Vale Park
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Port Vale
  Paynter 53, 65
  Reid 59
A brave showing by the lads and a goal from Hats but we still go out of Cup
  Hatswell 4
  harriers-online match report
Friday 12th November 2004 
New keeper saves penalty

It was a classic case of deja vu at Vale Park tonight after the Harriers crashed out of the FA Cup, even though they went into the break with a one goal lead.

Last week against Boston we produced a fine first half performance but after the break turned that into a horror show.  It was the same tonight.  Instead of building on that lead the team must have gone into the dressing room at half time worrying about how they could hold onto it and ending up throwing it all away with a case of the jitters.

There were first starts for Tom Bennett, signed on Thursday from Boston and Ryan Clarke (keeper) who came in on a last minute loan from Bristol Rovers.  Wayne Hatswell returned to the side after missing the previous game through suspension.

It was Hats who got us off to the kind of start that we could only dream of when he grabbed the opening goal on four minutes.  We were handed a free kick outside the area following a foul on James Keene.  Hats took it and his low drive went straight past the Vale defenders and nestled in the back of the net.

Darryn Stamp could have extended our lead further a few minutes later but he failed to connect with a poor punch out from the Vale keeper, Brain.

With the one goal lead we then made the mistake of sitting on that and allowing Vale to come at us.  It's ok to do that when there are only four minutes to go but not with only four minutes gone.

In an effort to get past the Harriers closed ranks Vale reverted to the long ball but it wasn't producing much for their front men.  Billy Paynter and Ryan Brown went close with long range efforts but were being denied the chance of getting any closer.

The half finished with the Reds still holding the upperhand but for how long?

HT. 0 - 1

After the break Vale came out with a change of plan,  We didn't.

This time Vale started to pass the ball around more and getting behind our defence.  It took them less than five minutes to show their intention when they were awarded a penalty after Levi Reid was sent tumbling in the box by new boy Bennett.

The other new boy, Clarke, gave us temporary respite when he saved the poorly taken penalty from Paynter.  With the ball aimed straight at him it was an easy task to drop down on it.

That temporary respite was just that when minutes later Paynter got the first goal for Vale after he rifled in an equaliser from eight yards out.

Vale started to apply even more pressure then and they soon went into the lead with a wonder goal from Levi Reid.  From all of forty yards out Reid looked for someone to pass it to but seeing no option other than to have a go he did just that.  The ball shot into the back of the net and it was game over.

The third goal was added by Paynter on sixty four minutes when Vale were awarded a free kick after Clarke handled outside the area.  The kick was quickly taken and the static Harriers defence could only watch as Paynter buried a back-post header from Jeff Smith's kick to settle the game.

There was further bad luck for us minutes from the end when Ian Foster was stretchered off with suspected ankle ligament damage.  He had come on for Darryn Stamp ten minutes earlier and now found himself being replaced by Lee Jenkins.

In retrospect, again we only had one shot on goal throughout the game.  Luckily that one went in but if it hadn't?

Whoever takes over at the helm will have their work cut out to get anything out of this raggle taggle team.

FT. 3 - 1

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Port Vale  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Brain     Clarke  
Pilkington     Cooper  
Walsh     Burton  
Collins     Sall  
Brown     Hatswell  
Cummins     Beswetherick  
Birchall     Bennett  
Reid     Keates  
Lowndes     Stamp  
Smith     Keene  
Paynter     Russell  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Anyon     Lewis  
Eldershaw     Christiansen  
Hulbert     Foster  
Rowland     McHale  
Armstrong     Jenkins  

Mr G Salisbury

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