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Match Report


Posted Sat 10 Oct 09 at 18:55 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-2 Luton

A goal in the last minute of normal time saw Harriers' beaten at Aggborough as Luton Town came from behind to take all three points on a controversial day that saw both teams finish with ten men.

With Aggborough the fullest its been for some time, it was Luton who got the game underway surrounded by a fine atmosphere from supporters both home and away - it was they who had the first effort of the afternoon in the second minute as Ben Wright saw an effort from inside the area held by Dean Coleman.

With 12 on the clock Coleman held comfortably from Rossi Jarvis as the Hatters man tried his luck from further out but moments later Harriers took the lead with their first real chance of the day - good work down the right hand side saw Duane Courtney's through ball chested down superbly by Matthew Barnes-Homer who turned and finished past Mark Tyler.

That goal seemed to settle down the game as a spectacle as both sides then kept possession more tidily - Luton were building patiently and would have wanted to have done better when Tom Craddock's weak header after 27 minutes went wide.

Tyler pulled off super save a minute later to keep the score at 1-0 - Courtney again supplying the ball as Brian Smikle rose well in the box and saw his header palmed away at the foot of the post.

Around the 40 minute mark the lively Jarvis went from hero to villain - the Luton man's superb stop prevented an almost certain second goal as Chris McPhee hooked the ball goalwards in a scramble - but moments later his inexcusable, needless lunge on the same player saw him given an early bath courtesy of a straight red card. The moment was as costly for Harriers as it was the visitors - McPhee, unable to continue, was substituted a couple of minutes later.

In a classic case of evening things up Harriers found themselves down to ten men on the stroke of half time - after taking the ball down well in the area, Robbie Matthews went in for the lose ball and, whilst falling, couldn't help but catch Tyler as the goalkeeper turned and rolled in his direction; straight red for the front man in front of the mass Luton support - ask and you shall receive.

Luton had the first chance of the second half on 48 minutes - Adam Newton lofting the ball over sub Gavin Caines for Craddock who shot into Coleman's chest.

That seemed to be all the visitors needed by way of a lift, as they began to knock the ball around with more confidence, starting to press the home defence, Newton firing wide from distance on 52 minutes, two further along Asa Hall headed just wide.

Harriers weathered the storm well up the hour mark when they got themselves an excellent chance to double their lead - Dean Bennett slipping in Brian Smikle who hit just over the bar on the angle. On 67 minutes they were again away on the counter, substitute Nathan Hayward galloping away towards goal only to slip as he went to make his pass. Luton ensured it was end-to-end stuff as Alan White headed over from a corner soon after.

Crosses were coming into the box in high numbers and Ryan Charles saw his beauty headed over the bar by Hall with 15 minutes gone, but the equaliser finally came just seconds later - a knock-down in the box found Newton who struck an absolute rocked of an effort that went in off the bar without giving Coleman a chance, sending the Luton fans into raptures.

With tails up, from there it was Luton who asked the most questions in the final part of the game, but Harriers managed to keep them at bay, until the hammer blow came in the very last minute of normal time - it was another surging run from Newton down the flank, the ball chipped in to Charles to cutely lifted it over Coleman who was helpless to watch it rise past his outstretched hand and into the back of the net.

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