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Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Aug 09 at 17:59 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 3-0 Altrincham

Harriers made it two wins on the bounce with a comfortable 3-0 win over Altrincham at Aggborough on a very eventful Saturday afternoon.

It was a fairly even beginning to the game with no real chances to speak of in the opening ten minutes, but with 11 minutes gone that first chance came and with it the first goal.

Altrincham had thwarted Harriers going forward with a strong offside line but when Bennett's ball upfield came off Alty man Matt Doughty, the hosts were in as Kyle Hadley bravely took the ball past the goalkeeper, before crossing to Brian Smikle who eventually made no mistake for his second in as many games.

But the blow came with just over a quarter-hour gone - Alty's dale Johnson was racing down on goal but over hit the ball which Dean Coleman then collected; the onrushing Martin Riley then collided at pace with Johnson who went down on the edge of the area. Seeing this as the denying of a goal scoring opportunity despite the ball having gone, the referee gave Riley his marching orders with a straight red. The resultant free-kick came in hard and low from Tom Kearney but Coleman was down early and equal to it.

Determined further after the decision, Harriers against the odds quickly got their second on 22 minutes - again superbly beating the offside trap as Dean Bennett's ball was chased down by Matthew Barnes-Homer. He got their first and took an absolute clattering by the 'keeper for his troubles but his lob was expertly taken and looped into the net.

The goal came at a price, however - Barnes-Homer was eventually withdrawn after taking time to try and run off injury sustained in scoring, replaced by Tom Sharpe a few minutes after the half-hour.

Just when you though the game would finally calm down, the affair got its second dismissal on 35 minutes and it was perhaps every bit as harsh a decision. Shaun Densmore lunged in on Brian Smikle just inside the Alty half in a challenge that certainly warranted a yellow - instead it was a straight red as the visitors were reduced to ten.

Five minutes before the break there was a break from the madness when some football got in the way - Smikle nodding down nicely to Chris McPhee who took his shot early, firing wide of Stuart Coburn's goal.

Three further along, a neat corner was whipped in and almost created a third - Smikle sent a volley crashing towards Coburn but sub Sharpe's knee interrupted the flight of the ball and almost sent it in, as it was it was just over the bar.

The second half wasn't even a minute old when Harriers nabbed their third in rampant style - Hadley is clearly growing ever more confident and his superb run ended with the perfect ball across the face of goal that in-form Smikle tucked away to cue a touch more glee around Aggborough.

There was a long delay in play around the 52nd minute mark as Chris Senior was taken off on a stretcher with what unfortunately looked to be quite a serious injury - Alty's final sub Nick Clee took the front-man's place.

Chris Denham almost got Alty on the scoresheet with 69 minutes gone - his rasping volley from a corner produced a superb block from Lee Baker who made a crucial intervention.

A fine piece of goalkeeping from Coburn prevent Smikle from getting a deserved hat-trick with 15 minutes left to play. McPhee took the ball superbly on the edge of the area and rolled in Junior for a one-on-one - he took his shot well enough but Coburn reacted quickly to palm it wide.

Anthony Danylyk wasted a chance for Altrincham as he blasted into the path of a defender with options either side on 82 minutes, sub Colin Little rolling a weak shot into Coleman's arms soon after.

In the final minute of normal time Harriers went close to a fourth - sub Darryl Knights slipped in Smikle who nearly turned provider for McPhee who had Coburn beaten with a good strike that struck the woodwork on its way over.

Alty seemed destined to go home without a consolation in injury time when Denham's header clipped off the bar and away to safety.

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