Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 26 Feb 11 at 20:06 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-0 Wrexham

Report by Matt Wall - stats provided and generated for by the Press Association. Photos: Stefan Rapacz.

Harriers won the huge battle of the play-off chasers on Saturday as Chris McPhee' s first-half penalty was enough to secure the most vital of 1-0 wins against Wrexham.

Another healthy Aggborough crowd was treated to a customary quick start for games on said stage - Harriers tried to create opportunities early but were kept at bay by the impressive visiting back-line, Jay Harris diving in to divert a cross over his own bar and keep his goalkeeper out of trouble.

For a good 20 minute period that was as good as it got in terms of attacking action; Wrexham's Jay Harris wasted a good opportunity in space by thrashing the ball wide whilst Sean Canham saw a drilled cross go over the target at the other end.

With 25 on the clock we got a decent effort - the Dragons' early pressure was good and when Gareth Taylor's effort from distance was initially spilled by Danny Lewis, Andy Morrell looked to charge it down; the goalkeeper's reaction were good, though, as Lewis regrouped to gather.

Four minutes later Harriers had three golden chances to break the deadlock as this game started to liven up - first, skipper Briggs nodded a good header wide from a free-kick, Matty Blair then striking the foot of the post as he burst into the area and beat goalkeeper Chris Maxwell; the return ball then finding the onrushing Mike Williams who, against his former club, struck a firm drive only inches wide of the target.

A powerful Wrexham defence only looked to have one potential weakness; that being the battle against pace. The point was illustrated perfectly just nine minutes before the interval as Matty Blair got his head down and ran at them - he got as far as the area but made it no further as visiting skipper Chris Blackburn wiped him out.

He had little choice, but neither did the referee, who awarded a penalty. Chris McPhee must have been feeling some real pressure as he stepped up to the spot, but he kept his cool to smash it into the back of the net off the underside of the bar.

There was still a good chance for both sides before the first half came to an end - Andy Mangan should have done better than to scoop wide from close-range; whilst Tom Sharpe got up well in the area to meet a free-kick from Blair in the area, a little too well, though, as he thumped it over the target.

The second half was as slow as the first to get started in terms of chances but in terms of pressure it was very much one-sided as Wrexham looked to get level, Taylor lashing over with the help of a deflection from close-range.

Just before the hour mark substitute Mathias Pogba almost made it 1-1 as he ran at the Harriers defence and dragged one wide accross the face of goal; the home side struggling to make anything stick in the Wrexham half as the Welsh side stayed free to pile on the pressure.

Nine after, the first Harriers change of the day came when wide man Callum Gittings came on in place of Nick Wright as Steve Burr looked to ease some of the pressure on his defence.

Just three minutes later Maxwell was forced into his first save of the half as Harriers broke well, Briggs released McPhee out wide and carried on his own run into the area, eventually picking up the ball from Sean Canham before driving the ball into the stopper's hands.

With just 15 minutes to go it was more end to end stuff rather than one-way traffic, Blair firing over from inside the area for Harriers whilst the lively Pogba saw a shot held well by Lewis. Just after, Briggs nodded one down into the ground in the area as Maxwell got down well to make another save.

Mecca Bingo

    Latest Match Reports