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Stockport County 1 Harriers 0


Date: 13-10-12gif Venue: Edgeley Parkgif att: 3426gif away fans: 207
Harriers finally lose a game

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a fair, but cool mid October day, Kidderminster Harriers' paid a visit to Edgeley Park for this important tie in the Blue Square Premier league against Stockport County.  Harriers, languishing just above the drop zone, were coming off a run of nine games unbeaten but unfortunately only three of those games had produced wins for the boys from Worcestershire.

Harriers took to the field with the same 4-3-3 formation that they had started with in recent weeks.  Surprisingly Josh Gowling had recovered from the shin injury which had seen him stretchered off when facing Hyde United in the mid-week game a few days beforehand.

The game started at a good pace with both sides pressing forward.  A few minutes in and Nathan Vaughan needed to get a hand to Danny Hattersley's powerful cross cum shot from the Hatters' right wing.  A few moments later and once again the Harriers' custodian had to show instinctive reactions to reach Craig Hobson's powerfully struck drive.

Down the other end, Lee Vaughan created a good early opening with a typically accurate delivery but Anthony Malbon could only head over at the far post.

The Harriers were largely relying on the surges forward of right back Lee Vaughan and left back Mickey Demetriou as their attacking force.  In one particular sortie Vaughan was professionally fouled by the County skipper, James Tunnicliffe, who was deservedly shown a yellow card as a result.

Vaughan was then again felled by Shaun Newton's lunging two-footed challenge but, on a day when the referee was clearly doing his best to keep his cards in his pocket, Newton escaped even a booking.

Generally though it was the Hatters who were looking the more dangerous on the attack and, fortunately for the Aggborough men, Craig Hobson could only back heel a close range effort straight at Nathan Vaughan.

Nevertheless, Harriers' resistance was broken in the 45th minute.  A poorly taken throw in by skipper Keith Briggs allowed the ball to be stolen from Lee Vaughan and the Stockport front line surged forward.  Gowling came across to cover but slipped and brought Hattersley down with him on the edge of the box.  Shaun Newton then slammed the penalty into the net despite Nathan Vaughan getting a valiant hand to the ball as it crossed the line.

Harriers did though nearly level the scores before the break.  Malbon carried the ball in front of the County defence for some distance before unleashing a superb long range effort, only for it to be denied by Ian Ormson in the county goal who deflected it onto the post at full stretch.  Soon after County's keeper then again denied Harriers as Ryan Rowe was afforded a great goal scoring opportunity from close range
  HT: 1 - 0
Apparently the second half began with Harriers skipper Keith Briggs and Hobson banging their heads together as they challenged for the ball.  I was just finishing off my cup of tea and shortbread biscuit beneath the stand at the time.  However, while Briggs had stitches and was able to continue some time later, Hobson was clearly concussed as he staggered off the field looking dazed and so having to be replaced by Joe Connor.

As County sat back, to some extent, the visitors began to control the second half but Harriers still seemed to lack confidence in the final third and so struggled to test the home team's defence.  Ormson made routine saves to deny James Vincent and Keith Briggs.

With fifty two minutes on the clock there was an opening for Steve Burr's men as Nathan Blissett's dummy set up Ryan Rowe who blazed narrowly wide across the face of goal.  Soon after, in the 64th minute, Blissett then did well to get up and meet a Demetriou cross but the effort didn't trouble Ormson.

Nonetheless Stockport still looked dangerous at times and had some great chances themselves.  There was one in particular when Nathan Vaughan brilliantly tipped over an athletic volley from Alex Kenyon with what can only be described as a world class save.  Paul Turnbull and Tunnicliffe also had chances as the game became more end to end.

For the boys in red, substitute Marvin Johnson nearly found an equaliser but Ormson was again equal to his shot after a speedy counter attack.  Some spectators questioned whether a pass through to an unmarked Anthony Malbon might in fact have been the better option.  Shaun Newton then cleared a subsequent cross off the line while Vincent's well directed drive had to be kept out by a full-stretch keeper.

Overall Harriers missed some great opportunities to score but so did County.  It was only the skill of the two goalkeepers that kept the scoreline down such that only the penalty decided matters.

The quality of Stockport's corners was of particular note.  Whipped in at speed and the right distance from goal - they caused Harriers problems all afternoon.

In this enthralling and entertaining tie either side could have been the victors but on balance the Hatters probably edged it and so could perhaps justify to themselves that they deserved the three points.

Next game for us is the FA Cup tie.  Let's hope this year, for the first time in many recent attempts, we can actually string a quality cup run together, although it won't be easy against BSP high flyers Grimsby.  After the Cup we revert to playing Gateshead at home to continue in what would have seemed highly surprising before the start of the season - a struggle with relegation.
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Stockport: Newton (pen) 44

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gif Nathan Vaughan

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Stockport County  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Ormson     N Vaughan  
Halls     L Vaughan  
Newton gif     Demetriou  
Fagbola     Gowling  
Mainwaring     Dunkley  
Tunnicliffe   Briggs gif  
Whitehead gif     Watkins gif  
Turnbull     Vincent  
Hattersley     R Rowe gif  
Collins gif     Blissett  
Hobson gif     Malbon  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
King     Lewis  
Connor gif     Storer gif  
D Rowe     Williams  
Kenyon gif     Peniket gif  
Sheridan gif     Johnson gif  

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