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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 26 Sep 09 at 18:35 PM

FULL TIME: York 3-2 Harriers

Harriers unbeaten run came to an end away at York this afternoon but although they played more than 80 minutes with ten men, few can say they didn't deserve at least a share of the spoils.


The visitors surged ahead in the first few minutes but City quickly levelled from the penalty spot with Gavin Caines harshly sent off. The hosts must have thought they'd won it with a goal around the hour mark but a second for Harriers moments later made it a tense finish, a final 25 minutes which Mark Yates' men dominated.


With just two minutes on the clock it was the ultimate start - Harriers began patiently but purposefully and Matthew Barnes-Homer fed the ball to David McDermott whose absolute peach of a ball was dispatched with aplomb by the unmarked head of Brian Smikle who finished for his fifth of the season.


Unfortunately for Harriers that was only the start of the early excitement - just six minutes later they found themselves down to ten men. Caines misjudged the bounce of a ball allowing Richard Brodie to get goal side; the defender got back and did enough to put sufficient pressure on the front man to make him scuff his shot against the post but Brodie then took a tumble, the referee pointing to the spot not only for a penalty, but also for a red card; Caines dismissed for denying a scoring chance, even with the chance gone. Brodie confidently stepped up and slotted home the penalty to send relief around the KitKat.


Harriers responded well - sub Nathan Hayward, on for the sacrificed Knights, side-footed wide and Barnes-Homer had a shot wide as the visitors continued to test an edgy defence despite the numerical disadvantage.


If York failed to make the one-man gap count, they eventually pounced for a second when Harriers found themselves down to nine. Hayward was off the field receiving treatment for a nasty gash to the head when Djoumin Sangare's cross on the six yard line was parried well by Dean Coleman, only for Brodie to fortuitously rush in to chest home the loose ball.


Still the home side remained under pressure - McDermott had another chance before the interval, as did Robbie Matthews who headed over from close range after being left unmarked in an acre of space.


With this in mind the hopes were high for the second period that Harriers could continue to ask questions - as it was, the first ten or 12 minutes were a non-event with City no more at the races than before.


Just after the hour, though, they got what they thought was the game-killing goal. Their chances on target had been few and far between all afternoon but whatever they seemed to get on target went in - proved as Adam Smith crossed for Michael Gash who headed in from about two yards out.


But just when you thought Harriers heads would drop, they didn't - 3-1 fast became 3-2 as McDermott teed up Barnes-Homer who, from 30 drove a central low shot that fooled home stopper


Michael Ingham who went down to gather, only to find it in the back of his net!


As York then became wasteful, the onus was on Harriers to defy the odds and grab a deserved equaliser - with 13 minutes to go they went within inches, Barnes-Homer again letting fly from distance with an effort that had Ingham beaten all ends up, going just over the bar.


Three minutes later it was the front man again as a 20 yard effort was spilled in front of goal but eventually gathered by a desperate Ingham.


Struggling with injury, many may have wondered why City kept faith with the man but with five minutes left on the clock he showed them the reason - charging forward, Duane Courtney cut inside and curled a magnificent effort from 18 yards that looked destined for the back of the net, only for Ingham to pull off what was a match-saving stop. Baker hammered at the re-bound but the last-ditch block was there to deny Harriers a leveller.


'If that was a boxing match we'd have lost it easily,' - one York supporter muttered on the way out. Perhaps so, but Harriers headed back home empty handed.

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