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Match Report


Posted Sat 08 Jan 11 at 18:35 PM

FULL TIME: Gateshead 2-2 Harriers

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

Harriers came behind to lead at Gateshead on Saturday but it wasn't enough to secure them three points on the road thanks to a late goal for the hosts and some inspired goalkeeping from their stopper Tim Deasy.

Gateshead immediately set about frustrating Harriers and from the off the visitors were given the test of trying to break the home side down.

It was the home side who initially looked the most dangerous inside the opening quarter-hour, sensing some joy out-wide they ran at the visiting back-line before a neat ball was played into the area and to James Tavernier, who saw a shot well blocked before Kris Gate followed up by sending a volley wide.

Harriers didn't seem to heed the warning and on 16 minutes they paid the price as Gateshead took the lead with a super little move - the ball worked intricately into the are and to the feet of debutant Michael Liddle, on loan from Sunderland, who swept a fine finish past Daniel Leiws for 1-0.

Thankfully the Harriers fans who'd travelled such a long way to way back their side didn't have to wait long for a response, and when it came what a response it was! Six minutes later and within two further it was 2-1 to the men in yellow. Both goals were of real quality and both were supplied by Chris McPhee. First, he kept his cool after beating his man for pace to pick out the unmarked, charging Matty Blair who, one on one with goalkeeper Tim Deasy, fired home with a beauty of a finish.

Within a flash, the turnaround had been completed; McPhee chased a lost cause superbly near the corner flag and drove in a delightful cross to the near post and the waiting Nick Wright who struck it beautifully with the outside of his boot andinside the bottom corner of the net.

A pretty open first period managed to solidify towards its end as the two sides began to settle slightly - possession became tidier and chances fewer - the best of the rest coming as Tom Shaw tried his luck from around 20 yards with a rising effort that kept Deasy guessing narrowly on its way over the bar.

The first period began with a superb chance for Harriers and, in truth, it should really have been 3-1; excellent work by Blair saw a cross eventually find its way through to McPhee who, on the spot and around six yards out, shot towards the far corner and was only denied by an excellent save from Deasy who got down low to keep his team in it.

Seven minutes later it was the hosts who were kicking themselves after a golden chance went begging - Joan Edmundsson was proving a real handful for the defence and when he smashed one goalwards it took a great block from Lewis to deny him - the ball then being re-worked to Jon Shaw who should really have found the bottom corner of an empty net, only to fire wide of the target.

Edmundsson forced another effort narrowly off target for Gateshead on 69 minutes as Harriers made their second change of the day - Dave Hankin replacing Matty Blair after Jamille Matt had come on for the injured Wright.

The single-goal lead was always looking lean as the second half progressed and Burr's men failed to add another to the tally; the home side meanwhile growing in confidence as they sensed a way back in to things. Sure enough they were able to channel that confidence into an equalising goal on 73 minutes as Harriers were breached again; poor defending as a deep cross was planted right on to the head of Shaw who rose to nod past a furious Lewis.

Instantly there were two magnificent chances for Harriers to hit straight back and rediscover their lead - Keith Briggs and Matt found themselves 2v1 with Deasy just six yards on 74, the former passing to the latter who was kept out by Deasy who, yet again, made a quality stop. Four minutes later he was at it again - Tom Shaw must have deservedly thought for all the money in the world that he'd made it 3-2 but the former Barrow stopper got up to somehow keep out his effort which was heading towards the top corner.

Harriers would like to apologise for the unusually late time of this afternoon's match coverage.

Mecca Bingo

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