|Venue: LNER Community Stadium Date: 12-08-23 York City 0 Harriers 1 Att: 4371 (away fans: 181)
The Harriers solid start continues
Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers continued their solid start to the new season with this well deserved win at York City thanks to a late Amari Morgan-Smith goal. It was a scrappy effort but who cares when it means another three points from one of the teams that hate playing us.
We fans went there with little expectation of coming back with a point, let alone three, after seeing money being poured into York by their new owners and reputed sums of £250,000 being paid out for Dipo Akinyemi alone. Don’t forget all the others like Tyler Cordner and Quevin Castro that they’ve also paid money for too. Wrexham AFC have a lot to answer for.
As it was, in front of the best following that we’ve ever taken to York, it was the Harriers that ran the game from beginning to end even though both sides were equally matched. From the off we too the game to City and most of our good work was coming through Kai Lissimore, in for the long term injured Shane Byrne. He was running at their midfield forcing them into errors as the tried to deal with his trickiness and passion.
It was City that had the first real, and their last, of the half when Castro forced Christian Dibble into a decent save that was never going to really trouble him. From then on it was Harriers all the way with a rough count of eleven chances to have scored and squandered. We pushed their unsure defence continually looking to make the breakthrough but our shooting was wayward and rarely on target.
Our best chances came to AMS with a volley that the City keeper David Stockdale saved well and a late chance for Zak Brown when he had the goal at his mercy but opted to try and roll the ball home instead of hitting it and the ball was cleared away by a defender.
HT: 0 – 0
The second half was a little less exciting in the way of chances for us. City had obviously had the hair dryer wielded at them and came out looking a little tougher at the back and with more intention of getting forwards looking for a chance to score. We coped with that easily enough and they achieved little of note in the first ten minutes of the half with only the former Hereford FC player Maziar Kouhyar coming close. Kouhyar is one of many former Hereford players at City now which seems strange considering how poor Hereford were and still are.
We began to find a way past them now that they were trowing bodies forward with Caleb Richards exploiting the space he now had to good effect. Countless times he left Levi Andoh (another ex Bull) for dead as he surged towards the bye line looking to get a telling cross in.
One such chance left Stockdale flapping at a cross and it fell to the feet of the waiting Ashley Hemmings but the City keeper recovered quickly to dive at Ash’s feet and smother the ball safely.
Soon after Zak Brown went down in the area again, as he did against Woking last Saturday, as if he had cramp. He went off to be replaced by Kieran Phillips making his debut for us but this repeating injury to Zak is concerning.
With time beginning to run out it was looking for all the world like another 0-0 result but that was until yet another corner for us. Joe Leesley took it and it fell perfectly in the centre of the goalmouth. Someone headed the ball, someone headed it away, the keeper couldn’t reach it and someone headed it back, the keeper flapped at it again and Morgan-Smith headed it against the bar and, ever so slightly, over the line as a City defender tried to head it back out.
One look at his assistant and the, very good, referee signaled a goal to the delight of the travelling fans and to the players alike. Lots of fist pumping ensued and we were, hopefully, home and dry. Kouhyar forced Dibble into another save in the nine minutes of added time but it was never going to trouble Dibs. The only downside was another injury to Matt Preston minutes from the end with Alex Penny coming on the bolster the back line for a few minutes.
Hopefully both Brown and Preston will be ok for our trip to bloody AFC Fylde once again on Tuesday evening. With the start of their season not going as planned (yes!!!!) we’ll be wanting another three points off them.
FT: 0 – 1
Goal for Harriers: Morgan-Smith 83
The Harriers Online MotM is: Caleb Richards
Talk about the game here
Latest table and stats here
|Mr Farai Hallam