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Match Report


Posted Sat 06 Mar 10 at 16:53 PM

FULL TIME: Eastbourne 0-0 Harriers

Match report by Matt Wall - stats by the Press Association

Clatterings of the woodwork were as close as either side came on Saturday as Eastbourne Borough and Harriers played out a frustrating 0-0 draw at Priory Lane.

The game kicked off in fine sunshine and two minutes in it was there was an early scare for Harriers as the hosts looked to start brightly and banish a few memories of their midweek walloping at the hands of Stevenage; some way out, the ball fell to Jamie Taylor who struck an effort wide of goal.

In the sixth minute they went some way closer - the visiting back four were caught napping by Joe Benjamin's driving forward ball. It went through to Liam Enver-Marum inside the area and the front man struck it well, only to be denied by goalkeeper Ross Atkins who raced off his line to clear the danger.

It took until the 23rd minute for Harriers to etch out their first opportunity of the afternoon as their threat towards Danny Knowles' goal began to grown - hit-man Adam Boyes played a neat one-two with Dean Bennett to get himself in on the goalkeeper, though his shot lacked power and was held comfortably enough.

Three minutes after the half-hour mark Harriers really should have gone ahead - Boyes was lively and beat the offside trap to take the ball out wide before powering a cross towards Dean Bennett. The midfield man's first touch to chest it down was perfect but the finish was certainly lacking as a he swung and missed, the goalkeeper happy to gather.

A poor first half got its best drama at its conclusion - Boyes was again in amongst it and after getting in on goal he saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper; the save was a parry straight into the path of Brian Smikle who went for the tap-in, only to be denied by Ben Austin.

Eight minutes into the second half Harriers found themselves among the chances; first the lively Boyes hit a looping shot from inside the area that dipped sharply over Knowles before clattering the woodwork - just after, the shot-stopper was involved as he showed a safe pair of hands to collect Smikle's header.

Two minutes later, though they were almost made to pay for not taking one of those chances as Atkins saw his woodwork bashed - again it was Benjamin with the neat delivery as he played in Matt Crabb; on the angle he should have made it 1-0 but could only hit his shot against the underside of the bar.

Five after the hour the woodwork was again being belted as Baker's long-range, deflected effort pinged off the upright; and once more in the 72nd minute as Crabb's 12-yard free-kick beat Atkins but not the frame of his goal.

Inside the final quarter-hour, Steve Burr threw on Robbie Matthews and James Lawrie to go four up top in search of a breakthrough, and there was almost an immediate impact as Matthews nodded through to Smikle who struck just wide. The half chances then kept coming as Chris McPhee saw a shot blocked as Bennett hit over.

The woodwork had its biggest bashing in injury time as it became clear it was to be a goalless afternoon - from 20 yards out Bennett hit a superb and rising effort that left Knowles looking up to the sky as it clipped the angle of bar and post.

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