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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Mar 11 at 17:02 PM

FULL TIME: AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Harriers

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

Harriers continue to stick it to their doubters in the Blue Square Bet Premier by stretching their unbeaten run to eleven games with an excellent 2-1 win at promotion rivals AFC Wimbledon.

Inside a compact and well-attended Kingsmeadow it was Harriers who worked out the first chance of the day and it came within a minute - Tom Shaw taking the ball down well and trying his luck from 20 yards with a low drive that beat home goalkeeper Seb Brown but went narrowly wide.

Just three minutes later the men in red went even closer - Matty Blair won a deep ball in the air and took it down well before firing a powerful half-volley towards goal that Brown needed to tip over the bar.

Those early chances kept coming and within eight minutes Harriers must surely have wondered how they weren't at least 1-0 up; they countered with the pace of Nick Wright, back in the starting line up - he held off the attentions of his man as he surged past him and into the area, his eventual shot turned around the post by Brown who got down early.

You always become concerned that, even at this early stage of the game, missing good chances can cost you dearly; on 15 minutes the Dons won a free-kick just outside the area and Danny Kedwell's effort looked like it might just punish Harriers, but Daniel Lewis got down well to parry what was a deflected ball away from danger.

That chance just managed to bring Harriers back into the affair a little; on the half-hour mark Kedwell's excellent work saw the ball squirming free inside the area, coming to the feet of James Mulley who twice tried to stab it towards goal, only fine blocks from Shaw and then Mike Williams denying him - Kirk Hudson then forcing a good save from Lewis as they pressure started to mount.

Almost straight back up at the other end, inside the space of minute Harriers had two excellent sights of goal and once again they came to the lively Wright - first he held off the attentions of his marker before lashing one past goalkeeper Brown and off the foot of the post, then seconds further along forcing the stopper into another neat save after beating Brett Johnson for pace.

The Dons were struggling to keep up with Wright whenever he surged forward and with just three minutes to the break the former Tamworth man was in lethal form - he turned Jamie Stuart with ease and, with the home side stood appealing for a foul, Wright flicked the ball into the path of Sean Canham who raced away on goal, smashing a superb first-time shot past Brown and into the back of the net.

Just nine minutes into the second half it was that man Wright once again, leaving Wimbledon bamboozled as he kept the ball to feet and worked it into the area, chipping a deft cross towards the near post where Callum Gittings was there to meet it with a header, straight into the palms of Brown.

An end-to-end game continued to to-and-fro, just three minutes before the hour mark the Dons put together arguably their best move of the day as Hudson worked the ball around both Williams and Chris McPhee before curling an effort towards the top corner that sailed over the bar.

There was a lengthy stoppage in the second period when, soon after Hudson's miss, Dons man Sammy Moore slipped on the ball and went down with a very serious knee injury. Medical staff from both clubs tended to the lad who was carried from the field on the stretcher to rightful concern from all sides of the ground.

On 74 minutes, with Wimbledon understandably still shaken by the injury to their man, Harriers pounced for a moment of ruthlessness to double their lead and make it 2-0. Jamille Matt's introduction from the bench looked to be Steve Burr's way of keeping the ball a little more inside the Dons' half - it worked a treat as the big front man hustled and bustled, muscling the ball into his path as it bounced in the area, holding off the attentions of Stuart before slotting the ball calmly past Brown and into the back of the net to the sheer delight of the 200-plus away supporters.

The home side needed a response to going two down and just eight minutes later they got one - a wide free-kick was drifted in well by dead-ball specialist Gareth Gwillim, substitute Lee Minshull rising at the far post to head it into the roof of the net to give his team a life-line.

A simply monsterous seven minutes of added time wasn't enough to see Harriers breached again, though; the hosts tried to rally late but an equaliser never truly looked likely as the superb back-line held up yet again.

Mecca Bingo

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