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Harriers 3gifEbbsfleet Utd 0 - FA Trophy 2nd rd

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Date: 14-01-17 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 1078 gif away fans: 140
Harriers sail past the Fleet into the next round

gif Report: Phil lench
The Harriers eased their way into the 3rd round of the FA Trophy at Aggborough today against an Ebbsfleet side that didn't offer as much as we expected them to.  With both clubs riding high in their respective leagues most Harriers supporters were expecting a tough conflict and the strong possibility that the game would be drawn meaning a replay down in Kent on a freezing cold Tuesday evening.  Thankfully that wasn't to be.

There were a few changes to the Harriers side that lost in the league at Salford last weekend.  Out went Elton N'Gwatala to allow a first start for Darryl Knights, Mani Dieseruvwe made way for Andre Brown while Sam Austin moved from his temporary full back berth to take the place of Tyrell Waite out wide.  Ashley Carter was sacrificed for new loan signing Josh Ezewele following his arrival from Yeovil Town to take up that free left back position while Zaine Francis-Angol is out injured.

Ebbsfleet are in second place in the Conference South and with a smattering of quality players you could see why.  Sam Deering, Danny Kedwell and Darren McQueen were the main ones on display today but to be honest only McQueen showed his pedigree with both Deering and Kedwell being so well marshalled by Keith Lowe and Jordan Tunnicliffe that Deering was withdrawn at halftime for being totally in-effective.

Following a well respected minutes silence for the late Graham Taylor the game kicked off in freezing conditions.  It was the Harriers who were the first to warm up the crowd by coming close to opening the scoring within the opening two minutes.  A James McQuilkin through ball split the visitors defence to allow Andre Brown in to shoot.  His fierce shot from the edge of the area forced Nathan Ashmore into action but he still couldn't stop Browns dipping shot flying off the top of the crossbar.  A few minutes later Sam Austin followed up that effort by forcing Ashmore to tip away his shot that was heading for the back of the net.

The Fleet began to recover from the hectic opening of the game and began to slow it down to their pace by tightening up their defence a little and we began to find scoring chances harder to work out.  Deering had a diving header that Alex palmer did well to keep out and Jack Powell hit the post from a free kick when he seemingly mis-hit it instead of floating the ball to his waiting team mates.

The first Harriers goal came from a moment of dis-belief.  Darryl Knights played the newcomer, Ezewele, in out wide and he then set off for the byeline leaving his marker trailing.  Ezewele then dribbled to ball along the byeline until you had though he had gone too far and had hit a dead end but, no, he found the tiniest of spaces between the post and Ashmore to poke the ball through and into the far side of the goal.  Having never played for his first club, West Brom, and only ten minutes for his present club Yeovil then to start your first professional game and score is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Four minutes later and the Reds were two goals to the good and it was the other full back, Tyrone Williams, who was to get on the scoresheet.  A corner was played out to McQuilkin who then set himself up with a clear sight of goal and struck.  The ball was heading for goal, there's no doubt about that, but with Ashmore diving to meet it Williams put a foot out to deflect the ball the other way and leave the Fleet keeper diving at thin air.

The remainder of the half was played out with Ebbsfleet trying their hardest to stop us from going further in front.
  HT: 2 - 0
At the break they came out early as some kind of punishment and then made a double substitution with Deering and Powell staying behind in the dressing room while Sean Shields and Stuart Lewis replaced them.  They started the half the stronger but still without causing anyone to break sweat in the Harriers ranks although they did test Palmer early doors when McQueen tried his luck, half-heartedly, from range.

Let's mention the referee and his mates here.  Mr Samuel Allison is supposed to be highly rated but some of his decisions were of a dubious nature after a first half booking for Ryan Croasdale that looked very soft he then went on, with his assistant, to totally ignore Ashmore handling the ball a yard outside the area and then dismiss a terrible challenge on McQuilkin that sent him flying trough the air with no yellow card for the perpetrator.  Then Croasdale was penalised for a 'foul' on the edge of the area even though no contact was made and the opposing player didn't go down and that signalled the number fours substitution on the grounds of us not wanting him sent off for a second yellow that wouldn't be warranted.

Arthur Gnahoua had been having a quiet game, again, but did get a couple of chances mid way through the half.  One a shot that the keeper saved and a second that was a weak header that went over the bar.  He was withdrawn after that to make way for Elton N'Gwatala and our third goal came almost immediately following that.

Again it was Darryl Knights that was the provider when he picked up a forward ball and took it on.  He crossed it in and there was Andre Brown to fire across the goal and under the dive of the Fleet keeper for his seventh goal of the season.

We lay off a little then and controlled the remaining twenty minutes of the game with ease.  Ebbsfleet had one more chance to score when they fired over the bar from just inside the box but they were a spent force by then.  Fair play to their travelling fans though because they weren't spent and continued to sing and bang their drum right up to the final minute of the game.

We now go into the draw for the next round of the cup to be drawn sometime over lunch on Monday or whenever they get round to it.  The game will be played on February 4th meaning that our league game at Brackley will now be re-arranged for a later Tuesday evening.
  FT: 2 - 0

 Goals for Harriers: Ezewele 34, Williams 38, A Brown 70


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Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Ebbsfleet Utd  goals   subs   cards 
A Palmer     Ashmore  
Williams gif     Cook  
Ezewele gif gif     Connors  
Croasdale gif   Phillips  
Lowe     McCoy  
Tunnicliffe     Clark  
Austin     Rance
McQuilkin     Deering gif  
A Brown gif     Kedwell  
Knights     McQueen gif  
Gnahoua gif     Powell gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Dieseruvwe     Miles  
Truslove gif - 59     Shields gif - 46  
Waite     Lewis gif - 46  
N'Gwatala gif - 65     Johnson  
Thomas gif - 72     Bubb gif - 69  

REFEREE:
Mr S Allison
Wiltshire




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