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Match Report


Posted Tue 21 Sep 10 at 21:37 PM

FULL TIME: Fleetwood 1-1 Harriers

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

A header from Jack Byrne with just eleven minutes to go was enough to snatch Harriers a share of the spoils at Fleetwood on Tuesday night after an entertaining 1-1 Blue Square Bet Premier draw on Tuesday night.

Fleetwood were by far the brightest starters to this game, allowing Harriers no time to settle on the ball whatsoever; within seven minutes they almost unlocked the visiting defence and notched an opening goal - Ian Craney's effort from around 18 yards being blocked on its way towards Lewis, forcing the goalkeeper to scramble to tip the wayward ball over his bar.

Harriers response was slow and gradual but on the 14 minute mark they worked a good opportunity to work Scott Davies' goal; picking the ball up out wide, Callum Gittings cut inside and drifted past two or three defenders before dragging a slow shot just wide of the post.

Six minutes later, though, some slow-building pressure from the visitors was popped like a balloon as the hosts took the lead. Harriers failed to press Craney as he picked up the ball from a relatively routine throw - unfortunately a split second was all the midfielder needed to pick his spot and loop the ball from 20 yards over the head of Daniel Lewis and into the back of the net.

Through Gittings and Dave Hankin Harriers tried to wrestle back with an immediate reply but the latter's shot was held all too easily by Davies - Lewis at the other end holding from Nathan Pond after the defence allowed the Fleet man to turn inside the six-yard box.

Five before the break Davies was again a little busier - Gittings forcing him to come and punch strongly from a free-kick and Jack Byrne stinging his hands with a shot from close range.

A developing theme of the first period seemed to be that for every half chance the visitors created, the hosts came back with a far closer effort of their own - after Harriers' brace of opportunities it was back to Craney who almost made it two with a repeat of his opener - Gittings conceding possession and allowing the Town man to pick up the ball and try his luck from 30 yards; Lewis looked this time to be beaten, though thankfully his bar came to the rescue.

In the dying moments of the first period Harriers went close to evening up matters - a good run from Lee Morris ending with a driving effort across goal that a sliding Gittings very nearly reached to poke home.

As the second half opened up Harriers seemed all too wasteful with the ball in Fleetwood territory and this just allowed wave after wave to surge forward for the hosts at the other end - 51 minutes it should have been 2-0 as a ball ran free all along the face of goal before being picked up by Pond who could only drive over the bar from around ten yards.

Just a few minutes later another chance of equal ease was presented to Micky Mellon's men - Lee Thorpe was left all alone with the ball on the far side, slipping a sharp ball into the feet of Magno Vieira who, from six yards, somehow dragged a shot wide of the upright.

Briggs drove forward for Harriers moments later, though, beating a clutch of Fleetwood players before driving a shot at the body of Davies.

Two after the hour mark the visitors had their best chance of the night to that point - superb, quick-thinking from a free-kick saw the defence split and the ball played through to Chris McPhee centrally on goal; from around ten yards he turned and shot well but was denied by a good low save by Davies.

With a quarter-hour left to play Fleetwood went close to grabbing a second goal to add some comfort to their game - sub Jamie Mullan was full of running after coming on and he beat a number of yellow-shirted players before firing a neat effort from 18 yards towards goal that sailed narrowly over the bar.

Less than five minutes later, hard-working Harriers got their rewards and silenced the home fans with an equalising goal - an excellent corner kick was drilled into the area and straight onto the head of Jack Byrne who rose at the near post to head a deft effort past Davies and into the back of the net.

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