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Harriers 4 Exeter City 0

Date: 01-09-07 Venue: Aggborough att: 1860 away fans: 441
Constable has a Beano against City
Jimmy Constable scored his first hat trick of the season today against City and helped to totally destroy a side that have ambitions to do well this season.    His last hat trick came at Vauxhall in the Trophy last season and destroyed them too.

The game today was looked forward to by fans of both sides with the first 're-match' of the teams since the episode involving Mark Yates and Lee Elam led to the four week touchline ban for the Harriers manager at the start of this season.    Thankfully there was no real animosity prior to the game but when Elam came on during the second period then the Harriers fans did make their feelings known although the result was cut and dried by then.

Incredibly this win also signalled our first home win since defeating Northwich in the first leg of the Trophy way back in March.    A statistic that takes some believing but true.

Today also marked the return of former fans favourite Dean Bennett to Aggborough and he was to start the game from the bench, replacing Brian Smikle.    There were no other changes to the side following the win at Rushden last Monday.

For Exeter the rumoured signing of Emmanuel Panther didn't materialise last night and they started the game with their big signing from during close season, Steve Basham, on the bench.    Also sat down was Bertrand Cozic, formally a Harrier but not a very good one.

The game started with the home side looking slightly nervous but holding out through a superb marshalling role from Stuart Whitehead.    City looked good value going forward but without really testing Scott Bevan.    Full back Steve Tully was being given too much space to overlap and this was never really addressed throughout the entire game.

Andy Ferrell was the first one for us to make an attempt on the City goal when his shot from distance went well over the bar but we hadn't got too long for the opening goal.

Just before the half hour mark Justin Richards was played in by a mistake from an Exeter player and smashed a shot against the foot of the post.    The ball rebounded back to Constable who made no mistake in sending it nestling in the back of the City net for the first of his trio.

Richards could have scored himself soon after if it wasn't for a defender clearing a certain goal off the line.

The Harriers were now in full flow and looking good value for a second goal soon.    City had gone off the boil slightly and were struggling to break through a resolute Harriers defence.

It was still nail biting stuff though with such a slender lead but we settled a few of the fans nerves just before half time with our second goal, this time from Russell Penn.

It was the Richards/Constable partnership which again came up with the goods.    Sir Jeff Kenna crossed the ball from a defensive position to the feet of Richards who then passed it out wide to Constable to send it back into the City goalmouth.    The City defence failed to pick up on the threat of Penn who had the easiest of jobs to head the ball past Marriott in the visitors defence.

We went into the break with a deserved 2-0 lead but could we hold onto it?
HT: 2 - 0
The answer was an emphatic yes.    We started slightly nervously again but that didn't last quite so long this time and Justin Richards could have added himself to the scoresheet when he missed the simplest of headers from a few feet out.    He knew he should have buried it too as he sank to the ground holding his head in his hands.

Soon after came a shot that if it had gone in would have been a certain goal of the season.    Russ Penn picked up the ball well outside the area and sent in a shot that cannoned off the top of Marriotts crossbar and then over the stand.

In an effort to change things around City bought on the 'bad man' Lee Elam to vociferous catcalls from the home support.    Dean Moxey dropped back into defence and immediately Elam looked to cause an upset.    His first touch of the ball set up one attempt on goal and his second touch saw him making a beeline for Bevans goal but his final ball wasn't too good.

It wasn't long after Elam's arrival that we grabbed the third goal, a goal that came from a brilliant low swerving cross from Jonny Harkness that Beano met perfectly to head into the ground and into the net.

His hat trick was completed three minutes later and this time his perseverance paid off by chasing a ball past Rob Edwards and slotting it past the despairing keeper for the easiest of goals.    Constable has now put paid to the bad start to the season that he had been going through and what a way to silence those that say he should be dropped.

Just after we started to make the first of our substitutions with a tired looking Richards making way for Iyseden Christie and at the same time the hero of the hour making his exit to bring on Matt Barnes-Homer.    Both strikers went off to tumultuous applause from the fans.

We sat back a bit then, not wanting to punish a now broken City side too much.    They bought on Steve Basham late on and had chances to pull a goal back through Elam and Stansfield but the biggest miss of all went to Basham when he missed a gift of a header at the far post.    How he could miss an open goal from feet out he'll never know.

At the relief of the final whistle it was good to get all three points against a side that should be in the mix at the end of the season.    It wasn't the best City side I've seen play, and they can play better, but not to take it away from the Harriers that was the best I've seen us play for a long, long time too.

The fledgling partnership of Justin Richards and James Constable took on a new dimension today and boy does it look potent.    For Beanos second half performance and hat trick he must get the man of the Match award but in the first half it was going to be Stuart Whiteheads gong after he too played a major part in keeping City out.

Now if we can take this form of the past two games to Farsley on Tuesday we might see a whole load of goals.
FT: 4 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Constable 27, 59, 63 Penn 41

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Harriers  subs   cards      Exeter City  subs   cards 
Bevan     Marriott  
Kenna     Tully gif
Harkness     Friend  
Hurren     Gill  
Creighton     Edwards  
Whitehead     Taylor  
Ferrell gif   Artus  
Constable     Mackie  
Richards gif   Stansfield  
Penn     Logan  
Blackwood     Moxey  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Jones  
Bignot     Basham  
Christie     Elam  
Bennett     Cozic  
Barnes-Homer     Richardson  

Mr G Sutton

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