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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 25 Feb 12 at 16:51 PM

REPORT: JACK THE LAD FOR KIDDY

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

A goal in each half from Jack Byrne helped Harriers get back to winning ways at Bath City on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 win at the division's bottom club.

It was a meaty beginning to this game as both sides had players flying into challenges, Lewis Hogg the early recipient of a yellow card for a foul on Lee Vaughan.

The same man almost made amends for the home side with the first goal of the day with just nine minutes gone, however; he picked up a free-kick delivery, unmarked at the far post before volleying into the side netting.

With 17 minutes gone that opening goal did come and it came the way of Harriers, perhaps against the run of play, too, with Bath having made a good start. The ground work by Jamille Matt and Ryan Rowe was vital as the visitors worked the ball into the area; Anthony Malbon then seeing a shot deflected into the path of Jack Byrne who finished from close range.

Striker Scott Murray almost posted an immediate response as his drive warmed the hands of Tony Breeden, one-time Harrier Sean Canham then seeing an effort blocked in the six yard box before, at the other end, Matt's shot - one on one with the goalkeeper - trickled narrowly wide.

As the half hour passed the visitors took greater control of the game as Rowe and Callum Gittings both had efforts at goal, Bath often caught cold on the counter as they pushed men up to attack.

Harriers were the slower starters to the second half and yet still forced the first chance after the restart, 51 minutes on the clock when Byrne's drive forced a fine save from Matthews before Vaughan's follow-up was blocked.

Midfield man Byrne was not to be denied his second for long, though; just two minutes later he added to the scoreline after being teed up by Rowe, a sensational effort that bent past Matthews that kissed one post and tucked just behind the other before nestling into the net.

At that point Harriers looked comfortable and yet they almost gift-wrapped City a way back into the game, failing to clear their lines as sub Marley Watkins stabbed the ball at goal from two yards, only to be denied by a truly super save by Breeden who flung himself at it.

The reds made two subs soon after with Steve Guinan and Marvin Johnson coming on, and on 64 minutes it might well have been 3-0 though Gittiings saw himself denied by a double save from Jason Matthews.

Gittings was involved again six minutes later as Harriers went close to another - his cross after good work from Johnson found Guinan who, six yards out, missed his contact as Bath hurriedly moved in to sweep away the danger.

Rowe released Johnson for another venture forward on 73 minutes and the winger teased the home defence with a fine run and shot that was almost palmed into his own net by Matthews.

The final substitute of the day, Nick Wright, had a fantastic chance with just nine minutes to go to make the score 3-0 but his shot was blocked away for a corner, Johnson then firing wide with just seven minutes left on the clock.

Sub Chris Shephard opened up Harriers in the final two minutes of the game before crossing to Sean Canham who virtually stumbled the ball over the line for the hosts' consolation.

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