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Match Report

 

Posted Sun 10 Oct 10 at 16:59 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 3-2 Grimsby

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

Two more goals for Matty Blair helped Harriers edge closer to the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off places as they downed Grimsby Town 3-2 at Aggborough on Sunday.

In front of a decent crowd Harriers got off to the perfect start - after just a couple of minutes, Matty Blair left his man for dust and skipped towards goal, floating a neat ball across the face of goal that caused visiting goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell plenty of problems as he eventually gathered.

Tails up, the home side went one better after just four minutes as they took the lead; Callum Gittings' fine ball released Lee Morris, back in the side, on goal as he charged down on O'Donnell - he turned well and got away a curling effort that was beaten away by the shot-stopper - straight into the feet of Chris McPhee who reacted quickly to fire home for his fourth goal of the season.

Harriers built on that fantastic start in the best possible way, by doubling their advantage! With just 11 on the clock, a quick corner routine was poorly defended by Grimsby, the ball being half-cleared straight to the feet of Matty Blair who, on the turn, struck a fantastic effort that rose high and sailed into O'Donnell's top corner with said stopper rooted to the spot.

On 21 minutes the confident Blair was asking some serious questions of the Mariners and after a charging run down the flank and into the area, he teed up skipper Keith Briggs on the edge of the area - the ball came to him quickly, though, and the midfielder could only fire over the target.

Grimsby offered little of an attacking threat but just after the half-hour mark they got themselves a lifeline - a slip from Lee Vaughan allowed Rob Eagle the chance to steady himself in possession, on the angle of the area's edge he drilled a fine effort around Daniel Lewis and into the far corner of the net.

But the response from Steve Burr's men was close to perfect - on 35 minutes Blair won a corner and from Gittings' excellent delivery he notched his second of the day; Jack Byrne getting up excellently to meet the ball, putting it in amongst a clutch of bodies where Blair was on hand to head past O'Donnell for his third in two games.

A minute before the break it could have been four - Blair again teasing the visiting defence before lining up Briggs who dropped a neat ball into the area that Morris snatched at, his effort hit into the ground and going just wide.

The Mariners were always more likely to start the second half the brightest after a bit of a talking to at the break and so it proved - inside the first six minutes of the period they'd worked out two good opportunities, and both falling to Alan Connell. First he headed Dwayne Samuels' neat cross just off target and then struck wide from distance after picking the ball up from deep.

Two minutes later the same man went a fair distance closer - it was another effort from a good way out but this side the front man found the target, a rising effort that looked destined for the back of the net before Lewis pulled out a fine save to tip it over for a corner.

With 56 on the clock the home side worked what was their first chance of the half, such was the difference between the two teams from one 45 to another; Blair's knock-down was enough to find McPhee who kept it well before hitting a rising shot just over the bar.

With 20 left to go there seemed almost an inevitability about a second goal of the day for Grimsby - certainly it was the case that the more chances he was allowed to have, the more likely it was the Connell would find the back of the net. So it proved, almost subconsciously, the hosts stepped off the gas and when a delightful ball into the area was headed well across the face of goal, the waiting Connell was on hand to head past Lewis to the delight of the away fans.

That spurred the away side on even further and ten minutes later they had the ideal chance to notch an equaliser - a ball at the by-line just was not dealt with by the hosts and when Grimsby rolled it back to Connell you felt for sure he'd turn his one goal return into two as he drove at Lewis - the goalkeeper was beaten, and Harriers were thankful to Vaughan who cleared off the line.

Inside the last minute of normal time, sub Nick Wright set about making sure of the result for Harriers as he prowled on the edge of the area, though his right-footed, curling effort went narrowly over the angle of bar and post.

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