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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 18 Sep 10 at 20:20 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 0-0 Cambridge

Report - Matt Wall
Stats/Line-ups - PA
Pics - Stefan Rapacz

Harriers picked up their first clean sheet of the season on Saturday as they played out an entertaining 0-0 draw with Cambridge United at Aggborough Stadium.

The game had a bright beginning and within five minutes both teams had worked themselves a half-chance; Keith Briggs narrowly missing Chris McPhee's deep cross as he looked to head on target, and United's Danny Wright warming the fingers of Daniel Leiws.

With 12 minutes gone skipper Briggs was again causing problems, he lifted a neat free-kick towards goalkeeper Simon Brown, only a deflection seeing it go over the target.

A fine opportunity came the away of the home side just after the midway point of the first period as Lee Morris poked the ball through a hole in the United defence and into the path of his strike partner Nick Wright; covering defender Josh Coulson paid him just enough attention, though, and in the end, the one-on-one shot from Wright was not powerful enough to beat Brown who got down early to gather it.

Within around six minutes go to until half-time Harriers had a trio of chances on goal - first, Morris saw his snap-shot from the edge of the area saved at the second attempt by Blair, before both Callum Gittings and Mike Williams struck more wayward efforts.

If the first half was average in terms of those within-a-few-inches chances, the second period immediately upped the stakes as within three minutes a short corner wasn't picked up on by United, the ball finding the head of Michael Briscoe who saw an effort thump off the bar before being cleared to safety (above).

There was a moment of controversy on the hour mark; Harriers piled on the pressure and when Morris looked to drive towards Brown, his effort looked to have been blocked by a United hand - the appeals were firm from the home players but the referee was hearing little of it.

At the other end it was the U's term to go close to breaking the deadlock - first Wright found himself thwarted by Briscoe, ex-Harrier Simon Russell then denied by a great block from Vaughan.

The game gradually started to open up and a neat interlinking move from Cambridge saw them force Lewis into a save as the Harriers' stopper got down well to hold from Clare, and just after the pair of James Jennings and sub Alan Marriott both sent efforts off target for the visitors.

With 13 left to play, the home defence began to look even more nervous and Rory McAuley should really have punished them - latching onto a deep corner at the far post onto to head the ball into the ground and over.

Sub Wayne Gray bundled two headers wide inside the final ten minutes as the game descended into a brief spell of madness. Harriers thought for all the money in the world that they'd done enough to secure a win - a Keith Briggs ball was hooked goalwards by sub Matty Blair and the net looked set to ripple, only for McAuley to get back for the most last-ditch of last-ditch blocks.

At the other end, Marriott spooned over an open goal deep in injury time, as the referee blew an end to things to leave the spoils shared.

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