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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 30 Aug 10 at 16:55 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 2-2 Tamworth

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

A goal just three seconds from the end of normal time from Jack Byrne was enough to give Harriers a deserved share of the spoils on Bank Holiday Monday after an at-times controversial game with Tamworth ended 2-2 at Aggborough.

With less than five minutes on the clock in this one as the home defence were less than alert to the threat of front man Nick Rodman - cutting inside on the area and unchallenged, the Lambs' man drove a great effort towards the target that was tipped over by Daniel Lewis, a fine stop.

On ten minutes the hosts had their first chance of the day through Nick Wright. Greeted by a chorus of boos from the fans of his former employers, the England C front-man tried his luck from around 20 yards and only narrowly missed the near post of ex-Harriers shot stopper Ross Atkins.

A quarter-hour later there was a moment of controversy - Chris McPhee chased down a visiting defender and Atkins with a loose ball entering the area; the pressure looked to have paid off with the goalkeeper forced to handle outside his area, only for the watching referees assistant to award nothing.

On 28 minutes a great delivery into the box from Harriers was met with a rising header from Marc Williams, playing after his link-up with the Wales U21 was delayed in order for him to feature, who powered an effort into Atkins' grateful clutches.

Harriers really turned up the pressure for the final part of the first period and they were finally rewarded for those efforts with the opening goal of the game two before the interval - great hassling and harrying from Marc Williams saw him wrestle possession away from Tamworth, leaving the ball free for skipper Keith Briggs who curled a beauty of an effort from around 18 yards that beat Atkins on its way to the back of the net.

The joy was, however, short lived - seconds later the Lambs were level as they punished the home side for switching off for a split second. With most in red stood still appealing for a foul on Mark Albrighton that wasn't given - play continued and the alert Kyle Perry got his rewards for staying bright, bursting into the area he was left all alone to power a looping header into Lewis' top corner from a left-wing cross.

The second half had a scrappier start as neither side seemed able to keep the ball down for any real length of time - 12 minutes after the re-start, however, there was a half chance for Harriers as right-back Lee Vaughan volleyed over Atkins goal on the angle.

Seven after the hour mark Tamworth needed a late block to stop Harriers getting an effort in on goal - an excellent, incisive ball from Tom Shaw released Nick Wright via Morris, the front man denied at the last as he looked to pounce on Atkins.

With a little under 20 minutes to go, what had been a keen-spirited game was tarnished by a largely questionable decision from one of the referees assistants. A hopeful ball up field saw Tamworth's perry seemingly clip his own heels when trying to beat Albrighton and the covering Vaughan - the latter shipped the ball safely back to Lewis and the referee saw nothing into Perry's antics, though he was called over by his assistant, in a much worse position, who indicated that Albrighton had wiped out his man; cue second yellow and a red for the former Stevenage Borough man.

Home tempers boiled and predictably Perry was able to laugh it off - on 79 minutes he was fed the ball on the edge of the area and smashed an excellent effort past Lewis and into the back of the net for Tamworth's second as Aggborough stood rocked.

In the final minute of normal time Harriers again felt hard done by when a Tamworth handball in the area was punished with a free-kick on the edge of the box rather than a penalty inside it; they at least made the most of the opportunity they had as a superb delivery from Shaw was re-worked in fine style by Mike Williams who turned and curled it back across the face of goal where the onrushing Jack Byrne was on hand to power home at the far post.

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