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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 27 Feb 10 at 16:52 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 3-0 Histon

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

Harriers kept their play-off hopes well and truly alive on Saturday as they eased to a comfortable home victory by downing Histon 3-0 at Aggborough Stadium.

Histon started well as the rain poured down over the playing surface but despite a relatively slow start it was the home side who went in front with what was arguably the first serious note of the whole afternoon.

With just four minutes gone and after Dean Bennett had hit some way off target, John Finnigan released Lee Baker out wide; the left-back beat the Histon back-line and charged forward before slipping the ball to Brian Smikle who picked up where he's left off just recently, back-heeling his third goal in as many games and 11th of the season into the back of the net.

Some 12 minutes later it could have been two and it was Junior yet again at the point of things, Darryl Knights' ball was left by Chris McPhee and fell sweetly at the feet of the winger - he got decent enough contact on it but it wasn't enough to send it past 'keeper Danny Naisbitt, the shot-stopper blocking it well.

With 20 minutes on the clock Histon registered their first real attacking interest of the day as Erkan Okay's lethal cross-shot looked set for the back of the net, or at least a foward's tap-in, before Harriers' man Gavin Caines got back to claw the ball off the line.

On the half hour only a superb piece of goalkeeping from Naisbitt kept it at 1-0 - neat play on the edge of the area saw Baker played in, taking a touch he hit an effort that deflected up and over the goalkeeper. It looked destined for the back of the net but at the very last, the shot-stopper got back and forced a palm to it that pushed it up on to the bar and out of play.

Nine before the half-time interval Harriers had the ball in the back of the net through Smikle once more only to see the effort chalked off for an offside - just after, Glenn Southam saw an effort at the other end go wide of the target.

The start to the second half was as slow as the first but on 56 minutes Harriers livened things up, again, in exactly the same way - by finding the back of the net. McPhee's cross out wide was looping and long but looked to have missed all its striking targets; that was until assistant gaffer John Finnigan arrived to athletically smash the ball into the back of the net, an absolute rocket.

Naisbitt between the sticks could do nothing with that and was similarly helpless two minutes later as the home side turned rampant to make it 3-0; picked out in the area by Duane Courtney, Darryl Knights advanced without any challenge on Naisbitt before coolly slamming home to the delight of the Aggborough faithful.

After the hour mark the same goalkeeper did well to get behind good, driven efforts from both McPhee and Knights, whilst just after there was a debut for James Lawrie as he came off the bench to replace the tireless Smikle. Within a couple of minutes of his arrival the Port Vale striker forced Naisbitt into further work, a good parried save from a shot on the edge of the area.

With 11 to go Lawrie went even closer - after being set-up by McPhee's downward header, he struck first-time and left Naisbitt rooted to the spot, only for the ball to roll just wide of the far post.

In injury time Knights nearly made it four as he latched on to McPhee's cut-back, his drive whizzing just past the post with the goalkeeper again beaten.

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