Match report Vs Spennymoor TownVenue: AggboroughDate: 21-10-17Att: 1406 (away fans: 28)

21-10-17 - Report - Harriers 2 Spennymoor Town 2

Harriers fall to a late penalty

Report: Phil Lench

On a day when Storm Brian was ruling the proceedings it ended up as a disappointing game overall for the Harriers when they found themselves trailing to a first half wonder goal. They clawed their way back into the game to take a well earned lead only to see it taken from them with a late penalty decision from the poor referee to give Spennymoor a share of the points.

At the end of the day it was no more than they deserved considering that they didn’t come to put the team behind the ball and made the most of the conditions with the first half wind in their favour. By the end though they were struggling to hold on and it was our own senseless time wasting that helped them in that. You don’t put the ball in the corner with seven minutes of game time remaining and when you do get a corner you don’t mess up embarrassingly as James McQuilkin and Dan Bradley did.

The game started off, in those windy conditions, with just the one enforced change to the side that beat Chester in the FA Cup last week. James Pearson, injured, was out so Tyrone Williams took his place. 

Within minutes of the start, following continual pressure from the snappy Spennymoor forwards, the visitors had taken the lead when a clearance from Brandon  Hall got held up in that wind and fell just short of McQuilkin. He failed to control the ball and was robbed by David Foley who sent a superb strike, from fully forty five yards out, over the keepers head and into the goal.

We tried to respond but with chances at a minimum too much over fussiness and weak shooting were not helping the cause. We had a clear penalty shout turned down when a jink and a shot from Elton N’Gwatala was stopped in the penalty area by a Moors man with his arms outstretched but the referee didn’t think that handball in the penalty area should actually mean a penalty should be given.

We then saw a chance for Andre Wright that he had worked well to get into a shooting position for with the final shot hitting the upright and then the crossbar but then away from goal. The linesman had put his flag up for an unknown infringement though even with Andre Wright onside and the goal, if it had been, would have been chalked off.

At the other end Spennymoor were going all out for a second goal and they came very close to that, too close, when a strong strike from Joe Tait was stopped on the line by Ryan Croasdale with many behind the goal at that end thinking it had actually crossed the line. We were living dangerously close to the edge and when half time came we were thankful that we were only going into the break a solitary goal down.

HT: 0 – 1

The second half was much improved for the Reds. Dan Bradley came on at the restart in place of Wright and, with the wind in our favour now, we took the game to our guests. It was Bradley that had our first chance of the half but again the shot was weak and hardly troubled the Moors keeper, Jordan Porter.

Bradley could have found himself back in the dressing room soon after when he clashed with their keeper off the ball. Porter held his head claiming that he had been struck by the Harriers sub but following discussions with his assistant the referee booked both players. The keeper continued to complain to the ref for a while after but nothing came of it.

Further chances came our way and finally a goal from McQuilkin, his first of the season. A pass from Joel Taylor deep in our half found McQuilkin out near the touchline where a quick step forward and a look up gave him the sighting of the goal that he was looking for and a sent his shot whistling beyond the reach of Porter.

Now with something to play for we began to break the Moors defence down and shots came in from all angles with Joe Ironside going close when he hit the crossbar from a corner but it was a substitution that gave us the lead. Andre Brown was sent on in place of N’Gwatala and with his first touch of the ball we had taken the lead from a McQuilkin free kick when he powered it home.

We should really have gone on to get a third goal but as is usual with us we still fail to kill teams off and would rather faff around around in midfield and then let the other team back into the game. That predictably came about with the announcement of an extra seven minutes added on for the Bradley/Porter incident and a couple of injuries to players on both sides.

We decided that it would be a good idea to run the seven minutes down by the corner flag and even when we were given a corner we argued over a Moors player being too near the ball and then when it was taken a right old cock up saw Spennymoor rob us of the ball and proceed upfield and into our area. The inevitable happened and the ball was played aimlessly in for someone, anyone, to run onto. James O’Connor went in two footed and the referee pointed to the spot.

O’Connor, booked earlier in the game, looked aghast as the ref then drew another yellow card out. O’Connor walked and will now miss the Stockport game next week. Or will he miss our FA Cup game at AFC Fylde? Who knows. Joe Tait put the penalty away with ease and Spennymoor celebrations were slightly over the top.

So to some the 2-2 scoreline could be seen as a fair reflection. Harriers fans will see it as robbery by yet another shoddy refereeing performance.

FT: 2 – 2

Goals for Harriers: McQuilkin 61, A Brown 79

Goals for Spennymoor: Foley 6, Tait (pen) 92

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ryan Croasdale

Hear the fans views following the game:

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
B Hall        
J Taylor        
Sonupè   85  
N’Gwatala   78  
Wright   46  
A Brown 78  
Austin   85  
Bradley   46
Spennymoor Town Goals Subs Time Cards
Fewster   59  
Dixon   82  
G Taylor        
Anderson   73  
R Hall   59  
Johnson   82  
Ramshaw   73  
Mr Benjamin Speedie