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Date: 08-04-17 gif Venue: Whaddon Road gif att: 948 gif away fans: 418
Harriers keep the pressure up

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers overcame an awful playing surface at Cheltenhams Whaddon Rd ground today when they beat tenants Gloucester City 2-1 with a fourth goal in four games for Joe Ironside and a first goal for Daniel Nti since his move to Aggborough in early March.  The three points earned keeps up the pressure on a quickly failing AFC Fylde who lost 2-1 at Stalybridge meaning that they have only collected four [points from a possible twelve since the undeserved draw against us a few weeks ago.  We travel to Stalybridge on Tuesday evening so we'll be hoping for a better result than the enemy there.

Todays game against a Gloucester side that have been putting results together lately was played in glorious warm sunshine and on a pitch well suited to the weather we could have been beside the sea at Weston.  As is our wont we named a team with some un-expected absences when just a hour before the game it was announced that Elton N'Gwatala and Arthur Gnahoua were both out injured and following a further inquiry by myself that Liam Truslove was also out injured and has been since before the Halifax game.  Without the first two mentioned we played Darryl Knights and Tryell Waite in their place instead.

Knights got us underway kicking towards us away fans and from the off we seem to be making light work of the bobbly, sandy and dry pitch.  In the opening ten minute period we could have already gone a couple of goals up if it hadn't been for the deceptive surface that kept giving a spin to the ball.  Both Ironside and Jordan Tunnicliffe saw headers go over the bar when it would have been easier to score and then Waite flicked a cross just wide of the former Harriers keeper Jas Singhs goal.

It wasn't long before we got it right and the opening goal went in.  We'd been given a corner, taken by James McQuilkin, that came floating into the area towards a melee of players who then mis-kicked, mis-headed and mis-everything else until Joe Ironside got his head to the ball on the right side post to bundle it home for his goal.

We, well Jack Deaman, almost made it two soon after when he almost turned the ball into his own net from a Zaine Francis-Angol cross but then we fell for the sucker punch when we allowed City too much space to pull a goal back.  It was a belter of a goal though.

Up until then City had done very little apart from trying to catch us but some smart passing (not by us) saw our defenders backing off too much and allowing Ed Williams to pace himself just right before letting fly with a shot that looped up then dipped into the net bet=yond the reach of Sam Hornby.

With the impetus now with City they came into the game more and tried to stop us playing.  A lot of niggly fouling was going on both both teams but the over fussy referee didn't stamp it out.  He just booked Ryan Croasdale when the ball hit his hand as he was heading it away in the safety of the centre circle.

We thought we had scored our second goal when Daniel Nti found Ironside on the edge of the area.  The new boys half volley thundered goalwards and the side netting shook as the Harriers fans rose as one for the goal but sadly it had gone just the wrong side of the post and out.

With seconds of the half remaining City came close to taking the lead when a speculative shot from Joe Hanks caught Hornby wrong footed and he quickly had to flip the ball backwards over the bar.  The resulting corner came to nothing.
  HT: 1 - 1
From a footballing and spectators point of view the second half was nothing short of awful.  Rarely were two passes put together by either side and petty fouls ruled the day.

City were possibly the better side for most of the half and should have scored from at least one of two chances spurned.  Chris Knowles was the culprit both times when, just before our second goal, he sent a wayward header over the bar.  Soon after Nti opened his scoring account with the Harriers.

Some neat passing across the pitch ended with ZFA tapping the ball back near the halfway line for Knights to send a cross over the top into the area.  Nti collected the ball and, slightly off balance, then managed to flick it on beyond Singh and into the net.

A minute later Knowles again spurned an easy chance to draw level once more when scooped an easy chance way over the bar instead of slotting the ball home.

We could, and should, have extended the lead further but this time it was our own Keith Lowe that spurned two chances.  The first when his shot went crashing against the bar and an easier chance seconds later when he to scooped the ball over.

With two minutes of added on time we began to run the game down and bought on a defender, Tyrone Williams, to help us achieve that but the referee was having the last say when he went to book Jack Deaman for some reason then changed his mind, and the card, to send him off instead.

Now we have the much postponed game at Stalybridge to look forward to this coming Tuesday and then on Friday we're at home to Boston Utd.  The Stalybridge will be tougher than what it could have been back in January when it was first to have been played.  The now have Steve Burr in charge and in recent weeks they've been picking up better results even though it may not be enough to save them from relegation.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Gloucester: E Williams 25
 Goals for Harriers: Ironside 15, Nti 60


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Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Gloucester City  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Singh     Hornby  
K Thomas     Hodgkiss  
Hall     Francis-Angol  
Deaman   Croasdale
Avery   Lowe  
Knowles gif     Tunnicliffe  
Hanks   Nti gif
T Webb   McQuilkin  
E Williams gif     Ironside gif gif  
Kotwica     Knights gif  
L Thomas gif     Waite gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
McGrory     T Williams gif - 87  
King gif - 77     Sonupè  
Hopper gif - 77     Ezewele  
Hamilton     Brown gif - 53  
Moseley     Austin gif - 76  

REFEREE:
Mr A Tankard
Sheffield




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