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Date: 21-03-17 gif Venue: The Lamb gif att: 860 gif away fans: 254
Well that was a comeback and a half

gif Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers came back from being two goals down at Tamworth this evening to finally win a thrilling game 4-3.  A brace from new boy Joe Ironside was the highlight and he looks to be a great acquisition by the club if we aim to get promotion.

Ironside was the only change to the team that got robbed by the ref at AFC Fylde last Saturday with Tyrell Waite dropping to the bench.  There was no Ashley Carter on that bench so the talk of his days being numbered at Aggborough, and him going out on loan once his three match ban is up, could well be true.

In the Tamworth side was our old friend Reece Styche along with two former defenders of ours, Luke Jones and Joe Clarke.  Jones had retired from football at one stage due to a bad knee but he's made his comeback with Tamworth and played well.  Styche was, well, Styche!

The game got underway on the artificial pitch with the home side showing us how to play on it.  Mistakes from our defenders were letting Styche and his mate Danny Newton in far too often and it was obvious we were in for a rough ride.  That didn't take long coming when Jordan Tunnicliffe pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury - possibly due to the un-familiar surface - and he played no further part in the game.  Tyrone Williams replaced him.

It was a few minutes after the change that the home side took the lead.  A sloppily defended free kick allowed Styche to get a shot in but it was blocked but only as far as Newton who bundled the ball over the line.  Seven minutes later and it was the former Harriers bad boys turn to score.

Another free kick for the hosts was played across the edge of the area to Jack Lane and as he turned to shoot James McQuilkin brushed against him and he fell a little too easily just inside the area.  Of course Styche wasn't going to miss that kind of opportunity and bagged the ball for himself.  His well taken penalty gave Sam Hornby no chance of saving and for once the boot was on the other foot as the Harriers found themselves two goals down with just over thirty minutes gone on the clock.

We began to realise that if we didn't pull out our collective fingers that we could easily end up losing this game and with it any possible outside chance of catching up with Fylde.  Daniel Nti had two chances to get us back into the game but his free kick and then a half volley didn't really frighten James Belshaw all that much in the Tamworth goal.

A superb save from Hornby denied Newton his second goal of the game when he stopped his close range header but luckily for us the referee deemed Dawson to have pushed his way through so it wouldn't have counted anyway.

A minute later, and now in first half added on time, we somehow managed to pull a goal back and send us into the break with our tails high.  A free kick was was played into the Tamworth area by McQuilkin and it fell perfectly for Harriers latest recruit to slip the ball home for his first goal in a red (or purple) shirt.
  HT: 2 - 1
The second half started with another change in personnel for us as Sam Austin was withdrawn to bring on Liam Truslove.  Obviously in an effort to be slightly more direct than we had been with our usual failing of trying to walk the ball home.  Actually I would have taken off Elton N'Gwatala who had been having a below standard forty five minutes and was probably the most guilty of faffing around.  But then again I'm not the manager.

Ironside had our first chance of the half when he forced Belshaw into an early save at the foot of the post and then the home keeper really excelled in keeping Liam Trusloves fierce shot out by tipping it over the bar.  Soon after a challenge on a Harriers player by Jed Davies saw him come off the worse and, with him already on a yellow card, the referee consulted his assistant about the incident.  In the end they just gave us a free kick but Davies played no further part in the game and Ellis Deeney came on.

From that free kick, in the sixty first minute, Tyrone Williams rose the highest in a gaggle of players to meet another McQuilkin delivery and send the ball fizzing into the net to draw us level.  After being two goals down we had made our comeback and it looked like there would be only one winner now.

Ten minutes later and we finally got what we deserved and took the lead for the first time in the game.  A shot from distance from Truslove was dropped by the Tamworth keeper and with McQuilkin and Ironside both prowling the keeper pounced on the loose ball but again it slipped from his grasp before Ironside took the ball away from him then rifled it home.

We thought we were almost home and dry.  Another goal for us would seal the points and also our first away win in over three months.  Instead shades of defending what we had came into play and once too often we backed off to allow the Tamworth strikers sight of goal.  Five minutes from time we began to throw it all away when Deeney was allowed to approach the goal too easily and his shot from thirty yards out soared into the top of Hornby's net and drew the host level.

It looked all over for us and our three points but tonight added on time went in our favour and with one minute over the ninety gone another Quilks corner produced the goods as the ball flew across to the near post for Keith Lowe to flick home and earn his second goal in two games.  More importantly it also earned us all three of those precious points.

On a night when the other teams around us could only draw the three points tonight lifted us back into second place in the table and only nine points behind Fylde.  I think the gap might be too big now but we have to keep trying.
  FT: 3 - 4

 Goals for Tamworth: Newton 25, Styche (Pen) 32, Deeney 87
 Goals for Harriers: Ironside 45, 74, Williams 61, Lowe 91


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Joe Ironside



Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Tamworth  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Belshaw     Hornby  
Burns     Ezewele  
Morley   Francis-Angol  
Fox     Croasdale
Jones     Lowe gif  
Lane     Tunnicliffe gif  
Davies gif   Nti gif  
J Clarke gif     McQuilkin  
Dawson gif     Ironside gif  
Styche gif gif     N'Gwatala  
C Taylor     Austin gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Jezeph     Williams gif gif - 22  
Dyer gif - 78     Truslove gif - 46  
Green     Knights  
Deeney gif gif - 60     A Brown  
Powell gif - 78     Waite gif - 85  

REFEREE:
Mr R Wild
Rochdale




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