Match report Vs TamworthVenue: The LambDate: 12-09-17Att: 723 (away fans: 185)

12-09-17 - Report - Tamworth 2 Harriers 1

Tamworth show us how to play the ‘Kidderminster Way’

Report: Phil Lench

At a rain and windswept Lamb the Harriers were given a footballing lesson in how to play the game in the way that we were supposed to. At times it was like watching a reverse of the Harriers team that graced the Aggborough, and others, pitches last season. Some slick passing from Tamworth showed us how it should be done as our hapless lot just kept standing off and failing to press their players to any large extent. They, in turn, hassled and pressed us into continued mistakes whenever we had the ball at our feet.

We were a shambles and it makes you wonder if the Harriers management were watching the same game as us when after the game they go on about how we practise hard on the training ground and this young team can only get better when Tamworth have only practised hard on the training ground on a Thursday evening after work.

With James McQuilkin back in the side following injury we also saw Joe Ironside return to the team following his ‘injury’. He went to the bench along with Josh Webb who had been dis-placed by McQuilkin. For Tamworth there were three former Harriers in their side with Luke Jones, Aman Verma and Darryl Knights lining up for them but no sign of the infamous Reece Styche. A shame really because it would have cheered us up to see him trying to wind us up.

On the home sides 3G pitch you should be guaranteed to see some decent football and for the first twenty minutes or so that’s what we got from both sides with the difference being that Tamworth wanted it more than us. Their more direct style of play was working well and they zipped the ball around the park with speed and accuracy. Meanwhile we were content to pass it from side to side and, far, far too often to pass it back to the keeper when there was plainly no need to do so. All it achieved was to put Brandon Hall under continual pressure as the fast moving Tamworth forwards closed him down into hurried clearances back upfield only to see his own team mates pass it back to him once again.

We had a fair few chances to score with McQuilkin firing in from the edge of the area but it was deflected away for a corner and soon after Elton N’Gwatala deflected a ball towards goal but it went just wide. Tamworths danger man was Callum Powell and all night long he was given far too much room by Sam Austin, again his defensive frailties for a winger exposed as once again he was being played out of position. Anyone seen Josh Webb?

It was Powell who pounced on yet another well played through ball and then left Austin for dead as he took aim at goal only for Hall to make two saves to block both his chance. Tamworth began to apply the pressure even more.

We had two bookings in quick succession when Sonupè was carded five minutes after a shirt pull had occurred and then Declan Weeks for a silly, sliding tackle in the middle of the park. He committed the same offence on the touchline a few minutes later but got away with it thankfully. The bookings seemed to unsettle us and Tamworth took control of the game.

Brad Reid got his head on the end of a deep cross and looped the ball over Hall but the Harriers keeper somehow flipped back and scooped the ball away from under the bar and then a cross come shot went across the face of our goal with everyone just watching it go by.

Then came the goal and you just knew it was going to be a former Harrier that was going to score. Tamworth again broke clear and again it was Powell surging forward with the ball as our defenders backed off and backed off some more as he went first one way then the other. We backed off even more as he laid the ball into the path of Darryl Knights to firmly bury the ball into the net from eighteen yards out. 

HT: 1 – 0

The second half was all Tamworth and we hardly got a glimpse of goal in the first ten minutes. Instead the home side increased the lead further when, following Powells saved effort, the ball was played out by Hall to a team mate only for Bradley Reid to intercept it and race back towards our goal once more. He shrugged off any defensive challenges with ease and fired the ball diagonally into the far corner.

John Eustace then sent on Joe Ironside and Andre Wright in place of Will Longbottom and Weeks but nothing was seen of either substitute for quite a while. Fraser Horsfall was booked for us following a strong challenge from behind on Reid but when their number nine retaliated with the same kind of tackle on Horsfall minutes later the referee, a Mr Lamb?, opted to just give him verbal advice instead of the certain yellow card.

By now the Harriers fans were becoming restless and took out their, justified, grievance on both the players and the management. At one point some of the younger element were singing about our shortcomings and Eustace gestured towards them in anger as Tamworth mounted yet another attack on our goal. This time Ellis Deeney getting a shot away that went just wide after taking a deflection.

The barracking from the crowd seemed to work because just minutes later Ironside woke up to the fact he was on the pitch when he pulled a goal back for us and give us faint hope that we might actually be making a comeback. N’Gwatala had tried a hopeful shot from distance that the keeper, Shaun Rowley, parried away but only straight into the path of Ironside who finished off from close range to put the ball into the net.

Tamworth tightened up following the goal and bought on Connor Taylor in place of Reid. We tried to break them down but still our passing was poor and still we were prone to quick breakaways that we failed miserably to cope with but amazingly in the dying seconds of the game we should have been celebrating a point, not losing three.

In what was our only glimpse of our former selves Andre Wright collected the ball out wide and then moved the ball past defenders to the waiting Andre Brown who was surging into the area to strike a fierce shot straight at goal that saw Rowley throw himself across to and tip it out for a corner.

From that corner we again reverted back to old ways and the ball was cleared away for the Tamworth posse to chase and then head towards our goal. Powell, again, was the man set free and once he reached our area he fired at Hall instead of playing in the better positioned Knights who almost certainly would have clinched the game for his side.

Very few Harriers fans stayed behind to applaud the team off mainly because they had better things to do. Like go home. 

FT: 2 – 1


Goals for Tamworth: Knights 40, Reid 53

Goal for Harriers: Ironside 79


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Tamworth Goals Subs Time Cards
Rowley        
Burns        
Morley        
Deeney        
Jones        
Lane        
Powell        
Verma        
Reid 80  
Upton        
Knights      
 
Subs:  
Curley        
Walters        
Shaw        
C Taylor   80  
Ezewele         
 
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Hall        
Austin        
J Taylor        
Weeks   55
Horsfall      
Williams        
Sonupè   70
McQuilkin        
A Brown        
N’Gwatala        
Longbottom   55  
 
Subs:  
Wright   55  
Webb        
Finch   70  
Digie        
Ironside 55  
     
Referee:  
Mr Barry Lamb
Manchester