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Cambridge Utd 0 Harriers 3

Date: 29-03-08 Venue: The Abbey Stadium att: 3999 away fans: 106
Harriers sink Cambridge
The Harriers sent Cambridge Utd the same way as their crew in today's Boat Race.  Down into the waves of despair in a game that ended with the Harriers collecting their second away win in a row and the third win of the week.

Dean Coleman was in goal for us after the usual custodian, Chris MacKenzie, picked up an injury during the game at Crawley on Thursday night.  On the bench for us were our two new signings, Jake Moult and Michael Wylde.  The only other change was Jeff Kenna dropping out to make way for Paul Bignot.

Cambridge had a new keeper in goal for them after regular man Danny Potter was sent off last week.  Alex McCarty was signed from Reading to stand in for him.

With the game in doubt earlier on after continuous rain in Cambridge over the past few days it kicked off on a heavily sanded pitch that was to make the going heavy.  The home side were the first on the attack when another loan signing, Jack Jeffrey, tried a speculative shot from long distance after Coleman made a poor clearance but Mark Creighton was on hand to block it easily.

The Harriers first chance fell to Gavin Hurren when he tried a looping header but the new man in the Utd goal collected it without any problem.  Our keeper was looking a bit unsure of himself though and was flapping slightly whenever a high ball came over.

Both sides were evenly balanced now and were attacking at will.  Dean Bennett saw a twenty five yard shot fly just wide and then Matt Barnes-Homer found Iyseden Christie with a smart through ball but the former Harrier Wayne Hatswell was on hand to clear away the danger.

Christie had another chance to open the scoring soon after but sent his shot way over the bar after being played in by Alex Jeannin.

The goal wasn't long coming though and in the twenty sixth minute MBH opened the scoring for us with a well taken goal.  Christie headed the ball on to him and he then took the ball past Josh Coulson and as the rookie keeper advanced he slipped it under him and into the net.

Cambridge try to battle their way back into the game by taking the term 'battle' literally.  Stephen Reed makes a string of high challenges on Harriers players but the referee didn't seem too perturbed by his actions.  Mark Creighton spoke to the ref about it but was just waved away.

Creights saved the Harriers faces straight after when he made a great challenge on Magno Vieira when he looked to be through on goal after Courtney Pitt played a pin point through ball to him.

Utd did manage to get the ball into the net in the thirty sixth minute of the game when Coulson netted Reeds free kick but luckily for the Harriers it was ruled out for a push on Paul Bignot.

Eventually the referee blew the whistle for half time and the Harriers went in for the break just about holding on to their slender lead.
HT: 0 - 1
The home side came out for the second period with all guns blazing in search of the equaliser but their first real chance on goal doesn't arrive until seven minutes in when Rob Wolleaston shot over the bar after Pitt ran almost the length of the field to play in a good cross for him.

In an attempt to ensure that we held onto the lead Mark Yates made a double substitution and replaced Simon Russell and Darryl Knights with Andy Ferrell and Brian Smikle.  Utd followed up with a change of their own and took off Michael Morrison in exchange for Robbie Willmott.

Cambridge were still having the majority of the possession and Viera should have scored in the sixtieth minute but his low shot had no power and Coleman saved it easily.  Lee Boylan, traditionally a thorn in the side of the Harriers when he played for Grays, came on just after for the mis-firing front man.

For all the action that Cambridge were seeing it still didn't produce a goal but it did for the visitors.

A defensive error by Mark Peters let in Brian Smikle to rob him of the ball and run on towards goal.  He squared the ball to MBH and again the scorer of our first goal drew the keeper towards him before slotting the ball into the net for his third goal in two games.

Almost immediately Utd could have pulled a goal back but Wolleaston's shot went way over the bar.

Barnes-Homer was taken off by Yates soon after and went off to applause from the 106 Harriers fans in attendance following his goal scoring spree.  I'm sure he would have liked to stay on for a chance of grabbing a hat trick though.

The home side were still applying most of the pressure and the Harriers, although now comfortably in front, were still coping with them easily enough.  Coleman saved well from Hatswell then Boylan sent a shot across the face of the goal before Hatswell missed a chance to punish his old team when he flashed a header just wide from a corner.

Suddenly the game was all but over when the Harriers sealed the game with a third goal after Smikle was up-ended in the box by Peters.  He had put the ball in the net but the referee had already blown for the offence and the goal didn't count.  We still had the penalty to come though and up stepped Iyseden Christie to convert it with aplomb.

It could have been 4-0 for us just minutes after when Smikle had another chance to get the goal that he deserved when he rounded the static Utd defence to fire in but this time McCarthy saved it.  It didn't matter because we had put one over on Cambridge yet again and also won away from home for the second time in a week.

It's a pity it all hadn't happened months earlier.
FT: 0 - 3

 Goals for Harriers: Barnes-Homer 27, 66, Christie 85 (pen)

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Latest table and stats here  

Cambridge Utd  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
McCarthy     Coleman  
Hatswell     Bignot  
Reed gif   Jeannin gif
Morrison     Hurren  
Peters     Creighton  
Coulson     Bennett  
Carden gif   Russell  
Wolleaston     Barnes-Homer  
Jeffrey     Christie gif
Vieira     Penn  
Pitt     Knights  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Cutler     Ferrell  
Brown     Smikle gif
Boylan     Moult  
Willmott     Wylde  
Beesley     McGrath  

Mr A Halliday

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