Match report Vs AFC Telford UtdVenue: AggboroughDate: 01-01-18Att: 2201 (away fans: 304)

01-01-18 - Report - Harriers 2 AFC Telford Utd 0

Harriers kick off the New Year with a win

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers gained three points at home to AFC Telford Utd today with two goals from the two Andre’s, Brown and Wright. There could, and should, have been more goals if the referee had seen fit to do his job properly and awarded us both of the blatant penalties that he turned down. There could have been a third when Joel Taylor was bought down in the area but instead he received a yellow card for diving. It does beg the question why, if the other two were waved away for a similar reason, James Pearson and Liam Truslove weren’t booked for that reason too.

Following the goalless draw at the Bucks Head ground on Boxing Day there were a couple of changes to the starting eleven with Joe Ironside missing following the bad tackle he had there and Joel Taylor placed to the bench. In came Liam Truslove in place of Ironside while Sam Austin took Taylors place. On the, frankly, poor bench was an academy defender, Tom Smith, and a keeper for the first time in ages – Tom Palmer. So we had just the one forward in Andre Brown, three defenders and a goalkeeper.

The first half was a ponderous affair with very little of interest for the good festive crowd of over 2,200. Chances were few and far between as we seemed happy to pass the ball around without breaking through the Telford defence very often. Elton N’Gwatala was probably the one trying his hardest to do just that but his over elaboration at times let him down against the defensive minded team although he did force an excellent save out of Jas Singh when his curling ball almost crept inside the post.

Midway through the half we lost Manny Sonupè to injury after he had been clattered in the first ten minutes while trying to take the ball into the area. The web footed fans from Telford booed him when he went down just as they did when Andre Brown got injured later on. The injury didn’t stop Brown from scoring though after he swept the ball into the net five minutes before the break following N’Gwatala’s ball into the area.

The first of the penalty shouts followed just before the halftime whistle when Pearson was pushed over by Connor Johnson but the referee came to the conclusion that Pearson had made the most of it.

HT: 1 – 0

After the break Andre Wright came on for Andre Brown with the goalscorer not having recovered from his first half knock. He tried hard to impose himself on the game but he lacks the strength needed at any level to do so. Ironically his goal later in the game was an excellent example of a poachers goal.

The start of the half was better from us without, again, really getting going. It was obvious from the total lack of service to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake upfront that Telford had come with the intention of gaining a point even though there were a goal down. We were getting more room in midfield but ironically Elton was seeing much less of the ball that he had in the first half due to more attention given to him.

It was down to Joel Taylor and Sam Austin, now playing in his preferred position out wide, to supply the balls into the area for Wright. Early on Taylor had a claim for a penalty turned down after he burst into the area only to be hacked down by Johnson again but again it was turned down and Taylor was booked for ‘diving’ while clear on goal? He’s now on five yellow cards and will miss the Chorley away game on the 9th. Declan Weeks is due to miss a game too but with him injured then that will be served once he’s fit again.

That turned down penalty spurred Telford into their best spell of the game. Marcus Dinanga saw a shot sail just wide while John Marsden fired in a shot that Brandon Hall dealt with easily. They made the first of their sub changes soon after with Elliot Newby coming on for Max Leonard while soon after the ex Harrier Jordan Murphy came on for Dinanga. Almost straight away he bamboozled James O’Connor and Fraser Horsfall into confusion as he dummied them both but Ryan Croasdale covering mopped up.

Our third penalty shout followed that when Liam Truslove picked up the ball just inside the Telford half and headed for goal. As he entered he was bought down in mid-flight but again the incompetent official decided that he had dived and again waved all claims much to the disbelief of 99% of the crowd. It didn’t matter though because soon after we scored the clinching goal.

Again Truslove ran towards Singhs goal with the ball at his feet. This time no one attempted to stop him and he took aim and fired in but Singh fumbled the ball back out into the path of Wright who made no mistake with the return ball powerfully driven home.

The goal again spurred Telford into action with Murphy, again, breaking through to test Hall with a shot while the other sub, Newby, hit the bar with Hall rooted to the spot. We held on in the end though with the points coming our way thanks to the efforts of the two Andre’s. 

 We now have two tough away games at Leamington FC and Chorley FC to look forward to but we can look forward with confidence. That confidence could be even stronger if we could bring in some extra firepower in the coming week.

FT: 2 – 0

Goals for Harriers: A Brown 39, Wright 73

The Harriers Online MotM is: Fraser Horsfall

Talk about the game here and phone the Harriers Hotline on 01905 577 777 after the game too

Latest table and stats here

Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Sonupè   26  
A Brown 46  
Truslove   85  
Wright 46  
Taylor   26
Williams   85  
AFC Telford Utd Goals Subs Time Cards
Leonard   64  
Cowans   88  
Dinanga   74  
Newby   64  
Dwyer   88  
Murphy   74  
Mr Scott Simpson
Stoke on Trent