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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 02 Mar 13 at 16:45 PM

REPORT: HARRIERS 3-2 EBBSFLEET

Harriers came from behind to win on Saturday as a seventh successive victory saw them down Ebbsfleet United 3-2 at Aggborough to stay firmly in the promotion mix

The visitors had made by far the better of the two teams here and should probably have taken the lead or at least gone very close after five minutes but young front man Tobi Alabi scuffed his shot wayward when one-on-one with Danny Lewis.

United were boosted by the early opening and duly continued to push forward and on 12 minutes they had the lead – Dammy Shitta allowed too much time on the edge of the area to get his shot away and draw a superb save from Lewis, the ball looping up and eventually stabbed home by Alabi. 

The lead was barely a minute old before it was snuffed out, though, as Harriers responded perfectly – goalkeeper Preston Edwards flapped at a ball heading towards his grasp and his attempted clearance did his defence no favours at all, they all stood waiting for a foul that was never given as James Vincent did the duty of levelling up the scores. 

Just a few minutes later Vincent almost doubled his tally and put his team ahead as he found himself central to goal and with just Edwards to beat, though the midfielder could only stab his effort at the stopper who kept low to keep it out.

 Undeterred, Ebbsfleet went about their business much the same and could have gone back in front around the midway point of the half as first Josh Scott first placed wide when positioned to do so much better, Ashley Carew then seeing his free-kick held well by Lewis. 

Nine minutes before the break Harriers lined up a free-kick and skipper Kyle Storer took aim with it and so nearly netted, his rising effort on the angle from more than 20 yards crashing just wide and into the side netting.

Five minutes later Edwards was forced into action as the reds looked to take an advantage into the interval – it was Marvin Johnson’s cross that dropped into the six yard box where Greg Pearson stretched to meet it, his effort well parried away.

The second period was barely a couple of minutes when a delightful chance presented itself to Harriers to take the lead; the tireless Malbon chasing a ball down and lifting a great cross into the area where Pearson stood waiting to meet it, crashing a header off the angle of bar and post.

With 52 minutes played the reds went close once more as Kyle Storer turned wide from close range, Keith Briggs firing one high over the bar soon after.

The team’s second goal would come, however, just after the hour mark and it was inexplicable defending from the visitors as Edwards and his defence sold each other short in coming for a ball, workhorse Malbon driving between them and bending the ball into the back of the net.

Ten minutes later it was almost 3-1 as Johnson stretched to get a delivery into the area that eventually found Malbon who drew a top class save from Edwards as he parried away, Lee Vaughan sending over the follow-up while, moments later, Nathan Elder rose above the full-back at the other end to crash a header just over.

Callum Gittings replaced Keith Briggs as a substitute during the second half and it was he who put the result beyond doubt on 88 minutes; fellow sub Ryan Rowe did well to battle on the edge of the area before poking the ball through to the midfielder who powered it past Edwards with aplomb. 

In injury time there was drama as Ebbsfleet were awarded a penalty as Josh Gowling was adjudged to have fouled Nathan Elder, the hit-man stepping up to the spot and sending Lewis the wrong way. 

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