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Harriers 4 Altrincham 0

Date: 23-08-08 Venue: Aggborough att: 1335 away fans: 125
Harriers get first win of the season
The Harriers got their overdue first win of the season today against a plucky Altrincham side that found themselves down to ten men after a controversial decision by yet another mediocre referee.  With the Harriers already leading by a single Mark Creighton goal we had mounted another attack on Alty.  With shots peppering the goal the ball seemingly struck Chris Lane on the chest and the ref gave a penalty after believing that it had struck him on the hand.  Justin Richards easily converted it and from then on we took over the game completely.

There were wholesale changes to the starting line-up following last weeks disappointing defeat at Mansfield.  The obvious omission was Simon Russell who yesterday joined York City but Keith Lowe, who finally joined us at the same time that Russell left, made his official debut after playing in the pre-season friendless.

There were also starts for David McDermott and Martin Brittain after impressive showings at Mansfield and Matt Barnes-Homer also started for the first time since the Lewes game.  Lee Baker returned to the left back berth following injury and replaced the luckless Michael Bowler.

Following a quiet opening period of around six minutes the Harriers commenced their scoring spree when Brittain was fouled on the edge of the area by Matt Doughty.  Britt took the kick to the far post and Mark Creighton rose above the hesitant Altrincham keeper to power the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

We had a chance to increase the slender lead through Justin Richards soon after but his shot was blocked by a defender.

Then came the penalty and subsequent sending off.  Creighton fired in a speculative shot but Coburn managed to get a hand to it and pushed it away but only back to Creights to fire in again.  This time it hit Lane and the rest was discussed in the opening paragraph of this report.

Alty were forced to re-group and their most dangerous player Colin Little was pulled back into midfield and could then only make the occasional forays towards goal.

The half ended without any further action but the Harriers were looking good value to get their first win of the new season.
HT: 2 - 0
The Harriers came out for the second period determined to add to the slender goal tally.  A couple of chances fell the way of Lee Baker and MBH but on the hour mark all hell broke loose with the Alty goal amazingly surviving intact after Coburn managed to keep out a rare Andy Ferrell piledriver.  That fell to Richards who sent the ball back in only to see it come back off the bar for MBH to send it back again.  His effort was just wide though and the game was still looking for it's third goal.

Soon after MBH should really have scored when Richards and himself beat the offside trap and advanced on goal.  Without a defender in sight MBH drew the keeper and should then have moved the ball sideways for Richards to slot home but he ignored his presence and tried to put it around the keeper and only succeeded in putting the ball slightly wide.

The third goal did finally come and what a beauty it was.  Diddy David McDermott saw a chance to get himself on the scoresheet and fired in a great shot that got blocked by a defender.  The ball re-bounded for the well placed Brittain who fired in an equally great shot around the defence and also around Coburn.

Just before play re-started Brittain went off to a round of applause along with MBH to be replaced by Brian Smikle and Darryl Knights.

Knights was soon in the thick of things for one so small and could have scored within minutes of coming on when he went in for a ball at the feet of Coburn but the veteran keeper just about beat him to it.  A minute later and it was game over.

Russ Penn sent a great ball over the top of the back pedalling defenders for Brian Smikle to collect out wide on the left.  In one swift move he went forward, drew Coburn and then flicked the ball over his head and into the empty net.

We went all out to get a fifth goal but with Richards visibly tiring it wasn't going to be and so the Harriers picked up their first three points of the season and a mouth watering game at Burton on Monday to look forward to.
FT: 4 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Creighton 6, Richards 34 (pen), Brittain 70, Smikle 84

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Harriers  subs   cards      Altrincham  subs   cards 
Bartlett     Coburn  
Lowe     Lane gif
Baker     Doughty gif
Ferrell     McGregor  
Creighton gif   Young  
Jones gif   Danylyk  
Brittain     Lawton gif
McDermott     Johnson  
Barnes-Homer     Little  
Penn     Denham  
Richards     Peyton  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Coleman     Ralph  
McGrath     O'Neill  
Knights     Meechan  
Bignot     Elam  
Smikle     Senior gif

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