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Harriers 0 Cambridge Utd 0


Date: 18-09-10gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1291gif away fans: 204
A clean sheet at the back but?

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers kept a clean sheet for the first time this season - as did Cambridge - but it's a shame that we did the same up front and failed to score after having at least four good chances in the first half including a one on one miss from Nick Wright that could have seen us go into a half time lead.

In the second half we didn't press so much but again we could have sealed the game with a late chance for substitute Matty Blair that got blocked and cleared off the line when half the ground had thought the ball had gone in.  Earlier a header from Michael Briscoe had crashed off the bar.

We had started the game without Dave Hankin and the winger was not even on the bench.  Lee Morris took his place after coming back into the side for his first game since injury two weeks ago.

It was a slow start to the game for both sides but slowly the Harriers started to take charge of the game and kept Cambridge on the back foot for long periods.  Cambridge, to be honest, looked very poor and you can see why, like us, they are struggling to get going this season.

Lee Morris, Chris McPhee and Keith Briggs had all had chances to give the Harriers the opening goal before Ollie Thorne was spoken to by the referee for a foul on James Jennings but that was only after Jennings had sent Lee Vaughan crashing to the ground and got away with it.  The referee obviously realised he couldn't book Thorne and not have done anything about the foul that had lead up to it.

Just seconds after that incident came the best chance of the game.  Nick Wright raced onto Lee Morris's through ball and took it past Josh Coulson to bear down on goal.  With another defender chasing him he chose the wrong moment to shoot and instead of lifting the ball over the keeper he shot it straight at him.

This seemed to wake the visitors up a bit and Brian Saah responded at the other end with a shot that sailed well over the cross bar and then minutes later Michael Briscoe came to our rescue to stop Danny Wright getting into a position to shoot when the Utd forward had already got past him but the Harriers man recovered enough to rob the ex Histon man of the ball.

With a few minutes to go before the break McPhee supplied Morris with the ball and he let fly with a shot that the Cambridge keeper, Simon Brown, caught and then dropped.  A host of Harriers players swarmed in to reach the ball but Brown recovered quickly to retain possession before any more damage was done.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half Utd were expected to try a bit harder and that's just what they did.  We didn't help matters by forgetting all that we had learnt in the first period when we passed the ball around crisply and really looked up for the game.  This half we had gone back to the old hoofball game and not even bothering to pick a team mate out.

We had started the half promisingly enough with a great chance for Briscoe.  Lee Vaughan had crossed the ball from the right and from nowhere Briscoe stormed forward and headed the ball goalwards.  It looked like it was going well over but suddenly dipped and struck the bar.

Again Briscoe came to rescue when he stopped a strong cross shot from Robbie Willmott going in and then Lee Vaughan denied Simon Russell the chance to score against his former club when a shot from Danny Wright was blocked by the former Telford man who then raced across to block the rebound shot from Russell from going in.

We made the first substitution of the game after that and Marc Williams came on for Lee Morris.  Morris hadn't had a bad game but did look a bit unfit.

The next major incident of a majorly incident free game came shortly afterwards when one of Williams' first moves was to play a through ball in for Nick Wright.  The Harriers man chased after the ball towards the penalty area but was then cynically bundled over by David Partridge when he was clear on goal.  It should really have been a red card for the Utd man but because Wright was still some way from the ball the referee gave a yellow instead.

A flurry of subs cam on after that with Callum Gittings going off for Matty Blair and a double sub for Cambridge with Andy Marriott and Wayne Gray coming on for Daryl Clare and Danny Wright respectively.

Straight away those two turned the game around for the visitors and they started to look dangerous for the first time in the game.  Gray didn't waste time making his presence known when he fired wide but should have scored.  Jennings did likewise a couple of seconds afterwards and Cambridge were now in charge of the game.

In an effort to stop this new domination Steve Burr sent on Tom Shaw in place of Nick Wright and pushed McPhee up into the frontline.  This helped to tighten up a midfield that was starting to become overrun.

With the clock now running down Matt Blair should have scored for the Harriers when Shaws goalbound shot went towards him and he stuck his foot out to deflect it in a different direction.  Frustratingly the ball hit Rory McAuley stood on the line and got scrambled away for a corner even though most people had thought that the ball had gone in.

Cambridge also had a chance to grab the points themselves as the seconds ticked down.  They were given a free kick following a foul by Vaughan.  McAuley took the kick and it was collected by Danny Lewis only for the Harriers keeper to spill the ball into the path of Marriott.  The sub wasted a great chance by firing well over the crossbar just as the final whistle went.

It's on to Fleetwood next on Tuesday and an outside chance of a point or three.  They beat Grimsby away today so they'll be no pushover.
  FT: 0 - 0

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Harriers  subs   cards      Cambridge Utd  subs   cards 
Lewis     Brown  
Vaughan     McAuley  
Mike Williams     Jennings gif  
Briscoe     Coulson  
Thorne     Saah  
McPhee     Partridge
Gittings gif     Russell  
Briggs     Carden  
Morris gif     D Wright gif  
N Wright gif     Clare gif  
Byrne     Wilmott  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Stevens     Naisbitt  
Blair gif     Coakley  
Albrighton     Ives gif  
Marc Williams gif     Gray gif
Shaw gif     Marriott gif  

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