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Date: 25-03-17 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 2012 gif away fans: 45
Andre Brown gets Harriers out of jail

gif Report: Phil Lench
A late poachers goal from substitute Andre Brown gave the Harriers all three points at home to a dogged Harrogate Town today in a game that looked to be heading for a scoreless draw.  If it had ended that way then that would have been galling considering that Fylde were heading for their first defeat in eight games at Nuneaton Town.  That was a result that neither high flying Harriers and Stockport could achieve last week.

The starting line-up for the Reds held a surprise with the naming of Jared Hodgkiss back in his old full back position after being re-called form his loan at Torquay during the week.  He was in because of an injury to Zaine Francis-Angol at Tamworth in the week while Jordan Tunnicliffe, also injured in the same game, made the eleven even though his injury appeared worse at the time.  Also there was Joe Ironside making his home debut and hoping to add to the brace he scored at the Lamb.

Harrogate, in their smart yellow striped shirts, were without both the former Harriers, Lloyd Kerry and Dom Knowles, due to injury but did have Simon Ainge up front for them.  His goals have kept 'Gate in the chasing pack but it's doubtful they would be there if it wasn't for him.

On the first real Spring like game of the year the teams kicked off in warm sunshine and it was the visitors that pressed from the start, forcing the Harriers into many un-characteristic mistakes.  Their defenders gave us very little room up-front to strut our stuff with long range efforts from Josh Ezewele and Elton N'Gwatala being sent over the bar.  At the back we were also being forced into schoolboy errors with underplayed back-passes the order of the day.  The first saw Sam Hornby making a stunning double save after Danny Ellis took two shots at our goal and then Ainge missed an easy one-on-one after another soft ball back was intercepted but his shot was wayward and over the bar.

We were struggling to get any momentum going and when we did there was a yellow shirt pressing us into making a mistake or a mis-placed pass.  At times our passing game had vanished completely with our trademark diagonal ball out wide being overhit or just miles from it's intended target.  We were playing more high balls over the top from defence too in an obvious move to accommodate Ironside even though he has stated that he prefers the ball to his feet.

Until almost the end of the half we saw very little real goal threatening from either side and both seemed content to engage in a midfield battle.  That was broken by a Daniel Nti cross that found the head of Joe Ironside for the first time in the game but was blocked on the line by Ellis.  Ryan Croasdale also had a shot called the visitors keeper, Peter Crook, into action for the first time but from the stands it looked more like a soft pass that was never going to threaten a paper bag.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half had to be better than the first surely?  At first it looked so with Sam Austin coming on for the ineffectual Tyrell Waite after the break and hopefully a stern team talk having done its job.  Austin got the ball from the kick off and played a lovely through ball to Croasdale but that's as far as it got with a poorly placed pass from the normally creative midfielder going astray once more.

A little more probing got us nowhere and once more the game became bogged down in midfield.  Harrogate began to press us more and a brilliant Joe Colbeck cross just missed connecting with Simon Ainges' head while Jack Emmett, also on after the break for Lewis Turner, tried his luck but his shot was soft too and Hornby collected easily.

We bought on further subs with Liam Truslove for Elton N'Gwatala but with no improvement and then later on Andre Brown came on for Nti.  With the clock ticking down it looked as if the game would be heading for stalemate and the real chance to close in on Fylde would be lost considering the score at Nuneaton.  That was until Brown popped up with the 'get out of jail' card and gave us all three points.

A free kick had been awarded to us deep in our own half so Hornby elected to take it.  The ball dropped straight onto Ironsides head and a deft flick from the new boy found Brown being closely marked by Ellis.  Quick thinking from Brown saw him lift the ball over both Ellis and Crook as it then dipped and into the empty net.

Aggborough erupted in a mixture of joy and relief.  And three points.

We face a resurgent Halifax Town at home next Saturday and we're going to have to be far, far better than we were today if we're going to hope for the same end result.  On the same day Fylde will be at home to an equally resurgent Darlington so it could end up being a day that gives a strong indication of how the season is going to end.
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Harriers: A Brown 87


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Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Harrogate Town  goals   subs   cards 
Hornby     Crook  
Hodgkiss     Turner gif
Ezewele   Parker  
Croasdale     Platt
Lowe     Ellis  
Tunnicliffe     Burrell  
Nti gif     Colbeck  
McQuilkin     Agnew  
Ironside     Ainge  
N'Gwatala gif     Pittman gif  
Waite gif     Leesley  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Williams     Elliot  
Truslove gif - 61     Emmett gif - 46  
Knights     Day gif - 71  
A Brown gif gif - 71     Porritt  
Austin gif - 46     King  

REFEREE:
Mr J Hull
Greater Manchester





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