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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 Jan 11 at 16:57 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-0 Forest Green

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

Chris McPhee's precious, precious late goal against Forest Green Rovers at Aggborough on Saturday was enough to seal a New Year's Day 1-0 success in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

With Rovers standing firm in two banks of four from the off, there was little by way of early action for Harriers as they looked to break down their opponents. It took some 11 minutes for the game to get its first chance and it came from the visitors, Ross Dyer striking the ball fiercely towards goal from close range; Daniel Lewis standing firm to deny him with a good save.

From Rovers it was up and unders, whilst Harriers did their best to keep the ball on the deck. Working it well in all areas until being thwarted in the final third, the closest they came inside the first 25 minutes was a link-up between Jamille Matt and Matty Blair, the latter just missing the former's pass as it was rolled to him inside the area.

On the half-hour mark Matt was involved again as Harriers finally got the ball going towards goal - his great knock-down supplying Michael Briscoe who lashed one over the bar from around 18 yards.

Three minutes of added time at the end of the first period seemed a harsh infliction on those watching - the referee's whistle eventually bringing on the interval and the cue for some words of encouragement in the home changing room after a frustrating opening period.

There was a swap up top at the break as Nick Wright came on in place of Matt - the former Tamworth man's impact was almost instant; less then five minutes into the half he latched on to Briscoe's through-ball and shot at goalkeeper James Bittner from the edge of the area, the stopper getting down well to parry away the danger.

The hosts continued their gradual attempt to break Rovers down and some three minutes before the hour, Mark Albrighton sent a flick header wide at the far post after Blair had done superbly to win a corner.

With 69 minutes on the clock Rovers made their first venture forward of the half, it almost had a spectacular results, Dyer unleashing one towards the top corner that Lewis just managed to get fingertips to and turn round the post.

Six minutes later back up the other end, Harriers went agonisingly close to what would have been a thoroughly deserved opener, Albrighton supplying Briggs in the area and the skipper stabbing one goalwards that was only kept off the line by Jared Hodgkiss.

Blair remained a threat throughout and with seven to go, he surged forwards with the ball and tried his luck, only for his effort to fly wide of Bittner's post.

Just when you thought that 1 January 2011 would go down as 'one of those days' - none other than Chris McPhee came to the rescue to steal an incredible win in injury. He darted into the area on the gamble to latch onto a through ball before being hauled down by Adam Quinn - PENALTY!

Surely he'd score and give Harriers fans the relief they so richly deserved? Well, no. The effort was excellently saved by Bittner. But I didn't matter - it was stopped on the parry, the ball falling straight back to McPhee's feet as he gleefully slotted in the re-bound.

Joy of joys - Happy New Year!

Mecca Bingo

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