the run of play and poor defending.

They we handed a free kick out wide and Matt Wolfenden floated the ball in towards Sam Hornby who flapped at it un-characteristically and tried to punch it away but only as far as the un-suspecting Keith Lowe who had run forward to defend the ball.  It hit him and rebounded back into the net.  A silence fell over the stadium and weirdly I can't recall the away fans cheering.  Were they as shocked as us?

We responded immediately by surging forward once more in an effort to gain a fast equaliser.  Arthur Gnahoua collected the ball in midfield and set up Zaine Francis-Angol with a chance but he fired straight down the middle and straight at the keepers legs.  Truslove also had another chance to score after Lowe played him in but again the shooting was woeful and again the keeper collected easily.  Too easily.

With halftime approaching FCUM took a more physical stance to try and stop us and Mani Dieseruvwe found himself the victim of over enthusiastic tackles and pushes and the referee having to step in to break things up.  On the stroke of halftime a chance fell once more for Waite but again the keeper got to it and pushed it away for a corner that was taken by McQuilkin but came to nothing.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half FCUM came out with a different game plan to contain us as best they could and keep closing us down to stifle our passing.  We had a half chance for Liam Truslove to score but he dithered too long and the ball was robbed off him by an alert defender.  Just after that he was subbed anyway by John Eustace who sent on Andre Brown in place of him.  Personally I thought it was the wrong move and it should have been Sam Austin to come on in his place to give us a faster attacking option and to get behind the FCUM defence.  When Austin did come on later for Jordan Tunnicliffe he was then trapped in midfield and looked lost just wandering around there.

FCUM flashed us a warning of what could happen in-between when a long punt upfield let in George Thomson to race between Keith Lowe and Tunnicliffe and go clear on goal.  Luckily for us although Sam Hornby was left stranded and beaten the striker then fluffed his lines and screwed the ball wide of the upright.  A close let off for us and again it came against the run of play.

On the hour mark we again had another chance to get something from a game that was beginning to slip away from us.  Tyrell Waite sent a low cross into the area for Tyrone Williams who saw his shot saved by Carnell but only as far as McQuilkin who then saw his shot blocked back to Waite who let fly the ball over the top of the North Stand.  With that miss you began to believe that it wasn't going to be our day.

No it wasn't going to be our day!!

FCUM broke away from their defending task and Tom Greaves tried to lob Hornby.  The Harriers keeper pushed it over the bar and from the resulting corner Luke Ashworth rose alone at the far post to head the ball home for what turned out to be the match clincher.  Again lax defending had cost us.

The visitors knew the job had been done so sat back and let us onto them without letting us get too close to goal.  We had further chances go begging through Dieseruvwe and McQuilkin with Mani heading the ball downwards into the ground instead of into the net and the latter sidefooting a soft effort straight into the keepers arms.

There could have been a third goal, and a fourth, for FCUM minutes later when the ball went into the net from a corner but was ruled out for a push on Hornby and then near the end Thomson again beat our central defenders to the ball and ran in on Hornby but took it to far and the Harriers keeper got down to block the ball away to Lowe who then cleared upfield.

A minute from the end Waite drilled a chance well wide, again, and the game was lost.

On to Harrogate on Tuesday evening now for a chance to redeem ourselves and get back onto that winning trail.  Harrogate themselves lost today at AFC Fylde so they'll be thinking the same thing too.
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for FC Utd: Lowe (og) 22, Ashworth 62

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      FC Utd of Manchester  goals   subs   cards 
Hornby     Carnell  
T Williams     Tonge  
Francis-Angol     Chantler  
Croasdale     Kay  
Lowe gif (og)     Eckersley  
Tunnicliffe gif     Ashworth gif  
Waite     Wolfenden gif  
McQuilkin     T Brown gif  
Dieseruvwe     Greaves gif  
Truslove gif     Thomson  
Gnahoua     J Williams  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Austin gif - 71     Wright gif - 88  
A Brown gif - 55     Gilchrist gif - 72
Stambolziev     Corbett  
Carter     Sheridan gif - 80  
Thomas     Hill  

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