- Nothing to chose between Bucks and Harriers
- Brown and Ngwatala go close
- Hall marks smart save from Sutton early on
HARRIERS and AFC Telford United shared the spoils in a gritty but entertaining 0-0 draw in the Boxing Day.
There was little to chose between the two teams with barely a clean shirt among the whole bunch come the end. Marcus Dinanga went closest for the Bucks in the second half, with Andre Brown close to netting with a header late on.
It was the Bucks who began the game the brighter in front of their own fans – Ebanks-Blake seeing a header superbly saved by Brandon Hall before a shot from skipper Sutton hit the bar on its way over.
Harriers withstood that relative storm and then began to cultivate openings of their own. McQuilkin’s free-kick looked to be dipping in before goalkeeper Singh turned it over, while the referee waved away appeals that Joe Ironside’s header had crossed the line in the stopper’s arms.
Andre Brown saw an effort deflected wide of the target as we edged past the half-hour mark, after Ngwatala looked to direct Taylor’s cross towards goal only to snatch at it and see it well held by Singh.
Brown saw his attempted finish smothered by Singh with less than an hour gone after good work by Ngwatala, before Dinanga thumped over a header for the Bucks and Sutton turned the ball over.
It was end-to-end stuff and Ngwatala went close as we moved into the final part of the game – his drive flashing over the bar before sub Austin saw a deflected shot held.
There were dashes and scrambles dotted around the final minutes; the last chance being one of Harriers’ best of the afternoon as Brown glanced a header narrowly wide from a corner.
AFC Telford Utd
HARRIERS look to build on Saturday’s fine home win over Nuneaton as they make the short trip to AFC Telford United on Boxing Day.
The clash at the New Buck’s Head is the first of a festive double against United, with the return clash taking place at Aggborough on New Year’s Day.
It’s also the last ‘first’ of the season for Harriers, who have now face every other team in National League North.
The match comes on the back of a win on Saturday against Nuneaton Town – Emmanuel Sonupé, Joe Ironside and Liam Truslove all on target.
And while that was taking place, Telford were busy securing a fantastic point on the road away at promotion-chasing Brackley. Admittedly it may not have felt as sweet to Bucks’ fans who’d made the trip, as the hosts netted in injury time to claim a share of the spoils.
Nonetheless, the spirits in both camps are likely to be good and that all adds to the mix of what promises to be an entertaining affair in all respects.
Lee Vaughan, working hard on the comeback trail with Harriers after picking up 45 minutes in a recent U23 game and 20 more on his first-team return on Saturday, is one of a number of players in the two squads to have represented both sides.
Jas Singh, Jordan Murphy and James McQuilkin all fall in the same category – it’s no wonder the 31-year-old is hoping to get some more minutes under his belt over Christmas!
“They are going to be competitive and [both] games will have good atmospheres." Lee Vaughan
“It’s good, and I had been saying to the gaffer that it’s nice to have local games over the festive period,” he told our YouTube channel.
“They are going to be competitive and [both] games will have good atmospheres.
“For our young group, [we’ve] got to thrive on that, and I think we will.
“We’ll have a great backing down there and at Aggborough will be good, so it’s going to be a good atmosphere.
“Hopefully I’ll be involved, but we will have to see – that’s down to the manager!”
Tyrone Williams is likely to be assessed going into this quick-fire double of games.
The defender brushed off an injury in the opening couple of minutes in Saturday’s Nuneaton game to see out the rest of the half but was substituted at the break.
Absent on Saturday but hopeful of returning soon is Jimmy O’Connor.
The defender picked up a groin injury prior to the match against York City but isn’t expected to be out long-term.
Kick-off at AFC Telford on Boxing Day is at 3:00pm.
WATCH: Build-up to the game on our YouTube channel by clicking the video tab above.
BUY: Tickets for the return game at Aggborough on New Year’s Day. They’re now on sale online.
Tickets not currently available.
Lee Vaughan and John Eustace pre-match
Ryan Croasdale and John Eustace post-match