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Cambridge Utd 2 Harriers 0


Date: 31-10-09gif Venue: The Abbey Stadiumgif att: 3508gif away fans: 141
Harriers fail to spook Cambridge

gifReport by Philip Lench
Danny Andrew made his debut today for the Harriers at Cambridge and watched as we suffered yet another defeat on the road.  He was also able to see us fail to score yet again and along with the fans he must be wondering when the goals are going to come and where they're going to come from.

In a first half that we were lucky to find ourselves only two goals behind the second half was much improved but an improvement is no good without an end result.  We tried with chances falling to Brian Smikle, Martin Riley, Darryl Knights and Matt Barnes-Homer but, apart from a disallowed goal from Smikle, we just hadn't got our shooting boots on again.

The only thing we do seem to be getting plenty of lately is cards.  No red ones this week but we somehow managed to collect five in a game that could never be classed as dirty.  At least none of them totalled up to five individually and so we shouldn't be facing yet another suspension.

Mark Yates makes three changes from the side that got knocked out of the FA Cup by Fleetwood.  Lee Baker started his three match suspension with Andrew coming in place of him, John Finnigan found himself preferred to David McDermott in midfield and Robbie Matthews returned to the side after being suspended for three games.

For Cambridge the former Harriers favourite Wayne Hatswell started.  Courtney Pitt was out injured and Daniel Gleeson came back from suspension.

Dean Coleman was called into action early in the game when he made a regulation save from a Chris Holroyd header and minutes later he made a more convincing save when Andy Parkinson stormed into the box to fire a powerful shot in but Dean saved well to push it out for a corner.

The Harriers first chance of the game fell to Barnes-Homer after Smikle played him in with a slide rule pass but his shot went across the face of the goal and out somewhere near the corner flag.  Just seconds after that close miss the home side took the lead through Holroyd.

Jai Reason ran free to the byeline and, without any Harriers defender prepared to close him down, delivered a fine cross to Holroyd's head that the lethal striker converted easily for the opening goal.

It took a while for us to muster a response to the goal but after another ten minutes we had started to get back into the game and a chance to score came the way of Brian Smikle when Darryl Knights corner fell just right for him to head goalwards but the Cambridge keeper, Danny Potter, somehow managed to flip back to fingertip it over the bar.  Straight after Dean Bennett tried his luck from twenty five yards out but the ball went well over the crossbar.

Just as we were starting to get back into the game came the killer blow of a second goal.  A free kick was given Cambridge's way and taken by Robbie Willmott to the head of the un-marked Wayne Hatswell and from there into the back of the net to put the Harriers two goals behind.

United were now in the ascendancy and they could easily have made it 3-0 with a long range shot being well saved by Coleman and a volley from Andy Parkinson that flew into the side-netting.  In the closing stages of the half Gavin Caines picked up the first of our five yellow cards for a foul.
HT: 2 - 0
At the start of the second half Mark Yates made an early change to the line-up with David McDermott coming on for John Finnigan.  This would give us a better attacking option and the only realistic chance of getting the two goal deficit back.

We went close to scoring three times within the opening minutes when first Gavin Caines just failed to reach Brian Smikle's head down and then Martin Riley sent a strong shot just over the bar when Potter dropped a corner at his feet.

Knights was the next to try and get us back into the game when he managed to burst into the area and fire off a shot that Potter did well to save.

Cambridge seemed quite happy to sit back and let us come onto them without really giving us a clear chance of scoring although Robbie Matthews did get a sight of goal with a free kick that curled just over the bar.  Smikle was also given a sight of goal but this time Potter saved his tame shot easily.

The game started to get bogged down in midfield for a while with the home side controlling the game once more.  A few poor challenges started to appear too and a rash of yellow cards were brandished by the referee with four going the Harriers way and two for United.

With the time now running out we finally managed to get the ball into the net but, as luck would have it, it was ruled out for offside as was a similar move minutes later for Cambridge when Danny Crow also got the ball into the net only for it to also be struck off for the same offence.

In the end we couldn't get back into the game and we couldn't score the two goals needed.  We came close, including the ruled out goal, but it wasn't enough and we really do need to find someone capable of putting the ball into the net.
FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Cambridge: Holroyd 13, Hatswell 31

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Cambridge Utd  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Potter     Coleman  
Gleeson   Courtney  
Tonkin     Andrew  
Carden     Finnigan gif  
Saah     Caines
Hatswell     Riley  
Reason   Smikle  
Parkinson gif     Bennett
Holroyd gif     Barnes-Homer  
Crow     Knights
Willmott gif     Matthews
SUBS:       SUBS:    
McAuley gif     McDermott gif  
Ives gif     Sharpe  
Patrick     Dolman  
Challinor     Farrell  
Phillips gif     Hayward  

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