The Harriers spoiled the day for Torquay Utd today when they came away with a share of the points and in doing so stopped their hosts from gaining automatic promotion from the 3rd Division.
With the 300 plus Harriers fans forced to sit in a different stand than in previous years, so that Utd could get more of their own fans in, it was expected to be a walk over for an on form Torquay. They hadn't taken into account that our lot were playing for their futures after not realising that they were supposed to have done that last week against Rochdale.
Abdou Sall was missing through suspension and Lee Jenkins took his place at right back while there was a recall to the side for Graham Ward. Another recall came for Scott Rickards who made the bench. A bit of fan power there following questions being asked all week regarding his whereabouts.
Adam Murray and Matt Gadsby were also on the bench.
With so much at stake Utd didn't seem to be making the most of a very quiet first half for both sides. They were applying most of the pressure but without making any great impression. Leading scorer David Graham volleyed just over midway through the half and just after Liam Rosenior failed to get a touch on Graham's cross-shot.
The Harriers were defending well but our front pairing of Christiansen and Williams was not working very well together. Christiansen is far from being match fit and Big John is sadly too old now.
The Torquay pressure finally told in the 42nd minute when the highly rated Graham scored his 22nd goal of the season. The Scot finally broke through with a powerful first time right foot shot from just outside the box that left John Danby no chance of stopping.
For reasons known only to themselves Utd failed to capitalise on the goal and spurned any further chances to increase their lead.
HT. 0 - 1
The second half started with more pressure from Graham when he could only watch as his smart shot was well saved by Danby. But that was it then until a smattering of substitutions changed the pattern of the game.
Jan Molby replaced Ward with Murray and then a few minutes later bought on Scott Rickards in place of John Williams. Straight away that seemed to spur on the Reds and the Torquay keeper, Arjan Van Heusden, was forced into two good saves from Jesper Christiansen and Murray.
It was from a corner that the equalising goal came. The second in recent weeks after going almost two years without one. As against Huddersfield it was the Burton/Hatswell combination that gave us the goal.
Burton floated the corner to the far post to an unmarked Hats who had the simplest of tasks in slotting home from eight yards out.
We could have increased the lead further just minutes from full time when Christiansen spurned a chance to score in a race for the ball with the keeper but it didn't really matter. They had regained some honour after last weeks fiasco and spoilt Torquay's day at the same time.