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Harriers 2gifGrimsby Town 2

Date: 08-08-15 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 3459 gif away fans: 1689
Harriers open the season with a battling draw

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers started the 2015-16 season with a hard earned draw at home to title favourites Grimsby Town after going behind to a Padraig Amond goal late in the first half, but they could have so easily been four down by that time if it hadn't been for some quality goalkeeping from new signing Dean Snedker who foiled the Mariners time and time again with his scrambled saves.

Other new faces on show for us were Kelvin Langmead, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and Joe Clarke in defence while in midfield we had Andre Wright and Adam Dawson.  We had no new faces up front and in fact during the first forty five minutes we didn't seem to have anyone up front at all.  Such was the formation that Gary Whild seemed to be employing.

Grimsby arrived here, along with their 1689 shark infested fans, and proceeded to rip us a new one.  Nathan Arnold was the chief instigator and had targeted Jordan Tunnicliffe as his victim with the rookie defender having nightmares similar to the one he had at Alfreton last season when he was subbed at half time after being taken to the cleaners.

It also seemed such a pity that after all the fuss about the pitch improvements: and the results of that we could plainly see for ourselves - that we opted to keep the ball in the air as much as possible with Joe Clarke being the worst culprit.  He was never like that at Wrexham so why play like it now?  Finding space aplenty was Amond, the striker bought in from Morecambe who had grabbed nine goals in ten friendly games before the season started.  Along with Arnold he kept the pressure on the Harriers and it was only going to be a matter of time before Snedker found himself beaten.

Beaten wasn't really being fair on him though after the assistant on the East Stand side again missed an offside decision, even if slight, to allow Amond in behind the defence, forcing Snedker to close him down and then roll the ball into an unguarded net.
  HT: 0 - 1
The Harriers fans were dreading the second half starting after witnessing such a poor first forty five minutes but actually we were pleasantly surprised.  We had an early change to the line up with Kelvin Langmead not returning f=after the break due to a minor knock and jake Green came on in his place.

Words must have been said in the dressing room because we began to play with more confidence and pass the ball around.  Green seemed to be the instigator of that and slowly we began to claw our way back into the game with Grimsby (read Nathan Arnold) being closed down more quickly to nullify any threat from him.

With the Harriers now getting the upperhand Gary Whild sent on Craig Reid for the disappointing Andre Wright who, in my opinion, needs to have some ball control practice.  Within minutes of the appearance of Reid we drew level through Reece Styche.

A rare defensive error from the visitors saw Danny East make a mess of a simple back pass that Styche, not believing his luck, pounced on to force McKeown into an error.  he pushed the ball back at Reece who quickly, and cleverly, rolled the ball around him and into an empty net.  The only downside was the silly booking he collected when he ran to the Grimsby bench to make a silly remark of some kind.

The Harriers fans erupted as the Grimsby fans fell silent for the first time during the game but the silence was short lived when, from a corner, Town took the lead once more.  The corner, taken by Arnold, was headed on by Aristotle Nsiala down to Andy Monkhouse who couldn't really miss being stood almost on the goal line.

We hit back with a couple of chances that could have gone in.  Joe Clarke hit one of his trademark long range efforts that flew just wide and then Styche tried to lob the keeper with a dipping shot but the keeper flipped it over.

With ten minutes remaining and the game looking lost the West Brom youngster Tahvon Campbell came on for his debut in place of Luke Maxwell.  He looked to be far better than his mate Wright and pressured the Grimsby defence with his powerful running.  It was his cross in the dying seconds of the game that led to the Harriers emotional equaliser.

His cross to the far post was met by Aman Verma, another having a better second half, who rose high to meet the ball with his head and bury it beyond the stranded keeper.

So our first game of the season against the side that everyone is tipping for the title ended up better that we could have hoped for with a fine comeback twice to steal all three points from Grimsby. And steal them we did!
  FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Styche 60, Verma 90
 Goals for Grimsby: Amond 43, Monkhouse 67

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Grimsby Town  goals   subs   cards 
Snedker     McKeown  
Hodgkiss     Nsiala  
Rowe-Turner   Clay  
Maxwell gif     East  
Langmead gif     Pearson  
Clarke     Gowling  
Wright gif     Arnold  
Verma gif     Disley  
Styche gif   Bogle  
Tunnicliffe     Amond gif gif  
Dawson     Monkhouse gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Palmer     Tait  
Reid gif - 56     Robertson  
Reffell     Mackreth gif - 84  
Green gif - 46     Clifton  
Campbell gif - 81     Venney  

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