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Harriers 2 Bradford (Park Avenue) 1    FA Cup 4th qual rd replay


Date: 29-10-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1212gif away fans: 33
Harriers go through but not convincingly

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers finally overcame a valiant Bradford Park Avenue side at Aggborough last night in this FA Cup replay following a 1-1 draw at BPA on Sunday afternoon.  The game was late kicking off due to the BPA coach breaking down at the Kidderminster exit of the M5 motorway.  The game was put back until 8.15 while their players arrived in a taxi (or three).

With the difficulties they had been having getting to the ground, along with being part time, working at their own jobs until at least lunchtime and also playing on the Sunday afternoon, you would have thought that against our full timers they would have been drained of all effort.

Not one little bit!  They proceeded to run us ragged throughout the first ninety minutes of the game and it wasn't until the extra added time and the introduction of Marvin Johnson that we looked anywhere near capable of scoring.

The first half was the worst of all for us though with Danny Jackman slipping and sliding to mistake after mistake in his unwanted defensive role.  Luckily we had Mickey Demetriou on the bench for us on his return from injury and at halftime he was bought on to relieve the hapless Danny of his nightmare.  Lee Fowler was the man forfeited as Jackman moved into midfield.

As mentioned earlier BPA were giving us hell.  Just as they had done at their ground they attacked at will through their main strike threat of Alex Davidson and Paul Walker.  We had started the first ten minutes on fire with the Harriers looking for an early opening through Amari Morgan-Smith and Joe Lolley but that soon fizzled out as BPA took control.  Their passing was far better than ours and by chasing down lost causes they worried us into carelessness and mistakes.

The biggest of those was when a through ball allowed Nicky Boshell to force Jackman into a mistake and he was left scrabbling for a footing on the floor.  His shot beat Danny Lewis but it hit the post and rebounded away to safety.  Again they attacked our weak left side and Walker was denied a goal when his shot was blocked near the line.

The visitors came close again a few minutes later when Josh Gowling and Jamie Grimes failed to deal with another through ball but luckily for us 'Man of the Match' AMS was more alert and ran back to rob Jordan Deacey of the ball just as he was about to shoot.

With minutes to go before halftime we were handed a free kick on the edge of the BPA area but it was wasted after Jackman took it and Grimes headed it over.  Another chance fell to Kyle Storer but his volley was also sent well over.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half started with the news that Sutton were beating Hemel Hempstead 1-0 in the replay of their tie to decide who would meet the winner of this one.  It also saw the arrival of Mickey Demetriou in an effort to quell the left sided bombardment on Jackman.

The move seemed to work as the class of Mickey D told while Jackman was back into a midfield role more suited to his stature and style of play.

We began to control the game as we had been expected to, given the difference in levels both teams play at.  Anthony Malbon had two early chances to score and then Jackman had a shot stopped by the BPA keeper John Lamb.

As in the first half again we seemed to lose control of the midfield and once more BPA took control.  Alex Davidson saw Danny Lewis slightly off his line and tried to chip the ball over him but it was too high and then they were denied what looked to be a penalty from our end when Kyle Storer bought down Deacey on the edge of the area.  Jackman blocked the ball and it went away to safety.

Jack Byrne, who scored our goal in the original game on Sunday, was bought on in place of Storer who had been booked for giving away the free kick.

Avenue came close to opening the scoring once more and this time it was as close to being a goal as it could possibly be.  Again the defence was left exposed when Davidson tricked Gowling and then cut in to send a superb strike that hit the inside of the far post and then fly back along the line to whizz past the other.  Thankfully past the right side of it to not go in.

The end of ninety minutes finally arrived to groans from the Harriers supporters.  Could we put ourselves through another thirty minutes of this torture and then the possibility of a penalty shoot out that we just knew we would make an almighty mess of.
  FT: 0 - 0

At the start of extra time Steve Burr made his final change of the game by bringing Marvin Johnson on in place of the tiring Joe Lolley.  Marvin was to make an immediate impact upon the outcome of the game.

Within a minute of the whistle the Harriers had taken the long awaited lead through Morgan-Smith.  Taking up where Lolley had left off Johnson came down the left to whip in a cross into a crowded penalty area that thankfully AMS managed to get a touch to and force it over the line.  With the Harriers now in the ascendancy we were expected to kick on, class showing, and put the game to bed.

In response to the goal BPA made their first substitution of the game by bringing on Chib Chilaka for Nicky Boshell then soon after another change with Simon Lenighan coming on for defender Richard Marshall.  The change was to be futile, at first, because just after that change the Harriers extended the lead further and seemingly put the game to bed after being on the rack for the previous ninety minutes.

This time it was the provider of the first goal that was to claim one for himself when Johnson controlled a ball into the box and then, in one sweet move, swivelled to fire the ball into the net beyond the reach of the opposition keeper.

As is tradition with us that was the signal to sit back and let the other team back into the game.

Following the mini break as the teams changed ends BPA gained a foothold back in the game and scored from a poorly defended corner.  Martin Drury took the corner kick and the ball dropped into the area just right for Chilaka to fire the ball home for what was eventually a consolation goal but could so easily have been the start of a deserved comeback.

BPA pressured our goal for the remaining twelve minutes in search of the equaliser.  Nathan Hotte should have done better with a free header and in a goal mouth scramble Danny Lewis just about managed to grab hold of the loose ball that could have spelt a penalty shoot out.

The game finally came to an end to the relief of those in red but in disappointment for those in green.  Bradford Park Avenue had played both games like a team from a higher level and given us two very hard games.  Games made harder by our own inability to impose ourselves on the game by the better passing and the better movement that a team at our level should be capable of.

We will now play Sutton Utd on our own turf in two weeks time and God help us if we haven't got our heads right for that one.
  AET: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Morgan-Smith 91, Johnson 104
 Goal for Bradford PA: Chilaka 108

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Bradford (Park Avenue)  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Lamb  
L Vaughan     Howarth  
Jackman     Drury  
Storer gif   Marshall gif  
Grimes     Knowles  
Gowling   Clayton  
Gittings     Boshell gif  
Fowler gif     Hotte  
Morgan-Smith gif     Davidson
Malbon   Deacey gif  
Lolley gif     Walker
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     McMurray  
Johnson gif gif - 91     Maxfield  
Angus     Lenighan gif - 98  
Demetriou gif - 46     Chilaka gif gif - 93  
Dance     Corner gif - 106  
Tolley     Hume  
Byrne gif - 71        

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