Following loads of high scoring games in recent weeks it was disappointing to see the Reds fail to hit the net for the first time since AFC Telford away at the beginning of September. We've seen two 6-0's, two 3-3's and a 4-0 but today despite our greatest efforts the ball refused to go in. Most of that was down to a decent keeper in the FC United of Manchester goal but then again it could be down to weak shooting in the first place that made it easier for him.
By the time their fortuitous first goal went in we should have been at least 4-0 up and cruising. Our passing was good once again and at times our overall play was of a level much higher that non league football should be. Then in the second half FCUM closed us down far more than in the first period and by the end of the game we had run out of ideas.
There was an enforced change for the Harriers with Elton N'Gwatala ruled out with a shoulder injury so Liam Truslove made his first start for us. FCUM, backed by almost 350 vociferous fans set the game on its way.
Tyrell Waite - on fire out wide - was the first to show for us when Tyrone Williams ran with the ball down the wing and crossed in for James McQuilkin to take aim. His shot hit a defender and then onto the upright where it rebounded out to Waite who took aim but hit another defender and out for a corner that landed just right for Keith Lowe but his header was a bit wayward and went the wrong side of the post.
Waite again should have fired home but again the ball went wide and then a poor kick out by the FCUM keeper Dave Carnell landed in front of McQuilkin who took aimm and struck but not hard enough and Carnell saved easily.
Truslove then got into the weak shot routine and his shot from the edge of the area was easily dealt with and blocked out for another corner.
That was the story of our game and it came back to bite a couple of minutes later when FCUM took the lead totally against the run of play and poor defending.
They we handed a free kick out wide and Matt Wolfenden floated the ball in towards Sam Hornby who flapped at it un-characteristically and tried to punch it away but only as far as the un-suspecting Keith Lowe who had run forward to defend the ball. It hit him and rebounded back into the net. A silence fell over the stadium and weirdly I can't recall the away fans cheering. Were they as shocked as us?
We responded immediately by surging forward once more in an effort to gain a fast equaliser. Arthur Gnahoua collected the ball in midfield and set up Zaine Francis-Angol with a chance but he fired straight down the middle and straight at the keepers legs. Truslove also had another chance to score after Lowe played him in but again the shooting was woeful and again the keeper collected easily. Too easily.
With halftime approaching FCUM took a more physical stance to try and stop us and Mani Dieseruvwe found himself the victim of over enthusiastic tackles and pushes and the referee having to step in to break things up. On the stroke of halftime a chance fell once more for Waite but again the keeper got to it and pushed it away for a corner that was taken by McQuilkin but came to nothing.