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Cambridge Utd
  Tudor 16
Tom Bennett sent off but the basement battle honours go to the Harriers.
For once all other results go our way and we can hope again.
  Beardsley 30
  Mullins 61
  Birch 86
harriers-online match report
Saturday 29th January 2005 
Three goals, three points

The Harriers confounded all their critics today when they pulled back from the brink of disaster after going a goal down and seeing Tom Bennett dismissed.  Great team work and the will to win saw goals from Chris Beardsley, Johnny Mullins and Gary Birch grab us these all important points in our efforts to get out of this mess.

There was a first start for super sub Beardsley when Stuart Watkiss named the starting eleven.  Blair Sturrock was demoted to the bench leaving Gary Birch to sit just a bit deeper and give Beardsley the lone striker role.

Cambridge gave a first start to their new loan signing, Martin Carruthers, from Lincoln City.

It was Utd that were the first out of the blocks with a chance falling for the former Harriers target, Carruthers, to head the ball down to the far post.  Luckily for us John Danby was equal to it and made a full length save to deny Cambridge an early goal.

The same player threatened our goal again just minutes later when he beat the offside trap to sprint past a static defence.  He let rip but his shot was blocked by Danby but fell to Dan Chillingworth but his way through was blocked by bodies flying in.

Tom Bennett then made the first of his illegal challenges when he was booked for a high challenge on Adam Tann and from the ensuing free kick Cambridge took the lead.  The kick was played in by Justin Walker onto the head of Carruthers.  He sent it on for Shane Tudor to slide the ball home from close range.

Following that heart breaking goal it would have been understandable if heads dropped but they didn't.  We still competed as best we could but almost went two goals down when Tudor executed a brilliant overhead volley that was equally brilliantly saved by our keeper.

Seconds after that and Bennett was off following another bad tackle on Adam Tann.  The ref, Mr Penton, pulled out another yellow card and then the automatic red one.  Bennett can have no complaints and can expect a heavy fine at minimum when he goes into the gaffers office on Monday morning.

Following that Carruthers again almost punished some lax defending by the Harriers when he got on the end of a Tudor cross from the bye line but could only send his shot wide from four yards out.

From that close call we launched a counter attack and scored.  Chris Beardsley, making his first start, took the ball down the right hand side of the field and then cut inside to unleash a low drive past the highly rated John Ruddy for the equaliser.

With the boost of that goal ten man Harriers launched a wave of attacks on the Cambridge goal and we almost got a second when Wayne Hatswell hit the woodwork after being set up by Beardsley.

Slowly though Utd started to regain the upper hand and chances for Carruthers, Chillingworth and Tudor went begging before the ref blew the whistle for half time.

HT. 1 - 1

United were first on the attack again in the following 45 minutes and forced John Danby into another fine save from Chillingworth.  With scouts from Liverpool and Arsenal watching the Cambridge keeper they would have been more impressed with the heroics of our own keeper.

As early as the fifth minute into this half Utd were forced into making a substitution when Dan Gleeson got injured and they bought on Warren Goodhind to take his place.  They went close to regaining the lead yet again when that man Carruthers saw another shot blocked and Luke Gutteridge hit his return shot against the woodwork.

In the sixty first minute the home fans were stunned into silence but the Harriers fans went wild.

The Reds were awarded a corner and after the keeper punched the ball away it was played back in for Johnny Mullins to power home for his first goal for us and his first ever career goal.

This time it was Cambridge heads that didn't drop and they were soon back on the attack with Chillngworth forcing Danby into yet another save.  That was followed with another close call from Carruthers before the Utd manager, Steve Thompson, bought on more firepower in the shape of John Turner and switching to a 3-4-3 line-up in an effort to give them more chance of scoring.

Better for us too because it means that they'd have to commit more men up front and leave the defence exposed.  In answer to that Stuart bought on Ian Foster for Simon Russell to ring some changes up front and aslo for some fresh legs and ideas.

The next change for us saw goal scorer Chris Beardsley give way for Blair Sturrock.  Chrissie left the field to a standing ovation from the Harriers fans.  Within seconds he had set up Gary Birch for his first goal for us and for our third match clinching goal.

With just four minutes of play left Ian Foster found himself in acres of space to square the ball for Birchy to tap it home from close in.  The Harriers fans simply erupted from relief when that goal went in.  It gave us fresh hope in our bid to escape relegation and with the Shrews, Diamonds and Magpies all losing it did us the world of good.

The only downer has to be that Bennett will now miss the game at Scunthorpe next week along with Lee Jenkins.

FT. 1 - 3

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Cambridge  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Ruddy     Danby  
Bimson     Jones  
Rea     Mullins  
Duncan     Weaver  
Tann     Hatswell  
Dan Gleeson     Bennett
Tudor     Russell  
Guttridge     Keates
Carruthers   Birch  
Chillingworth     Beardsley  
Walker     McGrath  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Goodhind     Lewis  
Webb     Sturrock  
Turner     Jamie Gleeson  
Quinton     Burton  
Newey     Foster  

Mr C Penton

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