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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 14 Nov 09 at 16:53 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 3-1 Oxford

Harriers got back to winning ways with the shock of the day in the BSP as an Aggborough classic saw them down League leaders Oxford United 3-1 on Saturday.


The game kicked off in front of a fantastic atmosphere, United travelling in amazing numbers to back their side, likewise those in the home end finding their voices.


It was the latter who were on the their feet as the game exploded to life with a goal inside two minutes - there were two strong appeals for a penalty for Harriers, the latter seeing Darryl Knights fouled in the box. Many appealed, not among them was Robbie Matthews who took care of business first in smashing the lose ball into the net from close range.


From there the charge from Mark Yates will undoubtedly have been to concentrate, and they did a good job of handling Oxford, who had a first-half chance of the afternoon before the ten minute mark as Sam Deering chipped off target.


With 17 minutes on the clock it got even better from a home perspective - after ex-Harriers man James Constable clattered Martin Riley, needlessly conceding a free-kick, Matthew Barnes-Homer found himself teed up before driving a fantastic 35-yard drive past the diving Ryan Clarke and into the net.


Oxford were left shocked both on the pitch with Adam Murray booked for a lunge on Duane Courtney, and on the terraces with a mindless minority needing restraining. Their afternoon got slightly better on 28 minutes as they were awarded a penalty - Deering, chasing a loose ball with Dean Coleman, was clipped by the stopper and went down in the area. Constable stepped up and sent Coleman the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-1.


There was a heart-in-mouth moment for Clarke on 36, Danny Andrew's free-kick driven towards goal and spilled by the custodian who eventually managed to recover and gather.


On 42 minutes there was a fantastic chance to each side - first, to the fury of Yates, Oxford were able to take possession on their own 18 yard line, surging forward with a great move that ended with Dannie Bulman's driven shot that Coleman parried. Seconds later, Harriers broke away with Knights who played Smikle in just inside the area, his shot held well by Clarke.


It was a lively start to the second period and within three minutes of the re-start, Knights had hit off target from 18 yards as the hosts moved forward. 


Just a couple of minutes later the North Stand was rocking once again as Harriers restored their two-goal lead, fantastic hold-up play by Barnes-Homer who teased his man before firing a pin-point low ball across the face of goal which was finished by Matthews who netted his second who put the ball between the legs of the 'keeper.


United made the first change of the day by introducing Jack Midson on the hour - his first involvement saw him fouled by Riley - from 18 yards Coleman was forced to gather from the resulting set-play.


The second half due to the early goal then took on a scruffier look - neither side able to work out any real clear-cut chances, that until the tie again exploded into life on 75 minutes. A counter saw Barnes-Homer put in on goal with a great ball over the top - Covering defender Steve Kinniburgh was never going to reach it but did stop the striker from doing so - a red card for him and a penalty for home side.


Robbie Matthews stepped up, on a hat-trick, but Harriers were denied a fourth goal thanks to Clarke's fantastic double save, first from Matthews' effort and the second from Smikle's follow-up.


With five minutes to go, United had a great chance to pull another one back with a dangerously-placed free-kick. Coleman was equal to it, palming the ball away from under his own bar.

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