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Harriers 4 Tamworth 1

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Date: 16-03-13gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 2392gif away fans: 143
Harriers keep the pressure up

gif Report by Steve Williams
Promotion hopes are still very much alive as the Harriers dominated Tamworth on the way to a 4-1 victory despite a dodgy start.

The visitors started the game on top and pushed the Reds back into their own box in the opening minutes.  This was rewarded five minutes in when Adam Cunnington opened the scoring.  The striker, once a target of Steve Burr, rose for a header and aimed it goal wards.  The shot was weakly cleared by Mickey Demetriou and the striker regained possession this time squeezing his shot beyond Danny Lewis and others to trickle in the net.

The visitors were good with possession and the former Harriers stopper, Tony Breeden, didn't have a shot to deal with until ten minutes after their goal.  Keith Briggs, captain for the day due to Kyle Storers' enforced absence, fired a shot from range and the ball was deflected for a corner by Connor Gudger.

The game briefly simmered out until the half hour mark when Burr swapped Danny Pilkingtons' flanks, meaning the winger was now causing havoc down the left hand side.

This inspired a more attacking approach for the Harriers and Lee Vaughan made use of the space left free by Pilkington and ran forward to capitalise on some last ditch Tamworth defending.  The defender stuck the ball, which came back off Breeden and into Briggs' path.  The midfielder made no mistake in dispatching the ball to equalise for the Carpet Men with nine minutes of the half to go.

This signalled a period of ease for the Harriers as Tamworth sat back hoping to get to half time level.  A great passing move involving left flank men Pilkington and Mickey Demetriou set the Harriers on their way forward, pleasing the fans with Barça-esque passing, but the hosts were made to do with a Biggs effort well over and a few 'almost' crosses from Pilkington.

Yet, deep into added time, it was Pilkington who put the Harriers in front for the first time.  The former Aston Villa star Darren Byfield fouled Danny Jackman on the edge of the area and Pilkington stepped up to convert with a lovely curling effort around the wall and past the helpless Breeden.
  HT: 2 - 1
The second half started as the first ended with an ease of possession for the home side.  Despite this Tamworth were the first side to work the opposition's goalkeeper's gloves.  Goal scorer Adam Cunnington turned inside the box and shot towards goal, but Danny Lewis did very well to turn the effort around the post.

Four minutes later the Lambs were made to pay as Michael Gash extended the Reds lead.  Jackman whipped a ball into the box towards header-specialist Josh Gowling who nodded it down and Gash converted as he stabbed the ball over the line.

Cunnington again pushed for the Lambs, but his weak shot went wide of post.  The Harriers, however, tested the goalkeeper with their next chance.  Substitute Ryan Rowe replaced Anthony Malbon, with Burr perhaps having an eye on Tuesday's game in South Wales, fired on an angle but the chance was well saved by Breeden.

Briggs was next to test the Tamworth resolve but his shot cannoned off two defenders and it hit the side netting.  He then had a curling shot from range go just over with a little more than twenty minutes to go.

Tamworth didn't give the game up though and the Harriers had Lewis to thank for Tamworths score staying at one.  A corner was whipped in by the Lambs and Michael Wylde rose to divert a header goal wards.  Lewis used his fingertips as he had to get anything he could on it and he did excellently to stop to shot.

Gowling was also to thank as Lambs substitute Danny Lloyd hit a fierce shot on the volley, but the centre back did well to stop the shot troubling further.

With less than ten minutes to go however Gash doubled his tally and ensured an easy last few minutes for us as he notched home to make it 4-1.

Lee Vaughan charged down the right hand side and whipped an excellent ball in towards the former Cambridge man.  Gash calmly headed home to claim a brace on his home debut.  The players rightly took time to praise the Harrier's right back's cross too.

The Reds saw out the last few minutes comfortably which meant they capitalised on Wrexhams home draw to Luton and Grimsbys third loss in a row at the hands of Gash's old club Cambridge United.  This meant the Harriers kept up ground with in-form table toppers Mansfield and extended the points difference with Newport County.

The Welsh sides game today was postponed just forty minutes before kick off due to a 'waterlogged pitch' and they can now rest and concentrate on the mid-week arrival of the Harriers.  A win for the Reds will mean a very interesting position for us in the promotion race and will assure that Newport are sick of the sight of the Red and White jerseys.
  FT: 4 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Briggs 37, Pilkington 45, Gash 58, 84
 Goal for Tamworth: Cunnington 5


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gif Danny Pilkington



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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Tamworth  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Breeden  
L Vaughan     Oji  
Demetriou     Kelly  
Jackman gif     Wylde
Dunkley     Courtney
Gowling     Gudger  
Briggs gif     Cunnington gif  
Vincent     Thorpe  
Gash gif     Wright gif  
Malbon gif     Byfield gif
Pilkington gif gif     Perry  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Wren  
Rowe gif     Tait  
Williams gif     Hessenthaler gif  
Johnson gif     Lloyd gif  
Pearson     Hendrie  

REFEREE:
Mr L Swabey
Devon





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