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Match Report


Posted Wed 25 Nov 09 at 16:05 PM

FULL TIME: Wrexham 2-2 Harriers

Harriers twice came from behind to claim a deserved point at Wrexham on Tuesday night - some real quality and some absolute madness from both sides as they played out a 2-2 draw.

Within three minutes at a wet Racecourse Ground, Harriers worked themselves a decent chance - a good ball into the box saw Brian Smikle strain his neck to head towards goal, stopper Chris Maxwell tipping it over the bar - even though the referee awarded a goal kick!

Despite the early chance it was the home side who started the tie the brighter of the two teams, moving the ball around well on a heavy pitch. Harriers took close to the quarter-hour mark to find some passing rhythm, a neat move forcing a corner. The set-play led to a free-kick on the edge of the area after Dean Bennett had been fouled, Danny Andrew fizzing a 20-yard effort wide.

With 22 minutes on the clock Harriers came close to paying the price for what was an average start - Marc Williams kept the ball superbly for Wrexham on the edge of the area, took it onto his stronger foot and drove centrally towards goal - Dean Coleman down early to deny the front man with a really good save.

Moments later at the other end, Wrexham failed to clear their lines but weren't punished when Barnes-Homer found the ball at his feet from six yards - it came to him quickly and a snatched effort went some way over.

On 25, Wrexham got rewards for their start as they took the lead but for the visitors it was a soft, soft goal - a driven, floored free-kick was flashed along the face of goal by Wes Baynes, straight to the far post where the waiting, unmarked Mike Williams slid in for the finish.

Their lead lasted just six minutes - Harriers responded well and just after Barnes-Homer forced a good save from Maxwell, Brian Smikle left the shot-stopper grasping at thin air; a ball forward was knocked down well by Robbie Matthews - it bounced loose before the winger lashed it into the bottom corner for 1-1.

Three minutes further on the game swung back in the hosts' favour - if their first goal was a gift, their second was a sack-full all in one. A corner floated in found Williams free yet again - he rose to a head a ball that had chance to bounce before it found the net, with no blue shirt even close to it.

Straight back up the other end, Harriers tried to make amends, with both Barnes-Homer and Smikle forcing neat stops from Maxwell, though it was Wrexham who came closest to another goal, a scramble in the six yard box from a corner almost saw the ball bundled over the line.

It should have been inevitable with the pattern of the game that Harriers would again go up to the other end and find an equaliser, and on 44 minutes they did so - Matthews' playing in McDermott whose shot was saved by Maxwell, the parry forced it back out to Matthews who found Chris McPhee who slotted home underneath the raging stopper.

As with the first period it was the Dragons who started the second half the better - two half chances falling their way through Neil Taylor and Williams respectively, both within the first four minutes of the kick-off.

Just seconds shy of the hour mark the game almost got its fifth goal in tremendous style - Andy Fleming pulled the trigger from 20 yards and his arrow of a shot looked destined for the top corner before Coleman denied him with a last-ditch fingertip save.

Honours remained even but Wrexham remained on top - on 67 minutes they went within inches of making it 3-2, questionable defending again allowing them as Bayes cut inside and drove an angled effort that went just shy of a beaten Coleman's far post.

Mark Yates' men had a first serious chance of the second period with 20 minutes to go - a free-kick floated in by substitute Lee Baker, found a powerful header from Smikle who powered it just wide of the upright.

The poor conditions made the game a scrappy affair late on as it lashed down hard and heavy - four minutes from the break, Harriers had Coleman to thank once again as he turned the ball around the post from a low effort from Curtis Obeng.

Skipper McPhee tried his luck from distance as the game entered stoppage time but he drove wide from a good position.

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