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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 08 Oct 11 at 16:54 PM

FULL TIME: Harriers 1-2 Luton

A goal in each half from Luton's Robbie Willmott was enough to see Harriers slip down and out of the Blue Square Bet Premier places, Steve Burr's men going down 2-1 at Aggborough on Saturday.

Both sides were combative from the off here though the early chances were slow in coming, indeed some 15 minutes gone before the first opportunity arrived with Callum Gittings' drive at Mark Tyler's goal going side way wide.

On truth, though, once things settled down they did so in the Hatters' favour as they controlled the most part of the first period.

Indeed inside a spell lasting ten minutes they had a succession of chances on the goal being guarded by Dean Lyness, the first of these coming from Jamie Hand as the former Hayes & Yeading United man hit wide.

Two minutes later the dynamic Keith Keane warmed the hands of Lyness with a low drive before Aaron O' Connor struck just inches wide of the post with an attempt from distance.

Amari Morgan-Smith kept the chances ticking over with the visitors as he had a shot held by Lyness, James Vincent having a rare sight of goal up at the other end for Harriers.

Three minutes after the half-hour mark the home side should have found themselves behind, Harriers were finding the Hatters' front-three a real handful and when Robbie Wilmott found himself free on the angle you felt certain he'd score, Lee Vaughan's last-ditch tackle all that stopped him.

Six minutes later however there was little Harriers could do about the opening goal of the day - it was fully deserved and with the run of play as Morgan-Smith managed to beat Mike Williams before crossing to the onrushing Willmott who had a simple tap-in.

Just before, Harriers had been dealt an equally big blow with the loss of defender Luke Jones through injury and things got even worse on the stroke of half time as skipper Williams was also forced to withdraw as Scott Phelan filled in at left-back.

All to do before half-time, you'd say, and it was close to being even worse as in injury time, Morgan-Smith denied as he burst into the area, a shot well saved by Lyness.

Harriers started the second half brighter than the first and although they put together several passing moved that seemed to encourage them there was still the illusive chance on goal to come; Steve Burr making his third and final change with this in mind as he threw on Marc Williams.

The hard-working Welshman was instrumental in the home side fashioning a chance around the hour mark, he released Vaughan out-wide who drilled in a deep cross towards the far post that Nick Wright rose to meet, heading wide of the target.

Burr's men were in debt to Lyness with 20 to go as an incisive Hatters breakaway looked set to seal the game - fine passing between sub Stuart Fleetwood and Willmott saw the latter shoot on the angle, the goalkeeper there with a another fine stop.

At the other end there was another chance for the home side but tellingly it was again off target - the work from all was tireless as Gittings released Wright who in turn fed Kyle Storer, his shot from 20 yards going wide of the upright.

Luton were always good at changing from defence to attack and so even when Harriers had a spell of pressure midway through the second period, the visitors' defend-in-numbers approach served them well as they allowed Harriers time on the ball.

That point was never more evident than in the 81st minute when they finally killed the game off - Morgan-Smith was given a tough time out-wide defensively by Gittings who had moved to left back but he managed to sneak past a back-tracking Wright at the near post, lifting a deft cross on to the head of a completely-unmarked Willmott who nodded home for his second of the day.

Ironically enough Harriers first real shot on target brought about what was a consolation goal on the day - Williams supplying for Tom Sharpe who finished through a crowd of bodies from close range.

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