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Match Report


Posted Tue 18 Aug 09 at 22:02 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 0-1 Kettering

Harriers once again paid the price for failing to take their chances as Kettering Town's late penalty was enough to secure all three points at Aggborough on Tuesday.

The game took a while to get started and it was the visitors who had the better of the early stages - within six minutes they had an effort cleared off the line as Gavin Caines got back to hook Francis Green's shot away.

Dean Coleman was forced into his first decent save of the night after just ten minutes as Andre Boucaud's long-range drive was well held. Chris McPhee gave Coleman' s opposite number Lee

Harper his first task of the night as he was left to grasp at the midfield's man dinked effort that went just over.

Either side of the half hour mark, Robbie Matthews marked his home debut with a couple of chances, heading over from Lee Baker's deep cross first of all, then sending over with a 20 yard effort.

On 33 minutes Duane Courtney's long-throw produced a great chance for the hosts - knock-down in the box found Brian Smikle's rasping volley which narrowly missed the target.

Five minutes before the break, Harriers continued a decent spell of pressure with another great chance - Dean Bennett's nod-down and driving run culminating in a drilled effort from the midfielder which had Harper beaten, only to sail just past the post.

There was a warning for Harriers on the stroke of half-time as Kettering proved just how dangerous they are on the break - from box to box, Green was played in and his shot from outside the area needed a neat save from Coleman.

The visitors had the first chance of the second period with Damien Spencer driving just across goal, though Harriers should have been ahead on the hour as Smikle was played in superbly, his effort went across Harper with the 'keeper able to clear.

Seven minutes later Smikle, the man in form, was again at the point of attack for the hosts, Courtney's low ball playing him in as he flicked it goalwards, the shot held.

With 14 minutes remaining the chances continued to rain down, Matthew's struck an absolute belter which Harper was getting nowhere near - luckily his wordwork saved him as the effort smashed off the bar. A minute later Dean Bennett tried his luck - his effort almost took Darren Wrack's head off but the deflection was enough to carry it away from goal.

With just six minutes left came the hammer blow and the punishment for Harriers not finding the back of the net, as harsh as it was. Bennett's foul on sub Danny Thomas was spotted and a penalty awarded, Jon Paul Marna tucking away the finish.

Including four minutes of stoppage time, Harriers had ten minutes to find a response and at the death they did - David McDermott's corner was hammered in by Man of the Match Smikle - Jennings, standing behind the goal line, cleared it away and no goal was given despite subsequent replays showing that the ball had indeed crossed the line.

"Quite how we've got out of here with three points is staggering," admitted Kettering boss Mark Cooper after the game, clearly feeling Harriers had done enough to win it. "It should have been a cricket score," he added. Positives for Mark Yates indeed, no doubt he'd have preferred the points.

Off to Grays we go on Saturday - again Harriers are having no problems creating opportunities, but a goal is needed sooner rather than later.

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