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Match Report


Posted Sat 10 Apr 10 at 16:51 PM

FULL TIME: Gateshead 0-2 Harriers

Report by Matt Wall - stats provided and generated for by the Press Association.

A well-taken brace from Chris McPhee gave Harriers a rare away win as a fine second-half performance was rewarded with a 2-0 win at Gateshead on Saturday.

On a splendid afternoon and in front of a small but vocal crowd, it was the home side who started the quickest, forcing three early corners and creating the first opening of the day as Craig Baxter's drive from 18 yards following a free-kick went just wide of Ross Atkins' far post.

Just six minutes in, Harriers pounced on the ball in the middle of the park and went forward with Jack Byrne - the former Redditch United man advanced on Paul Farman's goal and drove a 20 yard shot some way over the bar with striker Robbie Matthews perhaps better placed.

Gateshead's pressure remained the strongest, though, and on 19 minutes they should really have taken the lead - neatly cutting inside the penalty area, Peter Winn worked himself a fine sight of goal before firing woefully wide of the target. Less than a minute later he nearly had the last laugh - the ball falling to him some 20 yards from Atkins' frame, he drove an effort unchallenged that sailed within a lick of paint of the bottom right-hand corner.

On the half hour mark Harriers were again breathing a sigh of relief as they came close to going a goal down - again it was Winn involved, left completely umarked on the far side of the penalty area, he hit a fine volley across the angle that again dragged just wide of the foot of the target.

Eight minutes later the returning John Finnigan shot off target after collecting Matthews' knock-down in the area, whilst at the other end Graeme Armstrong had the final effort of the first period by crashing a volley some way shy of troubling Atkins.

Just a few minutes into the second half Harriers had perhaps their best opportunity of the game, certainly their closest - a ball from a corner was allowed to roll free along the six-yard area, though neither Chris McPhee nor Martin Riley were able to apply the finish, the latter slicing wide.

Just two before the hour Gateshead were once again wondering how they weren't one-up, fine work from substitute Wayne Phillips saw him cut free inside the area and bend a great effort across Atkins and the goal, ever so narrowly missing the bottom of the far post, almost a replica of Winn's shot in the first period.

With just 24 minutes remaining Harriers slowly started to push forward a little more - good work from sub Dean Bennett and Matthews on the edge of the area set up McPhee for the shot from around 20 yards, an effort going just above Paul Farman's goal. Moments later, the lively Kerry's good work in the box was almost rewarded with the first goal of the day as he eventually supplied Matthews, the front man driving agonisingly wide.

Darryl Knights was sent on with just 18 minutes to go and within a minute he nearly opened the scoring as he fired over Farman's goal after being played in by Bennett. That elusive first goal finally did arrive just three minutes later, however, and Knights was involved. Combining on the edge of the area with fellow sub Smikle, the ball was played on the angle to McPhee who, from around ten yards, finished sweetly into the far corner of the net.

Within six minutes it was 2-0 as the same pair got together to put a further dent in Gateshead's afternoon. Kerry's deflected shot presented Knights with the ball out wide and, with time and space, the former Yeovil man pulled back arguably the perfect ball into the area to McPhee who - with a diving header - crashed a second of the day into the back of the net.

On 87 minutes Gateshead almost pulled a goal back but a decent free-kick delivery from ex-Aggborough man Andy Farrell missed all its targets and flew just up past the far post.

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