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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 02 Oct 10 at 16:52 PM

FULL TIME: Crawley 2-0 Harriers

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

Goals inside the final 22 minutes saw Harriers come away from a hard-working display at Crawley Town empty handed as the big-spending title-favourites recorded a 2-0 win at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday.

On a damp and wet afternoon it was the Red Devils who started the brightest and the quickest - within five minutes they'd worked themselves three good opportunities on goal; the best of the bunch being Ben Smith's deft shot towards Lewis that forced an excellent save as the visiting goalkeeper made a quick change of direction to force the ball away from the target.

It took a good ten further minutes or so for Harriers to settle the play down a little bit and ask some questions of Crawley; Jack Byrne curling a good effort towards Michel Kuipers' goal that only narrowly flew the wrong side of the post/bar angle, before Chris McPhee headed over from a good cross, lofted in by Matty Blair who was making his first start of the season.

25 minutes in, another chance fell to Smith as he looked to take advantage of a slip at the back from Harrier - his effort from ten yards or so was straight at Lewis, though, and was held comfortably enough.

Just one minute after the half-hour mark the hosts again went close and again Smith was involved - nobody tracked his run towards the box as Matt Tubbs pulled the ball back from deep, Smith's side-footed drive being blocked by Michael Briscoe on its way past the target. Five before the break, the same player blasted one wide of the target from 20 yards.

On the stroke of half-time Lee Morris looked to be through on goal after picking up McPhee's ball but after Kyle McFadzean brought him down on the edge of the area, Lee Vaughan saw his shot from a teed free-kick blocked well by Crawley.

Early in the second period there was a chance each for the two sides - Callum Gittings firing one over the bar on the angle for Harriers before Crawley's Pablo Mills missed the target from ten yards with just Lewis to beat - Ollie Thorne getting up to reach Gittings' 57th minute corner as he headed over the bar with the action continuing to flow.

With 67 minutes Crawley continued to press and it is perhaps a reflection of Harriers solid defending and determination that the home side managed to force the breakthrough when they were down to ten men with defender Briscoe off receiving treatment; Scott Neilson taking a couple of touches on the right-hand side before unleashing a fine effort from more than 20 yards that sailed past Lewis and into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later Harriers went close to a response when Lee Vaughan crossed superbly for McPhee to head narrowly over the bar; at the other end Sergio Torres pulled an effort wide a few moments later.

With 13 to go, the Red Devils killed the game off; hitting Harriers on the counter-attack as they themselves were pushing hard for a leveller. Tubbs was allowed the freedom of Broadhall Way to chase down on goal before firing a great ball across the face of goal and around the front of the back-four, where McAllister was waiting at the far post to apply the finish.

Sub Tom Shaw forced a fantastic save from the Crawley goalkeeper deep in injury time as the stopper palmed a free-kick over the bar.

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