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Altrincham 3 Harriers 2

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Date: 03-04-10gif Venue: Moss Lanegif att: 889gif away fans: 64
Harriers suffer a set back at Altrincham

gifReport by Morgan Nock
Kidderminster Harriers recorded their third loss in four league games at the hands of Altrincham, a result which saw them fall to 11th place in the Blue Square Premier table.  A brace of goals from Robbie Matthews was not enough for the Harriers as Chris Denham scored twice before Greg Young struck the winner soon after the teams returned from the half time break.

An energetic start saw both teams pushing to break the deadlock and, after sustained pressure, Altrincham gained a handful of corners which came to nothing.  After a quarter of an hour the first goal was finally netted when some good work from Brian Smikle freed Chris McPhee who ran to the byline before drilling in a cross to Matthews who calmly let the ball bounce off his head and into the goal.

Altrincham immediately felt the need to bounce back and a flurry of shots from distance saw Ross Atkins make a couple of decent saves.  At the other end Jack Byrne had the only effort of note - firing low and wide of Stuart Coburn's goal.

On twenty seven minutes Altrincham equalised when Chris Senior picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and rounded Tom Sharpe to cross to Denham at the far post.  Denham made no mistake in blasting a volley across the face of goal right into the bottom corner.

With half time approaching it was the Harriers who were looking to regain the lead.  Dean Bennett got past two Altrincham players before laying the ball off to Chris McPhee who then sold a dummy to the lanky centre half Greg Young and slid the ball through to Smikle, but as Smikle lined up his shot Shaun Densmore dived in with a superbly timed last-ditch tackle to keep the scores level.

With forty three minutes on the clock the Harriers won a corner.  Darryl Knights ran over and took it short to Duane Courtney but the pass was intercepted and the home side broke quickly and got the ball into the box but, just as the chance looked wasted when Adam Carden's shot was saved by Atkins, Denham once again popped up and headed in Altrincham's second.  Never was the saying "short corners never work" so true!

Straight from the restart the Harriers struck back.  The kick-off went straight to Knights who played it crossfield to Chris McPhee and it was put through for Dean Bennett to hook it back for Matthews to bag his second header of the day.
  HT: 2 - 2
A considerably less exciting second half was to follow as both teams resorted to hoof-ball and often failed to keep possession.

First impressions had suggested otherwise as Altrincham took an early second half lead when centre-back Greg Young picked the ball up inside the centre circle and decided it was his time to shine.  He jogged with the ball right down the middle of the pitch while the clueless Martin Riley stood off until the very last second when he made what can only be described as an utterly feeble and failed attempt to win the ball as Young continued and poked the ball past a helpless Atkins.

Pushing for an equaliser, with not much effort, the Harriers had a smattering of half chances which weren't taken advantage of.  Lloyd Kerry replaced the injured Duane Courtney who limped off looking in quite some discomfort and minutes later Marc Goodfellow replaced captain Chris McPhee.

Goodfellow, playing down the left, did nothing to help the Harriers' cause.  Time and time again he gave away the ball in promising positions and the one time he did get a decent cross in the irksomely lazy Matthews again failed to jump or make any tangible effort to win the ball in the air, as the tiresome Altrincham defence continued in their efficient manner.

The final sub for us came with James Lawrie coming on for Darryl Knights and we continued to try to find the breakthrough needed for that all important third goal.  That almost came on the final whistle when Brian Smikle, having had a quiet game, fired a ball in from the edge of the box but the chance was well saved by a diving Stuart Coburn.

After the final whistle had gone Luke Prosser was booked for a foul on substitute Colin Little.

It's now back to Aggborough on Monday for a game against promotion hopeful's Rushden and hopefully we might be able to raise our game again, just as we did against Cambridge, and pinch three points off them.
  FT: 3 - 2

 Goals for Altrincham: Denham 26, 43, Young 49
 Goals for Harriers: Matthews 15, 44


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Jack Byrne
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Altrincham  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Coburn     Atkins  
Williams     Courtney gif  
Brown     Sharpe  
Carden gif     Byrne  
Young     Prosser
Densmore     Riley  
Lawton gif     McPhee gif  
Danylyk     Bennett  
McAliskey gif     Matthews  
Denham     Knights gif  
Senior     Smikle  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Saunders     Singh  
Little gif     Lawrie gif  
Smith     Kerry gif  
Welch gif     Goodfellow gif  
Doran gif   McDermott  

REFEREE:
Mr B Khatib
Tyne & Wear





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