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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 10 Jan 12 at 21:40 PM

REPORT: UBEATEN RUN ENDS UP NORTH

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

A late charge was not enough to prevent Harriers from slipping to their first league defeat since October as they went down 2-1 at Gateshead on Tuesday night.

On a very cool night up in the north east it was a very quiet first quarter-hour in which neither side were able to keep hold of the ball for any sort of prolonged period.

When things did liven up it was arguably the home side that wrestled themselves into control of the game, equipped with a real asset in the delivery from wide positions of Josh Gillies and Chris Moore.

With 24 minutes on the clock referee Handley inadvertently set up Gillies on his way to goal; he (Gillies, thankfully) charged towards Tony Breeden and looked to net with a lob that the goalkeeper managed to get a hand to and force wide of the target.

There was little you could do to question the resulting move however that gave the game its first goal - an out-swinging corner whipped into the box and met by Michael Cummins who rose above all to power an unstoppable header into the back of the net and give his side the lead.

Yemi Odubade and Jamie Curtis got themselves on the end of some deep deliveries to further test Breeden as the Heed only looked like adding to their score.

Harriers did their best to try and work themselves some chances on goal but found themselves marshalled out well by a defence determined to hold on to its lead.

There was a chance as the first half entered injury time, though, Lee Vaughan cutting inside and drilling an effort at goal that Deasy did well to get behind and gather.

Unfortunately for the reds the second half got off to the worst possible start - inside 90 seconds they were two goals down. The ball from substitute James Marwood was a fine one but nobody tracked the run of Odubade into the area who delighted in taking one touch before firing the ball around Breeden and into the net.

In fairness it took a superb save from Breeden to keep the scores at 2-0 moments later, Odubade given time to chest the ball down and turn just six yards out, the shot just about stopped on the line by the former Leamington man.

A skirmish involving Jamille Matt, sub Steve Guinan and goalkeeper Deasey came close to bringing Harriers back into it, Guinan then after 62 minutes picking up on a deep cross and firing towards the side netting.

It should certainly have been 3-0 a minute later; Lee Vaughan's attempted clearance only finding the division's top scorer, Jon Shaw, who turned sharply and drove an effort just inches wide of the
upright.

With a little over a quarter of an hour left to play the night went from bad to worse and it was Odubade who was again causing problems. He went into the area up against Luke Jones and was already struggling to keep his feet - he inevitably tumbled and, somewhat harshly, the Harriers skipper was judged to have brought him down; punished by not only a penalty but also a red card.

If the decision was borderline then there was perhaps justice when Shaw slammed the resultant spot-kick against the cross bar - two minutes later then hitting the post with a firm effort after being slipped in from 18 yards.

You sensed the dominance that Gateshead were enjoying would see them safely over the finish line but determined Harriers at least ensured there would be a nervy finish for them as they got a goal back with just ten minutes to play, winning a penalty as Matt was hauled down by Deasey, Nick Wright stepping up and sending him the wrong way to find the net.

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