Gay Meadow
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Extra info
  Moss 33, 40
  Langmead 45
  Rodgers 56
Harriers throw away a two goal lead before halftime.
Only a miracle can keep us from dropping into the Conference now.
  Beardsley 13
  Sturrock 27
  harriers-online match report
Saturday 19th February 2005  
2 - 0 and we f$#&*d it up

After racing into a two goal lead within the first half hour the Harriers looked on course to pull off a shock away win at near neighbours Shrewsbury Town.  Fifteen minutes later and the game was over for us and we were looking down one of the barrels of the Conference shotgun.  This coming Tuesday evening at home to Bristol Rovers we'll know if it's going to be both barrels.

A scrambled goal from Chris Beardsley had put us into an early lead and then a few minutes later one from Blair Sturrock (which I missed while showing Percy the porcelain) put us into what should have been an un-assailable lead.

A great lead against a side we always struggle against but not to worry, our defence soon put paid to the premature celebrations with yet another weak display at set pieces.

There was a ring of truth in the way that the Riverside sang '2 - 0 and you f$#&*d it up' at us.

There was a start in the defence for new boy Mark Jackson, signed from Scunthorpe yesterday, but ominously Billy Jones was relegated to the bench while Wayne Hatswell took over his place at left back.  A move that was to have serious repercussions later on.  Lee Jenkins was dropped to the bench in favour of Bertrand Cozic as was the injured Gary Birch for Sturrock.

The game kicked off in sunny but freezing cold conditions and it was the Harriers who were the first on the attack after a scrappy start from both sides.  John McGrath came close with a volley that was flying into the far top corner until Stuart Whitehead got a head to divert it behind for a corner.

Minutes later and we had a free kick after Whitehead was booked for a foul on Chris Beardsley.  The ball was played in and Ian Foster pushed the ball across for Blair Sturrock to take a shot on goal that hit the post.  Beardsley was in the right place to head it home for our opening goal.

We were now in full control of the game and Shrewsbury were struggling to compete with our quick and incisive play.  McGrath saw another chance to get himself a goal when he let fly from almost on the halfway line and was very unlucky to see his shot land on the roof of the net with the Shrews keeper Howie off his line.

On twenty seven minutes Blair Sturrock increased our lead.

Ian Foster picked up the ball and, with the Shrews defence backing off, again put the ball through to Sturrock.  He turned and struck in one easy move to give Howie no chance of stopping it.

The Harriers fans shivering in the shed behind the goal could not believe what was happening.  We're two nil up against a fellow struggler, away from home, and our future in the League was looking more certain by the minute.  So how come we lost?

Ian Foster had a chance of his own to make it three nil but his shot was cleared off the line by Whitehead and then it all went pear shaped.

Sam Aiston, who had been winding us up all afternoon with niggling fouls on anyone in a red shirt won a corner and from the set piece Darren Moss rose un-hindered to head the ball home.  Harriers heads dropped following that for reasons only known to themselves and Shrewsbury started to take control of the game.

Soon after the Shrews managed to draw level thanks to some more dreadful set piece defending.  Again they got a corner on the left and again our defence failed to mark their man correctly and yet again Darren Moss tucked the ball home.

They could have had a third goal straight after but this time Waltons header from a similar corner was ruled out for an infringemnt by ex Harrier Kelvin Langmead.  To rub salt in it was Langmead that really broke the Harriers hearts when he scored from a free header on the stroke of halftime to leave John Danby rooted to the spot.

Some Harriers fans have complained about Langmead make juvenile gestures to his old supporters but I didn't see anything.  I was looking skywards in disgust.

HT. 2 - 3

After suffering some dire halftime 'entertainment' it was time to rescue our season but it didn't turn out that way.  Eleven minutes into the second period and the game was over with no way back for us.

Tom Bennett missed an easy defensive header and the ball ran for Aiston to take to the bye-line un-opposed.  He cut it back for Luke Rodgers all alone at the near post to slot it past Danby.

Our defence might have thrown in the towel but at least we had a couple of players prepared to rescue something from the mess that we had found ourselves in.  Sturrock, Beardsley and Foster continued to try and pull a goal back and later on Simon Russell, who had come on for Fozzie, did the same.

Blair had two chances to claw something back.  The first he saw stopped by Howie in the Shrews goal and the second went just over the bar.

Aiston eventually found himself in the referees book after getting away with murder for seventy five minutes and was subbed soon after by the Shrewsbury manager and having had Russell come on soon after we started to look threatening without achieving much.

Another disappointing end to a game that we looked like getting something from.  Many relegation bound teams can only dream of going two goals up away from home as we did but to throw it all away and end up losing was shameful.

We played better than we did against Chester last week but I fear that it's all a bit too late now.  The proof will come on Tuesday evening against Bristol Rovers.

FT. 4 - 2

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Blair Sturrock

It makes you wonder why Gary Birch is preferred to Blair when we know he's a much better player than Birch will ever be.  He has got to play on Tuesday
Man of the Match
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Shrewsbury  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Howie     Danby  
Moss     Hatswell  
Challis     Mullins  
Tolley     Bennett  
Whitehead   Jackson  
Walton     Weaver  
Sedgemore     Beardsley  
Ashton     Cozic  
Langmead     Sturrock  
Rodgers   McGrath  
Aiston   Foster  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Hart     Lewis  
Tinson     Jones  
Lowe     Russell  
O'Connor     Jenkins  
Edwards     Birch  

Mr L Mason

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