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Cambridge Utd 1 Harriers 3


Date: 25-09-12gif Venue: R Costings Abbey Stadiumgif att: 1815gif away fans: 66
Ryan Rowe comes off the bench and scores three

gif Report by Centreforeword
As the evenings begin to draw and autumn approaches Kidderminster Harriers' paid a visit to the Abbey Costings Stadium for this important tie in the Blue Square Premier league against Cambridge United.  Harriers, languishing at the bottom of the table, were still looking for their first win of the season after a run of five consecutive draws and Cambridge had also been suffering from a poor run of form in the run up to this game.

Harriers started with the same 4-3-3 formation that they had started with against Alfreton.  It was the same back four of Mickey Demetriou, Josh Gowling, Cheyenne Dunkley and Lee Vaughan with the midfield comprising Keith Briggs, Jamie Vincent and Callum Gittings.  Up front were Nathan Blissett, Richard Peniket and Anthony Malbon.  Nathan Vaughan had also been playing well enough to cling on to the goalkeeper's jersey.

The Cambridge manager, Jez George, made one change to his starting line-up compared to their previous game's defeat to Hereford, restoring James Jennings after a three-game absence.  Jennings replaced the injured Ricky Wellard, but played at left-back with the former Harriers loanee Danny Andrew moving into midfield.

Initially it was United who had the better of a scrappy first half, with the visitors giving the ball away time and time again.  Michael Gash came close to opening the scoring when he met Andrew's low cross but saw his shot cleared off the line by Dunkley.  Liam Hughes latched onto the rebound but could only send a first-time shot high over the crossbar.

The Harriers' first real effort at goal was twenty six minutes in coming when Callum Gittings blazed over the bar from eighteen yards.

For large parts of the first half Jonathan Hedge in the Cambridge goal had had little to do but the complexion of the match changed when Luke Berry was given his marching orders.

Having been booked for a shirt pull, raised elbow and aerial challenge, a few moments later the midfielder then lunged in on Jamie Vincent, leaving the official with little option but to show him a second yellow card which converted to a red and dismissal from the field.

The U's re-organised, with Andy Pugh dropping into midfield, and thereafter the home sides goal led a charmed life as Kidderminster piled on the pressure.

Hedge made a good save to deny Briggs and from the resulting corner Malbon completely missed the ball when presented with a free header six yards out.  Whilst overall Cambridge were the better side it was a poor first half from both sides and so no surprise when the scoreline was 0-0 as they retreated to the changing rooms at the break
  HT: 0 - 0
Despite being down to ten men Cambridge still started the second half fairly brightly.

Hopes of an unlikely victory for the U's were raised when the ten-men took the lead in the fiftieth minute.  Danny Andrew's corner into the box found Josh Coulson, who was unmarked, as he powered a header past Nathan Vaughan.

However, as sides often do when down to ten men after scoring the goal, the home side sat back and began to defend deeper and deeper.  As a result the lead lasted just ten minutes as Ryan Rowe began to steal the show.

The half-time substitute who had come on for Richard Peniket equalised when he cut in from the Harrier's left and curled a shot past Hedge who probably should have done better.  Nonetheless a great finish.

Anthony Malbon was denied when letting loose with a close range shot by a superb block from Jonathon Thorpe before Rowe made it 2-1, this time tiptoeing in from the right flank and sending a really well directed low shot into the corner.

Michael Gash wasted a free kick for his side with eight minutes left to play and Adriano Moké and Tom Elliott came on to try to give United some extra impetus in the final third, but it was game over in the eighty sixth minute when Rowe completed his hat-trick.

Nathan Blissett robbed Rory McAuley in midfield and slipped a great pass through to Rowe in the right channel.  Rowe advanced into the box before arrowing a powerful shot in off the underside of the bar from a fairly tight angle to confirm Harriers first win in eleven games with probably the best finish of them all.

Marvin Johnson replaced Malbon before Gash had one more stab at drawing back the deficit for United and the final Harriers sub, Ricky Shakes, also stung the palms of Hedge on the counter as five minutes of injury time were successfully negotiated.

This game had followed the same pattern as the 1-1 draw at Alfreton the previous Saturday.  Harriers were poor in the first half and needed to concede a goal for them to be jolted into life.  If they can start with the same level of commitment and belief that they have shown in the second half of games, more wins will certainly follow.

Many self styled experts have suggested that Ryan Rowe may not have the ability to play at BSP level.  Like many players he has his strengths and weaknesses, but put him in front of goal with the ball at his feet and he can demonstrate that goal scoring is certainly one of his strengths.  Hopefully he can repeat that on Saturday when Steve Burrs former club, Macclesfield, come to town.
  FT: 1 - 3

 Goal for Cambridge: Coulson 50
 Goals for Harriers: Rowe 60, 69, 85

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Cambridge Utd  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Hedge     N Vaughan  
Andrew gif     L Vaughan  
Jennings   Demetriou  
Thorpe gif   Gowling  
McAuley     Dunkley  
Shaw gif     Briggs  
Coulson gif     Gittings gif  
Berry   Vincent  
Gash     Blissett  
Pugh     Malbon gif  
Hughes     Peniket gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Wylde     Lewis  
Jarvis gif     Rowe gif gif  
Moké gif     Johnson gif  
Eades     Shakes gif  
Elliott gif     Williams  

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