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Match Report


Posted Sat 05 Mar 11 at 16:53 PM

FULL TIME: Luton 1-1 Harriers

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

Harriers held firm in the Blue Square Bet Premier places on Saturday as Chris McPhee's 15th goal of the season was enough to give the side a super point at promotion rivals Luton Town.

There was real drama after less than 30 seconds in this one - deadly Luton duo Matthew Barnes-Homer and Lloyd Owusu battled their way into the area and both found themselves on the deck; the referee blew and just when you expected a penalty to be awarded, the referee booked the latter for a dive.

Just three minutes later Owusu was the man in the thick of the action for Luton as he forced the first save of the day; Barnes-Homer superbly blocked a Michael Briscoe clearance and the ball deflected into the path of his strike partner who took a touch before driving towards Daniel Lewis who got down well to tip it around the post.

After a little under a quarter hour, Harriers had their first real opening from a set-piece as Tom Shaw lifted a free-kick from just outside the area that was met by Briscoe who got up to head it back across goal.

With 20 minutes on the clock it was another brace of chances for the Hatters as Harriers really struggled to keep the ball for long spells - first, Claude Gnapka powered a header plenty high of the target before Owusu stabbed wide at the far post when he really should have scored.

Five minutes later and on the break there was an effort for the visitors as Matty Blair got in behind the back-line and hooked the ball on the volley back across the face of goal - Callum Gittings meeting it with a header that was held by Tyler.

On 27, though, the deadlock was broken and perhaps with the run of play - more hard work by ex-Harrier Barnes-Homer saw him have one attempted shot blocked by a defender before picking up the seconds and lashing an almighty finish past Lewis and into the roof of the net.

Nine minutes before the interval the men in red went within inches of the perfect response - after Blair's pace had caused some problems and forced successive corners, the ball was with Mark Albrighton on the edge of the area, his driven effort was hooked further towards goal by Sean Canham; Tyler had kissed it goodbye as it looked destined for the net, only for it to clip off the bar and away.

Just before the break, though, Luton should have doubled their advantage with a couple of efforts - Owusu headed over from Freddie Murray's excellent cross, Barnes-Homer then blazing wide from just inside the area having got past his man.

Thankfully for those of a Harriers following there were just seven minutes to wait in the second half before their side were level - it was a good opening to the second period from them as Blair and Mike Williams kept the ball well and stretch the home back line; in the end it was a set-play that supplied the ammo - Gittings' excellent free-kick was floated towards the far post and headed into the roof of the net by Chris McPhee on his 100th appearance for the club.

That seemed to liven up the hosts as, right up to the hour mark, they pressed Harriers with a batch of corners looking to create a chance - it finally came after about the fourth and once again it was Owusu on the end of it as the experienced front man sliced another one just wide of the target.

Six after the hour the balance remained firmly in Luton's favour; Barnes-Homer's excellent hold-up play drew defenders towards him, the ball eventually being lined up for Keith Keane who, on the edge of the 18-yard box, fizzed one over the bar and into the home support.

With a quarter-hour left to play the first change of the day came and it was a Harriers one as skipper Keith Briggs made way for the returning Lee Morris, and just after it was the Hatters' Barnes-Homer who wasted another chance by driving a cross straight into the palms of Lewis.

Mecca Bingo

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