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Harriers 2gifTorquay Utd 2

Date: 15-09-15 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 1493 gif away fans: 196
Harriers rescue a point at the death

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers clawed another point from the brink tonight against ten men Torquay Utd but we still remain at the foot of the table, even if it is on alphabetical order below Halifax.  A last minute, superbly taken, penalty from Reece Styche capped the comeback but all the rescued point has done is paper over the cracks.

Again it was hard to fathom out what happened with the managerial shuffle last Friday because to the average Harriers fan Gary Whild still seems to be in charge and that could explain the un-fathomable substitution of the lively Tahvon Campbell as we went in search of a goal with the inadequately hopeless Jamie Spencer.  Before that we had to endure another pathetically bad first half that saw a team just above us in the table literally play us off the park and it wasn't until Torquay went down to ten men did we come alive.  That only lasted a while before the Gulls took the lead once more and heads began to drop once more.

Ten games in and we still look like a bunch of Sunday league players that have just come out of the pub.

The manager (who ever he may be) had one enforced change to make with Andrew Fox returning to Peterborough now that his loan has finished with Jake Green taking his place but the remainder of the team was the one that started at Halifax last Saturday.  On the bench though was the youth team hot-shot Dan Sweeney so we thought we'd have something to look forward to.  We got Spencer instead.

For the visitors they had been given a reprieve by the FA after the red card for keeper Fabian Spiess, picked up at Welling on Saturday, was rescinded just before the game.  In defence and midfield were ex Harriers Exodus Geohaghon and Simon Heslop.

The visitors started the strongest and it stayed that way for most of the first half with some precise passing, availability of players and quick closing down.  We weren't getting a serious look in most of the time and in James Hurst they had a defender who knew where the goal was after his fierce shot struck the post in the opening minutes and rebounded away to the corner flag.

He opened the scoring just after the first quarter from a free kick that was given after Calvin Dinsley was harshly carded for after winning the ball cleanly.  Hurst took the kick and it curled around the wall and into the top corner of the net.

As halftime drew near the Harriers began to wake up and Gurjit Singh signalled our intentions with a shot that went wide before Spiess was left stranded on the near post as Reece Styche's cross to the unmarked Kelvin Langmead on the far post forced a superb save from the keeper as he somehow managed to dive to the other side with Langmeads header just about to go over the line.

Styche himself was equally as close to scoring a minute from the break after he surged forward to beat the offside trap and drew Spiess out of the goal.  He lobbed it over his head but if crossbar challenges won games Styche would have pocketed the winnings.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half started as the first one had with the Harriers on the back foot right from the whistle.  It looked like it was only going to be a matter of time before the visitors would increase their lead but then a miracle happened.

With no apparent danger, apart from Styche breaking clear on the halfway line, Simon Heslop tripped him up as he ran away from him.  Styche wasn't the last man and was miles form goal but the referee didn't hesitate in getting the red card out and sending the ex Harrier off the pitch.  Now Torquay were down to ten men our game came alive.

We started to find space as the visitors re-organised and began to probe their defence with some smart passing.  At last we began to play football even if it was down to the imbalance in the teams.

Our first chance of pulling the goal back came from an un-likely source when Lathaniel Rowe-Turner got the highest to a corner but Spiess saved well.  Then a few minutes later we drew level.

This time the confident Torquay keeper made a hash of a save as he came for a lofted ball from Jake Green but crashed into his own defender leaving Aman Verma to nod the ball home.  We turned the pressure up further following that but not before we allowed Alex Fisher a free header from close range.

Someone in charge took off Dinsley and sent on Andre Wright in an effort to increase our firepower up front but before he had a chance to settle Torquay re-gained the lead against the run of play.  Josh Carmichael sent the ball into the Harriers area from out wide and it was cleared away by Jared Hodgkiss but only as far as the dangerous Hurst.  With our defenders static Hurst strode forward a short way then fired in a shot that no one made any attempt to stop going in and we were back to square one with our heads dropping once again.

Whoever the manager was tonight responded by taking the hard working Tahvon Campbell off and sending on a striker, Jamie Spencer, that couldn't get into the Worcester City side when he was on loan there last month.

Torquay decided that the way to hold onto their three precious points was to time waste but doing that will only come back to bite you on the bum.  With the board having gone up showing an extra four minutes of added on time the Torquay hero of the night turned heroine as Hurst pulled Spencer over in the area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.  Up stepped Reece Styche to take it and you just knew he was going to miss.

He didn't.  In fact it was as perfect a penalty as you could ask for as he blasted it down the middle like a rocket.

The game ended with the Harriers collecting what could be seen as an un-deserved point against a side better equipped for a relegation battle than we seem to be but again we are now un-beaten in two games.

That's something for whoever tomorrows manager is to crow about.
  FT: 2 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Verma 57, Styche 90 (pen)
 Goals for Torquay: Hurst 16, 68

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Torquay Utd  goals   subs   cards 
Palmer     Spiess  
Hodgkiss     Hurst gif  
Green     Butler  
Rowe-Turner     Carmichael  
Langmead     MacDonald  
Clarke     Geohaghon  
Campbell gif     Briscoe  
Verma gif     Heslop
Singh     Quigley gif  
Dinsley gif   Fisher gif  
Styche gif     Smith  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Snedker     Lavercombe  
Spencer gif - 78     Murombedzi  
Jones     Odofin  
Sweeney     Fenwick gif - 53  
Wright gif - 65     Lavelle-Moore gif - 90  

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