Match report Vs Brackley TownVenue: AggboroughDate: 02-04-18Att: 1935 (away fans: 80)

02-04-18 - Report - Harriers 2 Brackley Town 1

It’s the Harriers with the late goals this week

Report: Phil Lench

After continually throwing games away to last minute in recent weeks this time it was the the Harriers who turned the tables on the opposition with not one but two late, late goals. OK the goals didn’t come as late as Salford City’s, Gainsboroughs and Bostons but for the fans staring another defeat in the face they were late enough.

Brackley had taken an eightieth minute lead, following seventy nine minutes of cancelling each other out, and we thought that was it and we’ll now go on and ship a few more. How wrong would we be that instead of sitting back, defending nervously, we went out and grabbed the equaliser within a few minutes with one of the best goals ever witnessed at Aggborough. In fact witnessed by any Harriers fan at any game away from home too.

With Brackley Town in third place and us in fourth place this was always going to be a tough, equally fought affair. We had Elton N’Gwatala back in the side to help us out but that did mean that Manny Sonupè would have to join the bench. Of the two former Reds with Brackley only Danny Lewis started with Jack Byrne out injured.

We started the game a little brighter than our guests and passed the ball around crisply without really achieving much, just a weak effort from N’Gwatala straight at Lewis in the third minute. Brackley were content to let us do all the fancy stuff and slowly took over the remainder of half with our bright spots coming rarely. For all their dominance Town had very little to show for it with all their chances coming from range or getting blocked out.

Mid way through the half Dan Bradley gave us hope that we might go into the break with a lead when his snap shot from outside the area hit the upright with Lewis stranded. That was it for the first forty five minutes and the fans were left thinking that it had to get better than this.

HT: 0 – 0

The second period was a different kettle with the Reds coming out with far more purpose to their game. Lee Vaughan, in his last game before a three match ban kicks in, sent in a swooping shot that Lewis just about managed to tip over for a corner and then Fraser Horsfall sent his header from that corner high over the bar when he could have done so much better with it. Lewis then made another fine save, this time from Bradley, when his on target shot was deflected slightly yet Lewis still managed to reach it and push it away to safety.

It was now all Harriers and Elton went close again just before Declan Weeks sent a free kick just wide of the post. Brackley made a couple of substitutions to try and get back into the game and for a while it worked with the Harriers struggling to make any kind of headway but also meaning that Brackley didn’t get anywhere near goal either. We responded by taking N’Gwatala off through tiredness and sent Sonupè on in his place in the hope of injecting some pace into our game but to do that you also need to give him the ball and for the first ten minutes of his arrival he didn’t see much of that.

Joe Ironside wasn’t seeing much of any decent refereeing either and after being pulled all over and fouled with no protection from Mr Woods he too came off and George Waring came on. We now had more in our locker and began to impose the upperhand more but then that was all undone ten minutes from the end.

Brandon Hall did well to parry away an effort from outside the area but the loose ball was quickly returned to the far post by another sub, James Armson, for the Gareth Dean to nod across the line for the opening goal. Our hearts sank as we knew what would probably happen next with another goal coming to condemn us to another home defeat. Another goal did come but it was one that will live for a long, long time in the memory.

All game we had been hoping to score from distance and up to now it hadn’t worked. Most of the attempts had been wayward, weak and expected and had come to nothing and it was the same when Fraser Horsfall collected the ball some thirty five yards. We knew that he would never score from that distance but when he looked up, fired goalwards and the ball had nestled in the back of the net we knew that we had just witnessed something special.

The goal gave us fresh hope and with Brackley now on the back foot we surged forward once more in search of the winner. It took just four minutes more to accomplish that when a smart pass from Sonupè to the overlapping Vaughan allowed him to cross the ball in for Dan Bradley to sweep the ball home and a well deserved victory for the Harriers.

With those three points in the bag we seem no nearer to Brackley than before with them still well in front of us by nine points and with a game in hand too. We now have just under a week off until next Saturday when we travel North to take on a quickly fading Blyth Spartans. They have fallen out of the play-off race in recent weeks and today got hammered 5-1 at Harrogate so the can either make up for that defeat by taking it out on us or they could continue to fade further away at our expense.

I know what I would like them to do.

FT: 2 – 1

Goals for Harriers: Horsfall 83, Bradley 87

Goal for Brackley: Dean 80

The Harriers Online MotM is: Dan Bradley

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
L Vaughan        
Ironside   71  
N’Gwatala   64  
N Vaughan        
Andre Brown        
Waring   71  
Sonupè   64  
Brackley Town Goals Subs Time Cards
S Byrne        
Graham   92
G Walker        
Nicholson   60  
Williams   61  
A Walker        
Armson   61  
Andy Brown        
Myles   60  
Iaciofano   92  
Mr Martin Woods