harriers-online match report
Vs exeter city 
Foster brace sinks a poor Exeter.

The Harriers continued in their attempt to get back into the play offs with this frustrating win at home to a poor Exeter side.

After having 90% of the possession in the first half and two goals to show for it in the second half it was a different Harriers side who came out of the players tunnel.

We started off the game with two changes from the team who drew at Oxford on Tuesday evening. Adie Smith was out after picking up an ankle injury in training yesterday and Bo Henriksen was also missing with a groin and hamstring injury.

Ian Joy took Adie's place and there was a surprising recall for Sam Shilton in place of Bomber.

The Reds were the first on the attack and Colin Larkin almost opened the scoring with some neat footwork on the edge of the box only to find himself closed down by the City defence and the chance was gone.

Ian Foster was the next to try for a breakthrough but after working hard to get to the bye line he found he had no one to pass to and another chance was gone.

Christian Roberts could have opened the scoring for City but his long range shot went well wide of the goal.

The next chance was taken though and it went to us.

A Stuart Brock goal kick fell just right for Ian Foster out on the left, he needed no prompting to set out on a run.
He cut into the box and, easily beating a City defender, slotted the ball past Van Heusden into the bottom righthand corner for his eighth goal of the season.

Minutes after Ian Clarkson found his name going into the referees book when, after a legal tackle on Roberts in front of the box, he cleared the ball into touch at exactly the same time as the ref blew his whistle. He was booked for unsporting behaviour.

The free kick was moved forward ten yards but the kick, thankfully, came to nothing.

The ref continued this policy for both sides throughout the game. It was never a dirty game but he still managed to fill a page in his book with seven names.

By now we were running riot in search of the second goal. First Clarkson tried his luck with a twenty yard effort that was easily saved by Van Heusden.
Then a Broughton header from a corner went wide. He had a better chance seconds after but opted to pass it to Larkin instead but his chipped pass was well out of Larkins reach.

Larks then had an appeal for a penalty turned down by the ref but it did seem at the time to be borderline.

The second goal finally came on the half hour when Danny Williams fed the ball through to Larkin who then took it to the towards the keeper.

We all knew what was going to happen next.

Larkin took the ball right up to Van Heusden and then suddenly panicking lost his footing and fell over and the chance was gone.

No he didn't. He took the ball forward and then with perfect timing passed it across the goal for a waiting Drewe Broughton who made no mistake and powered it past the keeper for his second goal this week.

It was at this point, 30 minutes, that about five Exeter fans left the ground.
Would you travel all that way just to walk out before the first half had finished? So it's not just us that have part time supporters.

For the remaining fifteen minutes of the half it was one way traffic for the Harriers with Larkin coming closest to adding to the score with a overhead kick that didn't come off but it was Exeter who were given the best chance with a moved forward free kick but Roberts kick was deflected to safety.

Abdou Sall was booked for his part in this.

HT. 2-0

The second half started and for the second week running a different team emerged from the dressing room.

Unlike last week against Hartlepool when the proper Harriers team came out for the second half this week they had stayed inside and a ramshackle outfit had taken their place.

Within three minutes of the start Exeter had pulled a goal back when, for reasons known only to himself, Abdou handled the ball from a corner when under no pressure from anyone.

McConnell took the ensuing penalty and sent Brockie the wrong way and amazingly Abdou wasn't booked for the offence. If he had he would also have gained a red card and walked.

After that City applied the pressure but it was never very convincing and we never really looked in any danger of losing the lead.

Larkin took a knock just after the penalty and was never in the game after that. He missed a chance later when Broughton knocked the ball down for him in the area and he made no attempt to get to it.
He hobbled off later to make way for Tony Bird, Bird, Bird.

Birdie looked up for it and was immediately in the thick of things and it was once he came on that we started to pick up our game again.

We were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area, again moved back ten yards by the dodgy ref. Abdou Sall took it and City's Paul Buckle was stupid enough to get in the way.

They should have pinned a health warning to the ball because when Sall hits he don't pussyfoot around.

Buckle ran back to his half with a major spinal injury.

Exeter had probably the best chance after that when a cracking shot from Roberts way outside the corner of the area cannoned off the crossbar and was cleared to safety by Craig Hinton. This ball had 'goal' pinned to it.

Thankfully in the dying minutes Ian Foster sealed the points for us with his second goal of the game.

He took the ball to the touchline and then jinked his way back to the area and with immaculate skill dropped the ball over the keepers head into the far side of the net.

Game over.

FT. 3-1

Harriers-Online Man of the Match is :

Ian Foster

Back to his best and in truth the only one who looked capable of scoring for fun today.

vote for your
man of the match now


Brock, Joy, Hinton, Sall, Clarkson, Shilton, Williams, Bennett, Foster, Broughton, Larkin.

Subs;   Danby, Ayres, Davies, Bird, Corbett.

Exeter City.
Van Heusden, Power, Buckle, Curran, Roscoe, Flack, McConnell, Tomlinson, Watson, Cronin, Roberts.

Subs;   Fraser, Whitworth, Read, Breslan, Barlow.

Yellow. Harriers 3. Clarkson, Sall, Broughton.
Yellow. Exeter City 4. Buckle, Roberts, Power, Watson.

Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Exeter City 0.

Mr M Ryan (Lancs).

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