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Match Report


Posted Thu 15 Apr 10 at 21:45 PM

FULL TIME: Hayes 2-2 Harriers

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

Goals from Chris McPhee and Martin Riley saw Harriers twice come from behind to earn a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Hayes & Yeading in the Blue Square Premier on Thursday night.

Far from being a game with little on it, this one started brightly with a brisk wind - both sides looked to move the ball forward quickly and with just four minutes on the clock it was the home side who fashioned the first opportunity - up supporting the attack, Adam Green took a shot from just outside the area that Ross Atkins was able to get down well to and smother at the first attempt.

With head injuries to two Harriers players and an official, the first half was a disjointed affair and neither side were finding it easy to into a rhythm, though on the 20 mark Ram Marwa had to be alert to the threat of Darryl Knights after the Harriers man took the ball down excellently in the area, shaping to shoot but ending up with a corner after a good defensive block.

Just before the half-hour mark Harriers were given a real let off - not dealing with the pace of Danny Allen-Page, they were unable to close down his ball into the area as it reached Marwa. From around three yards, Marwa should certainly have opened the scoring but with just Atkins to beat he drilled an effort over the bar.

The hosts found the target just a couple of minutes later and Harriers were this time indebted to some last-ditch defending - skipper Tom Cadmore's header from close-range looked destined for the top corner of the net, its flight only disrupted by a clearing header on the line by Dean Bennett.

As the game entered a huge seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half, we got the first goal as Harriers were made to pay for a less than electric first period - a corner coming in saw an initial effort from Cadmore blocked - when the re-bound came out to Fitzgerald, the front man made no mistake in driving hard and low past Atkins and into the net.

Harriers immediately looked brighter after the re-start and within a couple of minutes they'd fashioned a couple of half chances - Bennett poking into the arms of goalkeeper Clark Masters, Brian Smikle then firing one over the bar from close range.

Six minutes into the second half Harriers bright start to the second period was rewarded with a leveller - sub Duane Courtney was having an instant impact and it was his ball into the area that found Chris McPhee. The midfielder's first effort was spooned up into the air but as the goalkeeper came out to gather, McPhee's reactions beat him all ends up as he switched his feet to poke the ball home underneath him and into the back of the net.

Harriers could have added a quick second before Bennett was denied by Marwa, and the home side made that crucial block count with their second of the night eight minutes after the hour. The visitors simply failed to clear their lines as a mini game of pinball was played out in the area - Fitzgerald eventually decided enough was enough, rifling home from 18 yards with a well taken volley that left Atkins utterly helpless.

A reasonably mild-tempered game boiled over in an instant with around a quarter-hour to go - handbags were well and truly exchanged between Luke Prosser and Fitzgerald inside the Harriers area, the Harriers' man booked for his part in it, whilst two-goal Fiztgerald was also flashed a yellow; unfortunately for him his second of the night as he was sent off for an early bath.

Within a minute of that madness dying down, Harriers cued more chaos by grabbing their second equaliser of the night - Masters came to claim and got absolutely nothing, the ball dropping right on to the head of Martin Riley whose looping header went over all in the area before finding the back of the net.

As the game entered injury time, sub Jack Byrne shot wide as Harriers looked to press for a late winner.

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