Match report Vs Curzon AshtonVenue: AggboroughDate: 05-09-17Att: 1281 (away fans: 10)

05-09-17 - Report - Harriers 2 Curzon Ashton 2

Harriers pay the price again with poor substitutions

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers again threw away maximum points for the second game running this evening when, following an excellent first half, they sat back and allowed Curzon to draw level twice. With an un-balanced line-up in the second period due to some questionable personnel changes we left gaping wide holes in defence and no one on the pitch to plug that gap. Taking off our two most creative players was also a major mistake and we had no outlet for the three strikers bought on to replace them.

We started out with the same line-up as we did on Saturday against Boston Utd and that meant a continuation of the lone striker of an isolated Joe Ironside. The fans had been crying out since the weekend for a change to the rigid system that John Eustace employs but it was never going to happen. We just saw a slight tweak with Dan Bradley playing a little closer to Ironside.

For the first forty minutes we bombarded the Curzon goal without actually getting a clean shot on target. The build up play was great with Sam Austin and Sonupè exposing holes in the visitors defence time and time again but that final ball was not a quality ball and coupled with over elaboration in front of goal most of our chances fizzled out. Most of that could have been down to the injury picked up by James McQuilkin that saw him substituted half way through the half. Will Longbottom came on in his place.

It took until the forty third minute for someone to try something different and actually run directly at the Curzon back line. Ryan Croasdale spotted a gap in their defence and went for it firing in at an angle across the goal and into the net. At last someone had shown some initiative.

HT: 1 – 0

During the first period Curzon had shown signs of tiring but they came out after the break full of new found energy and straight away took the game to us. We struggled to contain them and gave their number three, Joe Guest, far too much room to press Sam Austin into defensive errors. Yes, poor old Sam had been chucked at the back yet again even though we had a full back, Josh Webb, on the bench?

An early scare for the Reds almost saw Tyrone Williams put through his own net when Niall Cummins pressurised him into panicking but luckily for Ty he recovered enough to quickly divert the ball away for a corner. A few minutes later and the Nash had deservedly drawn level.

The ball had hurriedly been put out for a corner and it was taken short then played in to the near post where Matthew Regan was waiting un-marked to side foot the ball home. They followed up with a strike from distance from Guest that forced Brandon Hall to scramble the shot away.

The goal woke us up slightly and we began to turn the game back in our favour. With Curzon committing bodies forward Sonupè began to exploit the gaps they had left and run at them more. His ball control is now starting to improve and at times it was as if the ball was glued to his boots. It was his persistance in chasing the ball down that led to him playing it out wide to Austin who then sent over a deep probing cross that fell just right for Ironsides head to loop over the keeper.

Then it went to pieces.

Off went Dan Bradley soon to be followed by Sonupè and on came Andre Wright soon to be followed by Andre Brown. Off with them went all creativity and endeavour and on came, well, nothing. With three strikers now on the pitch it seemed not one of them knew where they were supposed to be and we ended up with dead ends and lost causes.

Again the game turned the other way and Curzon came at us once again. Once more they exploited the holes in our naive defence and with just a few minutes to go they once more drew level when a through ball split the defence and Niall Cummins followed it through with a strike into the corner of the goal beyond the reach of Hall.

That should have been the signal that with with just a few minutes left we needed to throw the kitchen sink at Cameron Wilson in the Curzon goal but we didn’t. We just passed the ball square across the pitch and then back to the keeper without ever making any real ground. hall was visibly getting annoyed with this and when the ball came back to him he took it forward and booted it upfield. Problem was there was no one there to chase after it.

So again we end up disappointed and none more so than the fans who can see where the problems lie. The problems that are chosen to be ignored.

Our next game is away at Southport on Saturday and they got hammered 6-0 by Stockport this evening. There’s nothing like false hope.

FT: 2 – 2

Goals for Harriers: Croasdale 43, Ironside 59

Goals for Curzon: Regan 51, Cummins 88

The Harriers Online MotM is: Emmanuel Sonupè

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   76  
McQuilkin   36  
Bradley   67  
A Brown    76  
Wright   67  
Longbottom   36  
Curzon Ashton Goals Subs Time Cards
Crothers   81  
Cummins 90  
Leonard   76  
Wharton   90  
McKenzie   76  
Byanga   81  
Mr Tom Reeves