Oxford United 2(1) v (1)1 Kidderminster Harriers
Football League Division 3 - The Kassam Stadium - 31 January 2004
Attendance: 6057

Individual Stats
 OnOffForAg   OnOffForAg 
Andy Woodman 5 0(2)0000[1]Stuart Brock 5 0(1)0100
Scott McNiven 5 10000[2/6]Matt Gadsby 5 01210
Matt Robinson 5 00100[3]Scott Stamps 6 00100
Jon Ashton 5 00100[29/5]Craig Hinton 6 00100
Andy Crosby 5 00120[5/22]Wayne Hatswell 6 01220
Paul McCarthy 6 10100[21/4]Danny Williams 5 01100
Paul Wanless 5 01230[27/20]Graham Ward 5 1(w)0010
Dean Whitehead 7 01212[12/17]Adam Murray 6 11320
Steve Basham 6 10200[23/10]Jesper Christiansen 5 1(1)0312
Richie Foran 5 11011[24/12]Bo Henriksen 6 1(1)0010
James Hunt 5 10140[8/7]Dean Bennett 5 00030
Dave Waterman     [6/2]Adie Smith     
Chris Hackett     [7/9]John Williams 5 00000
Lee Steele 5 1(1)0001[9/14]Sean Parrish 5 00000
Mark Rawle 5 02120[11/16]Scott Rickards     
Matt Bound 5 00000[18/15]John Danby     
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
Oxford 144965
Kidderminster 112744
7 Steve Basham Whitehead's corner from the left found Basham who rose well and headed the ball under Brock. 45+ Adam Murray Picked up Henriksen's back-heeled pass 35 yards from goal and tried a speculative shot that flew past Woodman into the roof of the net.
77 Paul McCarthy Was left unmarked at the far post to head Whitehead's right wing corner powerfully past Brock.      
McNiven   Robinson
 Basham Foran 
GadsbyHinton HatswellStamps
WardMurray D. WilliamsBennett
 Christiansen Henriksen 
57 Rawle Foran Rawle to striker. 54 Parrish Ward Parrish to left midfield, Bennett to right midfield.
75 Steele McNiven Steele to striker, Whitehead to right wing-back, Wanless to right central midfield. Now 5-2-3. 77 J. Williams Henriksen J. Williams to striker.
88 Bound Basham Bound to left central defender, McCarthy to right central defender, Ashton to right wing back, Whitehead to right central midfield, Wanless to central midfield. Now 5-3-2.        
Rawle 85 Dissent
Ashton 85 Dissent
  Hatswell 90+ Foul  
Referee: E. Evans
Match Report by St@tto

Harriers' winless streak stretched to six games with defeat at The Kassam Stadium.  High winds and driving rain spoiled the game but it was Harriers' lack of bite in attack and their inability to defend set-pieces that cost them the game.

Bo Henriksen was brought into the starting line-up at the expense of John Williams who dropped down to the bench in the only change to the first eleven from the game at Bury.  Playing with the wind at their backs in the first half Harriers should have had the advantage early on but they got off to the worst possible start after just six minutes when the home team took the lead.  United won a corner on the left wing which was taken by Dean Whitehead, his cross found Steve Basham who rose well and headed the ball downwards, under the body of Stuart Brock, and it trickled over the line.

The home team adapted to the conditions better in the first half, Harriers tried to play their normal passing football when they should have made use of the wind and been more direct.  Keeping the ball on the floor and running with it Matt Robinson came close to doubling the advantage midway through the half bringing the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the Harriers penalty area where he was stopped by a last-ditch tackle from Danny Williams.

Harriers did go close to the Oxford goal on a couple of occasions, both from corners, both taken by Adam Murray.  First his kick from the right was half cleared and Danny Williams headed it into the path of Graham Ward who hit a 20-yard shot against the crossbar; later another right wing kick found Wayne Hatswell whose header was cleared off the line.  At the other end Richie Foran was allowed too much time on the ball inside the Harriers penalty area and his shot was blocked on the line by Scott Stamps.  In stoppage time Harriers drew level out of the blue, Henriksen back-heeled the ball into Murray's path 35 yards from goal and he hit a speculative shot that flew past Woodman in the home goal.

The start of the second half was delayed by nearly 25 minutes because the high winds had caused damage to the roof of one of the stands and a large section of the crowd was evacuated to another part of the stadium.  Once the game restarted Oxford took control, making the most of the conditions and playing the direct football that Harriers hadn't.  It was Harriers, however, that created the first chance; Murray played a pass through the middle into the path of Jesper Christiansen, the Dane didn't get enough power in his shot, though, and hit it straight at Woodman.

Oxford looked dangerous every time they went forward; a deep cross from the right found Foran at the far post but his diving header looped over the bar.  Shortly afterwards substitute Mark Rawle played a neat 1-2 with Whitehead that carved the Harriers defence wide open but he then curled his shot just wide of Brock's left-hand post.

Luck was not with Harriers either, when Sean Parrish, on as a sub for Graham Ward, played the ball through behind the Oxford defence the linesman flagged for offside when both Henriksen and Christiansen were clearly being played on by two defenders.  Parrish was involved again as Harriers attacked; Dean Bennett played the ball in from the right to the near post for Parrish who was denied on the line by a last ditch clearance that gave Harriers just a corner.

Oxford regained the lead fifteen minutes from the end, another corner from Whitehead, this time on the right, found Paul McCarthy at the far post, unmarked, and he powered a header past Brock for his second United goal - both against Harriers.  As time ran out Harriers mustered a couple of late efforts; a deep left wing cross from Stamps found Matt Gadsby at the far post but he headed over under pressure from two markers and then with almost the last kick of the game John Williams set up Danny Williams whose low shot from the edge of the penalty area found the side netting.

United maintained their unbeaten home record and their push for promotion.  They are undoubtedly a good side but Harriers made it easy for them with a toothless display in attack and schoolboy defending at corners.  The same mistakes that have blighted Harriers all season came back today to cost them the game and if they don't cut them out soon they could cost them their place in the league.

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