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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 03 Oct 09 at 21:03 PM

FULL TIME: AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Harriers

A super strike just a minute into the second half was enough to give Harriers just their second away win of the season on Saturday as they took all three points from AFC Wimbledon.


In front of another 3,000-plus crowd it was the hosts who had began the game the strongest of the sides, forcing some early corners before Matthew Barnes-Homer had the day's first chance with a shot form the edge of the area that was held well by goalkeeper James Pullen.


It was a match contested superbly throughout and without a hint of malice - typically 50/50 it was a key chance apiece either side of the quarter-hour mark.


First, Barnes-Homer chased down a lost cause and bustled through the defence to play in John Finnigan, one on one with Pullen. The midfielder controlled it well but could only shoot at the goalkeeper.


From the resultant throw, Pullen set Wimbledon away, Chris Hussey shooting well from around 18 yards, and effort that was goalbound without doubt was, for the second consecutive game, tipped over the bar at the last by a fingertip save from Dean Coleman.


Harriers were almost made to pay just before the half hour - they conceded the cheapest of corners, Sam Hatton going close for the hosts with a header over the bar. Darryl Knights at the other end almost broke the deadlock moments later but his distance effort was deflected wide.


On 31 minutes Harriers carved out another chance - this time they were showing what they can do from corners as a training-ground move almost paid off; Chris McPhee driving a shot hard towards hard that the 'keeper did well to keep out.


It was the away side who finished the first period the strongest and they carried that through to the re-start, just a little over a minute had elapsed when they finally opened the scoring. A neat move forward saw some sharp passing, Brian Smikle playing the ball into the feet of Barnes-Homer who, in a flash, turned on the edge of the area and blasted the most lethal of finishes past Pullen into the bottom corner of the net.


From there it was admittedly a bit of an onslaught as the home side pressed - they had two excellent chances prior to the hour mark as Ross Montague and Lewis Taylor both went close, the latter from just seven yards.


Harriers were rushed for a period in the second half and at times struggled to find rhythm against an impressive Wimbledon outfit, but a goalmouth scramble five after the hour almost saw them grab a second off the knee of Duane Courtney.


The chance to double the lead and arguably put the game to bed came with a little over 20 minutes left; a counter-attack seeing the pacy Barnes-Homer play in Smikle who on the angle just lifted the ball over the bar.


Harriers threw on defenders Liam Dolman and Gavin Caines to try and soak up some more of the late pressure but for all their pressing, AFC forced Coleman into precious few saves of any note. Perhaps the closest they came was just five minutes from the end when Hussey's smart free-kick was turned behind.


The win gives Harriers so much of what they've needed - back to back wins, a victory away from home and another deserved clean sheet.


Three points puts them in sixth place, just a point behind Luton Town who occupy the final play-off position. And just who might be the opposition to Aggborough Stadium one week from today for our next game?


See you there.

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