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Harriers 2 Cambridge Utd 0


Date: 15-04-14gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1938gif away fans: 216
Harriers beat Cambridge to make Luton the champions

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers moved slightly closer to the play off places tonight with this brilliant win over second placed Cambridge Utd.  Two superb second half goals from Amari'i Bell (his first for the club) and Michael Gash (against his old team mates) gave us the points that now leaves us five points outside the play off zone with three games left to play.

The win also sends Luton Town up as Champions and full marks have to be given to them after proving week in week out that they are far too good for non league football.  Ironically more results like this one tonight and we could be joining them.

A couple of changes to the team that beat Welling on Saturday saw Nick Wright and Adrian Cieslewicz dropping to the bench with Callum Gittings and Nathan Blissett starting in their place.  From the off we went at the Cambridge throat and passed the ball round slickly enough although our crossing still needs a bit of work.  Our main threat was coming from Lee Vaughan who was being given acres of space to work in but his final ball was never quite good enough for Gash or Blissett to reach.

Cambridge were struggling to get into the game but when they did they counter attacked dangerously with Delano Sam-Yorke their most likely to score for them.  His volley from a Luke Chadwick pass bought out a fine save from the Harriers keeper, Danny Lewis.  Lewis made another good block later on when he pushed Ryan Donaldsons shot away.

For us Nathan Blissett was looking the player most likely to and his shot towards the end of the half bought out a good save from the United keeper, Will Norris.  Both teams went into the break all square and all to play for.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half began with a Cambridge substitution when Sam-Yorke failed to return and Harrison Dunk came on in his place.  DSM had been rubbing his thigh before half time so must have suffered some kind of strain.  Without him Cambridge looked to be less of a threat and the former Harriers star, Matt Barnes-Homer was never going to do that with him looking a shadow of the player he was when with us.

Ironically even without their best player United were the first to test a keeper when Tom Champion forced Danny Lewis into a brilliant save.

In an attempt to score the Cambridge manager, Richard Money sent on two more subs in quick succession.  Luke Berry came on for the injured Champion and then a few minutes later Andy Pugh came on in place of MBH.  They now had two proven goalscorers on the pitch and looked to be going for all three points.  They didn't take into consideration that by moving into a more attack mode that they would leave themselves defensively lacking because we began to take advantage.

The scoring was opened in the sixty seventh minute when Blissett played Gash through and then he passed the ball on for Callum Gittings to set Amari'i Bell free out wide.  He took the ball into the area and superbly slipped the ball between the legs of Norris and into the net for his first goal for the Harriers.

Ten minutes later and it was game over for Cambridge and promotion for Luton when Michael Gash scored what could be one of our goals of the season (Gittings goal at home to Macclesfield will be the other contender).  Just seconds after Blissett was taken off, with many fans asking why Gash hadn't been subbed instead, the ball was played in for Gash directly in front of goal.  He turned onto the ball and volleyed it up, over and straight into the net to seal the points for us and open the exit gates for the Cambridge fans leaving hurriedly.

Josh O'Keefe could have made it 3 - 0 a minute later when his stunning shot from outside the area just whizzed narrowly over the bar with the keeper clutching air.

With five minutes of added time we managed to play the game out with some Brazilian passing around a totally deflated United.  Vengeance for our 5 - 1 defeat at the Abbey a few weeks ago was sweet but sweeter still was the fact that we now have a better than outside chance of making the top five.  Victory at Hyde on Friday would bring the dream even closer.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Bell 67, Gash 77

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gif Nathan Blissett

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Cambridge Utd  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Norris  
L Vaughan     Roberts  
Demetriou     Taylor  
Bell gif     Coulson  
Grimes     Hughes  
Dunkley   Miller  
Byrne     Donaldson  
O'Keefe     Champion gif  
Gash gif gif     Sam-Yorke gif  
Blissett gif     Barnes-Homer gif  
Gittings gif     Chadwick  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Tait  
Morgan-Smith gif - 75     Dunk gif - 46  
Verma gif - 83     Pugh gif - 64  
Cieslewicz     Chambers  
Wright gif - 94     Berry gif - 60  

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