Match report Vs TamworthVenue: AggboroughDate: 14-04-18Att: 1821 (away fans: 105)

14-04-18 - Report - Harriers 2 Tamworth 0

Harriers claim a play-off place at Tamworths expense

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers confirmed their place in the play-offs today by, eventually, beating Tamworth 2-0  but at the same time possibly confirming our neighbours from up the M42 to a relegation spot. Before the game Tamworth came to Aggborough requiring all the points they could muster and hope that others around them would drop them. While they held us at 0-0 they had a chance but once the news came through that Alfreton were 3-0 up at Brackley all hope was lost.

During the first half we were so poor it looked at times as if we were in some way helping them to avoid the drop as they capitalised on our many mistakes in midfield and defensively. Without Dan Bradley and James Pearson in the side through injury we looked bereft of ideas and strength. Kennedy Digie came back in place of Pearson for his first start since a disastrou game, for him, at Brackley back in August and his nerves showed that he wasn’t comfortable.

For us only Sam Austin and Brandon Hall were doing a decent job with Sam running his little legs off but with, sadly, no end product while Hall was stopping most things coming his way in a performance that was leaps and bounds better that against Stockport last Tuesday. For the first twenty minutes of the game the Tamworth keeper, Jack Stevens, never got to touch the ball such was our poor showing.

The former Harrier Aman Verma had already put one just over the bar by then while another former Red, Dior Angus, was making runs through our midfield with ease but without any potency in front of goal. His best effort was a shot that Hall pushed around the post while in between Austin sent a speculative shot over the bar with the help of the keepers fingers.

The half finished with Ryan Croasdale finding himself near the post when a ball came to him and he swung at it only for Stevens to save well as he dived down to meet it.

HT: 0 – 0

The second half we should have come out with a little more purpose but it took its time coming. We had already given a warning when James O’Connor found himself with the ball at his feet from a corner and snatched at his chance but produced a lovely volley that went straight at Stevens. But Tamworth, again, were taking the game to us until they inexplicably began to defend deeper and waste time in possession. It was as if they had suddenly switched off because they had realised the futility of it all.

Austin was still trying to get the team going with crosses in from out wide but it just wasn’t panning out too well. Elton N’Gwatala got on the end of one to try his luck but again it went over the bar. It’s all well and done shooting on sight but a little bit of running into the area with the ball wouldn’t go amiss sometimes.

Verma had another chance to give Tamworth the lead when he sent a header over the bar but we went upfield from it and took the lead, at last. 

From Halls ball upfield Manny Sonupè took it forward and, at last, leaving his defender for dead swung the ball into the area where in amongst a bundle of players the ball seemed to come off Joe Ironsides body and into the net.

Four minutes later and we went two up and it was game over for Tamworth. Again it was another shot from distance that looked as if it was going nowhere until it hit a Tamworth man to fall kindly for N’Gwatala who fired the ball straight back at goal and into the net. It was a fitting souvenir for Elton on his 100th appearance for the club.

Tamworth made a change soon after and sent on yet another former Harrier, Akwasi Asante, to try and get something from the game. It was the former Red who came close with a shot that was stopped well by the Harriers keeper.

The game then settled down to the dreaded ‘management phase’ for a while and very little happened. Andre Brown and George Waring came on for Sonupè and Ironside while soon after came the return of Liam Truslove from a long term injury in place of N’Gwatala. It was his first appearance since January.

The game ended without much more happening of note. Just the confirmation of a play-off place and wins for fellow hopefuls Stockport County and, sadly, Chorley while York City saw their hopes diminish even more with another defeat this week coming, this time, at almost relegated Gainsborough Trinity. We’ll be playing another hopeful on Tuesday at Spennymoor Town but, as yet, we do not know wether it’ll be played at the Moors or at Harrogate Towns ground.

FT: 2 – 0


Goals for Harriers: Ironside 62, N’Gwatala 66


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Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Hall        
Digie        
Austin        
Croasdale        
Horsfall      
O’Connor        
Weeks      
McQuilkin        
Ironside 80  
N’Gwatala 85  
Sonupè   76  
 
Subs:  
N Vaughan        
A Brown   76  
Waring   80  
Truslove   85  
Stratford        
 
Tamworth Goals Subs Time Cards
Stevens        
Burns        
Sharpe        
Kettle        
Jones        
Lane   68  
Donohue        
Verma        
Angus      
C Taylor        
Knights   84  
 
Subs:  
Upton        
C Shaw        
Davies   84  
Powell        
Asante   68  
     
Referee:  
Mr Dean Watson
Lancashire