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Match Report


Posted Sat 06 Feb 10 at 16:56 PM

FULL TIME: Oxford 0-0 Harriers

Match report by Matt Wall - stats provided by the Press Association

Harriers kept up their excellent recent form with a fine point on the road as they drew 0-0 with title-chasing Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

There was a scare for Harriers within seconds of the opening whistle, Sam Deering found himself free in the area to shoot wide of Dean Coleman's target as the away side were almost caught stone cold.

After that frantic start to the game things did start to settle as both sides were given time and space to play their football - new boy Marc Goodfellow had the first opening of note on 13 minutes when he fired wide of the upright from around 20 yards.

A minute later Goodfellow was again wishing he'd done better as he led a breakaway - a three on one advantage towards goal saw the Burton Albion man's squared ball to Brian Smikle go some way awry and away for a goal kick.

On 23 minutes a positive Harriers side again strode forward - neat play saw Smikle played in on the edge of the area. He shifted out to Lee Baker who from around 15 yards crossed to Robbie Matthews who saw his attempted shot come off his shin and deflect just over the bar.

Just after the half hour mark the pressure was back on at the other end as Deering drove a harshly-won free-kick into the area towards Rhys Day who put a tame effort wide. Two minutes later Goodfellow was again the point of the away attack, his central shot held well by Clarke in the home goal.

Oxford began the second half as they did the third and on 48 minutes they had a golden chance to open the scoring - Damian Batt crossing to the unmarked James Constable who from five yards saw his shot blocked by Duane Courtney.

A couple of minutes before the hour Smikle took the ball down well on his chest outside the box, but his shot was some way wide and in the end only resulted in a throw-in.

On 65 minutes Coleman was forced into action - The Harriers defence was breached for a rare time and both Deering and sub Matt Green broke free; in the end they confused one another but it was Deering with the eventual drive with the 'keeper clutched safely to his chest.

As Oxford's confidence began to grow, Coleman continued to earn his corn as he tipped a great free-kick over the bar from Simon Clist with 18 to go. Three minutes later, sub Jack Midson almost found the net less than a minute after coming on, but he hit straight at the Tgoalkeeper.

There was a moment of concern on 78 as Riley stayed down after taking a bang to the head but after
some quick sideline treatment the former Wolves man was able to continue.

Clarke was in fine form eight minutes from time - good work from McPhee and Smikle allowed sub Damian Spencer to have a stab at goal that the Oxford custodian kept out superbly with the help of an ankle.

A fine game threatened to boil over with an 89th minute flashpoint - a multi-man melee in the Oxford penalty area seeing Spencer and United's Dannie Bulman go into the referee's notebook.

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