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Match Report


Posted Tue 20 Apr 10 at 21:38 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-2 Barrow

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

Harriers somewhat meekly let slip a first half lead on Tuesday night as they signed off their home League campaign with a poor 2-1 defeat to FA Trophy Finalists Barrow at Aggborough.

The home side started by far the brighter of these two sides and were unlucky not to be ahead on four minutes as Luke Prosser had a decent header on goal well help by Stuart Tomlinson between the sticks, the effort was a good one though a little central and as such the stopper was able to handle.

Tomlinson's relief was was brief, however, as lively Harriers surged ahead just three minutes later. Coming out to collect a ball on the edge of his area, he was beaten to it easily by Chris McPhee who headed it around him, and with the empty net calling him though the angle against him, the midfielder took the wise decision to centre towards Darryl Knights - the front man only beaten to the ball by Barrow's Paul Edwards who could only force the ball past his own goalkeeper.

After the quarter hour Harriers had fine chances to make it 2-0 as Smikle, in on goal, fired one at the goalkeeper with the ball looping to safety; just before John Finnigan saw a 20 yard effort well held by Tomlinson.

They were made to pay for not taking one of those chances as Barrow drew level on 18 minutes with virtually their first forward move of the night; Jason Walker beat Martin Riley for pace and surged down on Jasbir Singh who dived down to try and scupper the attack. Luck was against the Harriers goalkeeper, the ball bouncing off him and back to Walker who slotted into the empty net.

The home side took a while to respond but once they did the response was good - first McPhee saw a close-range back-header held, whilst on the half-hour mark Tomlinson did superbly to get a firm pair of gloves to Jack Byrne's header after the midfielder had been well set up by Lee Baker.

Five minutes later hands were on heads as to how Harriers hadn't added to the score - first, McPhee's excellent header was somehow clawed off the line at the very last by no more than the fingertips of the goalkeeper - the ball was re-worked, back to Smikle who could only force his effort at the foot of the post as Barrow just about scrambled clear.

After virtually dominating the half there was almost a sense of predictability about what would happen next when it drew to a close - Barrow stole ahead. With just second seconds to go in normal time of the 45. Duane Courtney's header back towards his own goalkeeper looked to be routine enough, though Walker fancied his luck, diving in between the two to nick the ball and head it into the net, a more simple goal he will likely never score.

Barrow were far brighter in the first stages of the second period and could well have added to their score through Simon Wiles' effort - Harriers at the other end went close on 57 minutes as Martin Riley headed just over from a corner.

Two minutes after the hour one of the smartest attacking moves of the game almost saw Harriers draw level - played in on the angle just ten yards from goal, Byrne bust a gut to reach the ball and drove it firmly towards the target, only a fine low save from Tomlinson denying him.

The energetic Knights lifted two good opportunities over the bar as the second half wore on, whilst McPhee should probably have made it 2-2 with a quarter hour to go, his headed effort going wide with Tomlinson nowhere to be seen.

Barrow sub James Owen almost made the win more comfortable just two minutes from time with some good movement, his clever flick held well by Singh.

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