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Match Report


Posted Sun 01 Nov 09 at 09:08 AM

FULL TIME: Cambridge 2-0 Harriers

Harriers put in a real shift at Cambridge United on Saturday but were once again left to rue sleepiness at the back as they returned to Worcestershire empty-handed thanks to a 2-0 defeat at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.

Within four minutes it was Harriers who had put themselves in a bit of trouble, turning off at a throw in as Andy Parkinson charged into the area and forced a block from Dean Coleman with a driven effort.

It was a warning the visitors failed to take notice of as they were caught out once again on 12 minutes as the U's took the lead - they failed to pick up Paul Carden as he passed through to the lively Jai Reason - the youngster took the ball to the by-line, taking Coleman out of the game with a neat lob across the face to Chris Holroyd who headed into the empty net at the far post.

The goal at least livened up the men in red and white as they then took the game to United with some neat passing and movement - they failed to really penetrate, though, until the 23rd minute when Darryl Knights put a fine corner on to the head of Brian Smikle whose effort from 12 yards saw Danny Potter forced into a finger-tip save as he pushed it over the bar.

If there is one major criticism of Harriers season it will be that their chances-to-goals ratio isn't good enough - when half-chance after half-chance came and went for the visitors, you almost sensed the inevitable as Cambridge made them pay - on the half-hour mark they made it 2-0 with the most simple of goals - Robbie Willmott's deep free kick finding Wayne Hatswell in the box who nodded a free header past the beaten Coleman.

The pattern of the game after the second goal was much the same as after the first in that yet again Harriers took control, moving the ball confidently in midfield without really testing Potter further as the half drew to a close.

Three minutes into the second period Harriers had a chance to pull one back as a charging Knights drove towards goal, though his decent effort flew wide of Potter's upright. On 52 minutes there was another half chance, Martin Riley stabbing the ball over the target from a central position following a good corner delivery.

These chances kept coming as the second half began to mirror the first - in quick succession, Knights forced another excellent save from Potter with a great volley, Bennett struck over once more whilst Gavin Caines glanced a free header wide with the home defence static.

Just after the hour mark the visitors tried the set-play route as Robbie Matthews was given the ball at a free-kick some 30 yards out - it was an excellent effort from the front man who probably had Potter beaten, unfortunately so too the bar.

Cambridge, two goals to the good, were happy enough to let Harriers have possession inside their own half as they looked to defend and shut the tie out - but they got in two good positions prior to the 70 mark to add to their advantage but efforts from Reason and Holroyd lacked direction.

Harriers continued to press in search of a goal but a content United did excellently to marshal them - ironically though it was the amber and black men who should have added a third to their tally on 83 minutes - sub Lee Phillips surged forward and put the ball on a plate for Parkinson who fired over with only the goalkeeper to beat.

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