Sat 04 Mar 17
at 16:45 PM
Report: One goal costly in defeat
Harriers dominated yet another away game but were once more left empty handed as a costly first-half goal was enough for FC United of Manchester to claim a 1-0 victory.
With the memory of the disappointing finish to the game at Brackley still very fresh in the minds of Harriers players, a bright start here was needed.
Within the first 15 minutes of the game they definitely got it as the visitors looked sharp and built some momentum, Andre Brown at the point of the attack turning swiftly on the edge of the area before turning a shot just off target.
Appeals for a penalty after a handball in the area were waved away as the men in purple shirts waved forward once again, chances then continuing to come as Brown narrowly missed out on a Waite cross, and Gnahoua drove an attempt at goalkeeper Dave Carnell.
That good start from Harriers deserved a goal, and one arrived on 24 minutes – unfortunately at the other end. The home side had barely seen sight of the returning Sam Hornby but George Thomson stayed alert to steal a pass from the toes of Darryl Knights before advancing on goal and finishing low into the net.
That was virtually the hosts’ first chance at goal and it was not a tally they were able to increase before the break as Harriers again re-took control of the half, probing passing and movement getting them into the final third only for the United to defence to stand strong.
With 37 minutes gone Carnell was again in action; he got a solid pair of hands to another Gnahoua shot. The hit-man and struck it firmly after picking up a pass from Josh Ezewele but couldn’t find a way through.
Harriers, with a double change at the break, again began the restart brightly and had a sight of goal snuffed out when Carnell was out bravely to deny Waite – after Hornby up at the other end had done just as well to deny Thomson as he went in search of a second for himself and his team.
Five past the hour, Austin found himself having joy out wide as his quick feet continued to take him places – he drove a cross into the area where Truslove was waiting but the midfielder could only drive his shot off target.
Wave after wave of purple came forward and, with just under 20 minutes left to play, Gnahoua’s smart movement presented him with a shot that, deflected, was well gathered by Carnell.
United might have put the game to bed with their first foray into the Harriers half since the first period, but from a corner kick they could only watch as an effort was cleared off the line – Ryan Croasdale then trying his luck up at the other end with a shot that drifted past the upright.
Chances came relentlessly – after Truslove had twice had shots blocked at a corner, it was again down to Carnell to save the day as Gnahoua hit a firm shot down towards the near post that was well held.
Then, in the final minute of normal time, Carnell’s best stop was save for a forward-thinking Truslove who’d got into the box and struck on the angle only to be thwarted by another low save.