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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Apr 11 at 19:07 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 2-2 Histon

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

Harriers had to come from two goals down and left it late in doing so to record a final-day draw with rock-bottom Histon as the two sides shared four goals at Aggborough on Saturday.

It was a relaxed but hugely-positive atmosphere that greeted the players at Aggborough for this one, the squad deservedly having the chance to run out and play their football in the knowledge that their season's effort and commitment could simply not be tested.

With five minutes gone, though, it was the visitors who had the first chance of the day. Harriers debutant Matty Lowe miss-hit a clearance across the home side's area, Antonio Murray picking it up and shooting from around 12 yards and forcing Player of the Season Danny Lewis into an early save.

Harriers' first chance came with a little less than 12 minutes on the clock - Dave Hankin was prowling and causing some real concern in the Histon back-line; they allowed him too much time and space on the ball and from around 18 yards he lined one up that bobbled in front of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham who only just managed to gather it.

Ten minutes later, however, Harriers really should have been behind and it was only a moment of hesitancy that prevented that from being the case. Dan Sparkes burst into the area and when Mike Williams lost his footing the Stutes man should arguably have put his foot through it; instead leaving it for Omer Riza who took a shot that was tremendously well saved by the legs of Lewis.

The away side did better at keeping the chances ticking over, Sparkes' 35th minute free-kick found Riza inside the area who, with a free header, should have done a lot more than nod some way wide with little attention around him.

You sensed Harriers were riding their luck a little by not kicking it up a gear and really testing this Histon side - they more than paid the price for that with six minutes to go until the break as the visitors took the lead, scoring their first goal in over eight games. Mark Albrighton's defending up against Riza was far too casual and when he lost his footing and ended up on the deck there was no way the front-man would fluff his lines again; he coolly drew Lewis before finishing low into the bottom corner.

Steve Burr shipped his men out early before the start of the second half, presumably after a bit of a ticking off, and the response was good as Harriers went close inside the first couple of minutes of the re-start, Foderingham punching clear from Hankin's header as the winger rose to meet Lowe's long-throw.

Three minutes later the shot-stopper was at his best to keep his team ahead - Blair's rolling ball was met by the onrushing Briggs who struck a brilliant, rising drive that needed a two-handed save to guide it round the post.

That seemed to be the sum total of the initial burst for Harriers at the start of the second 45 as we eased past the hour mark without any real further incident save for a double change from Burr as McPhee and Hankin made way for Wright and Gittings.

On 68 minutes Harriers were almost caught cold again as Riza yet again left Albrighton in his way, the bounce of the ball being kind of the Histon man as he took it, one on one, into the area. He moved to round Lewis but never looked like beating him, some solid goalkeeping keeping it at 1-0.

It was a case of 'same again' just five minutes later, Riza wheeling into the area onto a decent through-ball and lashing one towards the top corner that Lewis blocked well.

Histon frankly deserved a second goal and, with just a quarter-hour to go, they got it. The experienced Murray allowed to coast towards goal and unleash a fine, curling shot that beat Lewis and sailed into the top corner, an effort well-worthy of a reward.

If it was some poor defending that saw Harriers slump two goals down, it was a moment of madness at the back for the men in blue that brought the hosts back level with two goals in a minute. First, Blair was lively as he nipped in between two defenders to drive the ball beyond Foderingham for his 11th of the season.

Seconds later sub Robert Thompson-Brown was released up field and his hold-up play was excellent - he rolled one along the edge of the area as skipper Briggs yet again charged forward, his shot bouncing over the grounded goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

As the game edged into injury time there was a chance for Briggs to net his second of the afternoon and a winner for Harriers, his well-struck free-kick just going wide of the upright.

Mecca Bingo

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