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Date: 05-03-16 gif Venue: Launa Windows Stadium gif att: 2021 gif away fans: 150
Second half rally not enough for Harriers

gif Report: Phil Lench
After a dismal first half showing down in Torquay the Harriers rallied after the break following an introduction to Colin Gordons hairdryer.  A first half own goal by the luckless Dean Snedker and a late strike by ex Harrier Nathan Blissett sent us into the dressing room with our tails between our legs but a spirited second half session had us draw level and then denied all three points with another hotly disputed goal to give Torquay the game.

In cold, but sunny, conditions the Harriers made just one change to the side that lost at Braintree in mid-week with Tyrone Williams coming back into the starting eleven at the expense of Jordan Jones.  The bench was un-changed except for the addition of Jones.

The home side dominated the game for the first thirty minutes and should have taken the lead well before they did open the scoring in the tenth minute.  Danny Raachi sent a corner over and it worked its way to Nathan Smith who tried an audacious overhead scissor kick only for the ball to crash off the bar and onto Snedkers back from where it rolled into the net.  It has been a bad week for Snedker with his flap against Chester denying us three points, then the off the line and out of his area goal at Braintree and then today this comical effort.

Heads dropped at first but then began to perk up a bit through Ben Whitfield as he stormed down on Dan Lavercombe in the Gulls goal but the on loan keeper held firm.  Torquay were still trying to get a second goal and should have done so when Shaun Harrad sent his shot wide from the edge of the box and then Toby Ajala also went wide with a header but then Blissett decided to get in on the act and scored with a free header to put his new side in to what they thought was a commanding two goal lead just before the break.

  HT: 2 - 0
At the start of the second half, and after the understandable roasting, Zaine Francis-Angol came on for Jordan Jones in an effort to give us a little more penetration down the side and also Ben Whitfield moving up alongside the anonymous Evan Garnett.  Within six minutes it seemed to have worked.

We were given a free kick outside the area to be taken by Lewis Kinsella.  He floated it in towards the pack and Kelvin Langmead managed to get his head to the ball and loop it over the Gulls keeper to give the Harriers a sliver of hope.

Five minutes later the home fans began to celebrate again when they thought that Nathan Blissett had given them their one goal cushion back but his strike was ruled out for offside.  As it was soon after we drew level in a game that we had looked to be out of before the break.

We had already come close through dangerman Whitfield again when he sent his shot wide but then a broke away again and this time gave the chance to score to Arthur Gnahoua.  He went on his trademark mazy little run towards the hosts area and then slotting the ball into the net from all of twenty yards out.  We had now got the upperhand and Torquay looked bemused by it all, even more so when a Luke Maxwell header forced the keeper to fly across the goal and fingertip it away for a corner.  That corner was met by Langmead only to see his header cleared off the line in a last ditch block by a defender.

With the Reds swarming forward looking for a winner they were dealt a sucker punch when the Gulls broke and scored under dubious circumstances.  Keith Lowe had put the ball out for a corner and as it came over a scramble in the box saw a hand fly out and the ball into the net.  Even with the protests from the players and the bench the referee awarded the goal and refused to back down.  The goal was given, to Nathan Smith, and once again the Harriers felt rightfully grieved.

Lowe was carded for arguing with the official and then in the ninetieth minute Blissett could have made the game safe from a Torquay perspective but he sent his shot wide.

The Harriers remain firmly adhered to the foot of the table and even though we all hope they can un-stick themselves from there it all looks hopelessly impossible now and the Conference North looms ever closer.
  FT: 3 - 2

 Goals for Torquay: Snedker (og) 10, Blissett 43, Smith 82
 Goals for Harriers: Langmead 52, Gnahoua 63

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Torquay Utd  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Lavercombe     Snedker gif (og)  
Berry     Hodgkiss  
Butler     Kinsella  
Rees     Maxwell  
MacDonald     Langmead gif  
Richards     Lowe
Smith gif     Fané  
Ajala gif     Williams gif  
Blissett gif     Garnett  
Racchi     Whitfield  
Harrad gif     Gnahoua gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Fisher     Brown  
Chaney gif - 88     Patrick gif - 89  
Gerring     Jones  
Hancox     Francis-Angol gif - 46 gif  
Wright gif - 67     McQuilkin  

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