att:  2666  away fans:  280
Extra info
  Rickards 84
Awful Harriers fail to make use of the awful wind, but Macclesfield do.
The awful referee doesn't help.
  Tipton 3 (pen), 78
  Carruthers 29
  Harsley 37
 harriers-online match report
Saturday 20th March 2004 
Awful, awful, awful

We couldn't have chosen a worse day than today for this good example of a team rippling with confidence being sent crashing back to earth.  The wind was howling around the stadium sending the inflatable advertising signs blowing into the Jono Smith stand and the trees surrounding the ground were being bent almost double from the strength of the gale force winds.

On the pitch matters weren't being helped by the Harriers looking to be unable to cope with the conditions, although Macclesfield seemed able to.  Our answer was to keep the ball high and long instead of following the lead shown by Macclesfield and keeping it on the ground as much as possible.

This was a complete reversal of our tactics in recent weeks.

There was a return to the side for Adam Murray in place of the injured Dean Keates.  He had been rested for the game in mid-week against Scunthorpe Utd and was expected to come full of re-newed energy.

John Danby had also retained his place between the sticks in preference of Stuart Brock.

The game got off to the worst possible start for us with Macc being awarded a borderline penalty as early as the third minute.  Macclesfield had breeched our defence and the ball was bouncing around on the edge of the area.  Daniel Tipton had already tried to put the ball past Mark Yates but it hit Yatesy and as Tipton attempted to go past him Yates's outstretched foot just caught him and he tumbled over theatrically.

It was Tipton who volunteered to be the penalty taker and after a short period of time trying to make the ball stay on the spot he finally put the ball into the bottom corner, the opposite side to the direction that Danby had opted for.

It was a bit of a shock to both the Harriers and their fans but we knew that it wouldn't be long before we pulled the goal back.  That wasn't to be because Macc got another goal on the half hour mark when our usually decisive defence got themselves totally stretched as a Paul Harsley cross went across the area to the unmarked Martin Carruthers who had no problem in heading past the hopelessly exposed Danby.

Seven minutes later and we may as well have gone home, or not bothered turning up.

Again the defence had gone missing and again it was a ball across the area that did the damage.  This time it was the ex York City striker Jon Parkin who played it in and Craig Hinton failed to cut it out as Paul Harsley struck the ball past Danby for their third goal.

During all this we had failed to get one single shot on target.

HT. 0 - 3

With the lads playing towards the North Bank for this half they would have the wind at their backs with all the advantage that would give us.  The signs looked promising with an Adam Murray free kick only just going wide of Steve 'chicken legs' Wilsons upright.

We were starting to look more confident in front of goal now and managed to force a handful of corners without managing to convert any of them.  Our best chance from one of these led to Wayne Hatswell header being scrambled off the line to safety.

In an effort to inject some kind of life into our game Jan bought on Jesper Christiansen and Scott Rickards in place of Sean Parrish and Ian Foster.  It was all too late though because within minutes of their arrival Macclesfield had applied the killer punch and made our comeback impossible.

Again it was a defence in tatters that led to the final goal for Macclesfield.  Tipton, for his second goal, easily swept past the static defence and lofted the ball over the head of Danby before rounding him and firing into an empty net.

With time running out we managed to save at least a bit of face when Scott Rickards managed to beat the flat footed Macc defence and, running almost half the pitch, slotted the ball under Wilson for his first goal in Harriers Red.

One feels that if it had been a certain other striker then that ball would have missed the target completely.

Just a word about the referee.  A minor petty official on a stage too big for him.  How many times did we see a promising period of possession stopped for a free kick in our favour after the 'offence' had been forgotten by players more intent on rescuing the game than worrying about a slight challenge in a man's game.

This result, although un-wanted, doesn't mean that we're back in the relegation spaces after other results went our way.  It just means that we have to wait just a bit longer for the five points needed to guarantee safety.

FT. 1 - 4

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Dean Bennett

Again it was down to Dean Bennett to initiate the moves in trying to rescue this lost cause.

vote for your
man of the match now

Harriers  subs   cards      Macclesfield  subs   cards 
Danby     Wilson  
Viveash     Potter  
Stamps     Payne  
Hatswell     Welch  
Hinton     Priest  
Parrish     Carr  
Bennett     Widdrington  
Murray   Harsley  
J Williams     Parkin  
Yates   Tipton  
Foster     Carruthers  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Brock     Miskelly  
Sall     Munroe  
Christiansen     Miles  
Ward     Whitaker  
Rickards     Carragher  

Mr P Friend

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