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Match Report


Posted Sat 20 Dec 14 at 19:00 PM


Ahmed Obeng’s thrilling last-minute winner sealed a fantastic Harriers comeback after a feisty encounter at home to Lincoln City.

Despite going down to 10 men when captain Alan Power was sent off, the Imps had taken the lead just before the interval through Delano Sam-Yorke.

Marvin Johnson was on hand to equalise shortly after half-time, however, bagging his seventh goal of the season and sending his side on to claim a pulsating three points through Obeng.

It was Harriers’ third consecutive victory which pushes them up to seventh in the Vanarama Conference, two points behind the play-offs.

Gary Whild made only one alteration to the starting line-up which progressed into the Second Round of the FA Trophy with a 4-1 win over Bradford Park Avenue on Monday.

Jack Byrne, returning from a groin injury, came back into the side at the expense of Jake Green, while Akwasi Asante, one of two new midweek signings for Harriers, earned a place on the bench.

Lincoln made two changes to the team which exited the Trophy at the hands of Alfreton Town last week, as Sam-Yorke and debutant Tyrell Waite replaced Jordan Burrow and Ben Tomlinson - their two leading goalscorers so far this season.

But it was the player with no professional goals to his name - until this afternoon, that is - who stole the show.

This time last week, Obeng was recovering after suffering from illness as the Harriers team coach made an ultimately wasted journey up to Bradford.

Today, the Ghanaian winger left Lincoln feeling sick as he came off the bench with 10 minutes remaining to hand Harriers all three points in unbelievably dramatic fashion.

Obeng, who entered the fray in place of Craig Reid, was amongst the chasing Harriers pack as the clock ticked down and mere seconds remained, with both teams heading for a stalemate.

Maintaining his side’s pressure, Man of the Match Jared Hodgkiss send the ball into the danger zone and Obeng was well-placed to volley home and send Aggborough into raptures.

Johnson had started the comeback seven minutes into the second half with the kind of exquisite finish we have come to expect from him this season.

A soaring pass from inside his own half by Hodgkiss perfectly pinpointed Reece Styche on the attack, the striker heading to his left to pick out Johnson.

The winger drove down the left flank and fizzed a sumptuous low strike from a tricky angle into the bottom corner to equalise for Harriers.

Lincoln went down to 10 men during the first half as Power was sent off around the half-hour mark for suspected dissent, with referee Adam Hopkins’ decision initially causing confusion amongst the press box.

It was thought to be Byrne who had been dismissed before discussions between the referee and his assistant appeared to upset Lincoln, with Power trudging off the field shortly afterwards.

This, however, seemed to galvanise the visitors as they drew first blood, despite their numerical disadvantage, on the stroke of half-time.

A curling Jake Caprice shot and a smart header by Hamza Bencherif well-saved by Danny Lewis signalled Lincoln’s intentions.

Then, as the first half drew to a close, Sean Newton’s corner was nodded back across goal by Waite, with Sam-Yorke well-placed in front of goal to head past Danny Lewis.

Harriers stepped up in the second half and had two fantastic opportunities to take the lead through Callum Gittings and Styche.

On the hour mark, Gittings set sights on his second goal in a week and drove in a low strike from just outside the area, which flashed narrowly wide of the far post.

Within the same minute, Styche found himself one-on-one with Farman after Jamie Grimes’ thumping clearance was headed into the striker’s path by a sky-blue shirt, but the Imps ‘keeper reacted superbly to claim possession.

Whild’s men looked to make the most of set-pieces throughout as two Kevin Nicholson free-kicks came close to setting up a Harriers goal.

Reid’s header after 19 minutes from the left-back’s cross was kept out by Farman’s quick reactions, while 10 minutes later, Byrne nodded Nicholson’s set-piece into the path of Styche, who dived in with a header but saw it fall just wide.

Asante made his Harriers debut after replacing Styche with 20 minutes remaining and he added to his side’s lively finale, his first action to drive forward and pick out Hodgkiss on the right, who won a corner.

The right-back shone throughout and as dangerous as he was going forward, he matched it with his defensive duties, making a crucial clearance from substitute Tomlinson’s fast-paced cross from the right late on.

Harriers’ determination to win the game was typified by Josh Gowling in an attacking position, the defender well-placed in the box to fire a low shot on goal during added time.

Farman did fantastically to block his effort and recover sufficiently to then deny Gittings from mere yards out.

It looked like Lincoln’s ‘keeper had done his utmost to prevent Harriers from taking all three points - before Obeng had his say!

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