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Match Report


Posted Tue 23 Aug 11 at 23:44 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-1 Stockport

Report - Matt Wall
Photos - Stefan Rapacz
Stats - Provided and generated by the Press Association

A goal just two minutes from time from substitute Scott Phelan saw Harriers pick up their first home point of the new season on Tuesday night as they drew 1-1 with Stockport County at Aggborough.

The strong start in this one was made by Stockport and in less than a minute they'd forced an effort on target as Tom Elliott worked his way inside the area and drilled a shot towards Daniel Lewis that was well held - it was equal stuff back up the other end, though, as just moments later Harriers' Steve Guinan drew the same from County's Matt Glennon.

A little after the quarter hour mark Guinan was at it again and forced an excellent save from Glennon after getting in behind the defence, the assistant's flag had been raised all the same but neither player knew that and took care of business first with a fine exchange.

On 20 minutes, though, it was the Hatters going close with the move of the game up to that point, super interplay within the attacking line-up ending with skipper Nick Chadiwck trying his luck with a shot that only narrowly flew over Lewis' bar.

Backed by a hugely vocal following, Stockport were edging into firmer control of the game and when the first goal of the night arrived on 26 minutes there was perhaps no surprise it went the way of those in blue and white; Sam Sheridan's driven centre powered home by a great diving header from the lively Elliott.

That was more or less the last action for the remainder of the first period as County seemed content to sit on their lead - content, that us, until about three minutes before the whistle when they decided to ramp up the pressure to force a second goal that would have gone some way to putting the game beyond the home side.

There were two exceptional chances for them to do exactly that; first, Sheridan launching a rasping, rising drive towards goal that looked to have been heading towards the top corner only to clatter off the inside of the upright with mere millimeters to spare. Just after, Elliott was on the prowl and was left completely unmarked inside the area as he launched at a ball with all his might, powering a header at Lewis that required another good stop from the home custodian.

Steve Burr threw on Luke Medley at the interval and his arrival lifted Harriers' tempo - they moved forward with a lot more purpose and vigor but in the final delivery into the danger area they remained wasteful initially with County only too happy to keep clearing their lines.

Around the hour mark that improved by some measure and in forcing a succession of corners Harriers upped the tempo - Medley and Lee Vaughan the tormentors in chief before a corner into the box was headed over by Marc Williams; former Hatter James Vincent also dragging one wide.

The biggest concern as the night wore on for Harriers was that visiting stopper Glennon was given precious little to do - Medley at least warmed his hands on 68 minutes with a driven, angled effort before Guinan forced another save after being found by the head of sub Jamille Matt.

Moments later a crazy minute saw the game almost turned on its head; at one end Harriers were left fuming after appeals for a penalty were turned down as Vincent was pulled to the ground - Stockport played on and almost punished their opponents, Elliott on the counter drawing another save from Lewis.

Just as it looked as if the night would end in the sheer frustration witnessed throughout, the moment of relief finally arrived with 88 minutes on the clock - neat play on the edge of the area saw sub Phelan played in; he took his time to pick his spot well and guide the ball beyond Glennon.

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