Cheltenham Town 2(0) v (0)0 Kidderminster Harriers

Football League Two - Whaddon Road- 18 December 2004

Attendance: 3718

Individual Stats
v Kidderminster
Shane Higgs 7 0(4)0000[1/20]Ryan Clarke 7 0(5)0000
Jerry Gill 5 00000[15/6]Johnny Mullins 6 00100
Jamie Victory 5 00010[3/23]Jon Beswetherick 5 10200
Gavin Caines 5 00010[23/8]Simon Weaver 5 00210
Shane Duff 5 00100[4/22]Wayne Hatswell 5 00141
John Finnigan 5 0014(1h)1[8/24]Tom Bennett 7 00120
JJ Melligan 5 11130[22/2]Lee Jenkins 6 00000
Martin Devaney 61(1)4200[7/19]Simon Russell 7 01001
Steve Guinan 6 2(1)2231[9/10]Gary Birch 5 1(1)2311
Ashley Vincent 5 00100[18/26]Pedro Matias 7 2(2)1012
Grant McCann 7 2(1)1001[11]Dean Keates 5 1(1)1421
Brian Wilson 5 00200[2/7]Chris Beardsley 5 00010
Damien Spencer 6 3(2)0120[10/16]Ian Foster 5 00000
David Bird     [14/17]Chris McHale      
Kayode Odejayi 5 00111[17/18]Jamie Gleeson      
Scott Brown      [12/1]Daniel Lewis     
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
Cheltenham Kidderminster
53Steve Guinan McCann found Devaney on the left, his deep cross was met by an unmarked Guinan who headed past Clarke at the near post.   
90+Grant McCann The ball came to McCann 25 yards from goal and his speculative shot took a wicked deflection off Mullins to leave Clarke wrong-footed and unable to prevent it going into the bottom corner.    
GillCaines DuffVictory
 Finnigan McCann 
Devaney Melligan McCann
MullinsWeaver HatswellBeswetherick
 Birch Matias 
Cheltenham Kidderminster
51WilsonDuffWilson to right back, Gill to left back, Victory to left central defender.68BeardsleyMatiasBeardsley to striker.
64SpencerVincentSpencer to striker. 77FosterJenkinsFoster to right central midfield.
79OdejayiGuinanOdejayi to striker. 81 HatswellWeaver to central defender.  Now 3-3-1-2.
Cheltenham Kidderminster
Melligan 75 Foul  Weaver 7 Foul
Keates 90 Foul
Hatswell 80 Professional Foul
Referee: D. Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Match Report by St@tto

A typical game of two halves saw Harriers dominate the first and the collapse in their normal fashion after the break allowing Cheltenham to take control and finally finished the game with just ten players after captain Wayne Hatswell's sending-off.

Harriers went into the game full of optimism following last weekend's win over Rochdale and the addition of two more players to the squad.  Both new signings, Gary Birch and Johnny Mullins, went straight into the team for their debuts; Birch lead the attack while Mullins took over the right-back spot.  Simon Weaver had recovered from his head injury picked up in the Rochdale game so there was no place for Abdou Sall while Ian Foster and Chris McHale were relegated to the bench.

The visitors started the game in lively fashion, again showing the determination and work ethic instilled in them by new manager Stuart Watkiss and dominated the early stages of the game, keeping Cheltenham on the defensive.  In the opening five minutes Dean Keates had curled a free kick around the wall straight into the grateful arms of Shane Higgs and Pedro Matias saw a cross-shot flash across the face of goal just a fraction too far ahead for anybody to apply the finishing touch.  A long pass from Mullins found Matias on the right and he cut inside and hit a 20-yarder straight at Higgs.

The Robins had a brief spell around the half-hour mark when they looked to get back into the game starting with a free kick on the edge of the penalty area that Grant McCann curled over the bar.  Shortly after that they had the ball in the net; another free kick, this time by former Harrier JJ Melligan, found Steve Guinan whose header goalwards was parried by Ryan Clarke and following in at the opposite post was John Finnigan who headed in.  Fortunately for Harriers the lineswoman's flag was raised to rule out the goal for offside.  Before the break Harriers had another good chance when Matias won possession and found Birch in space, his low shot was a little too close to Higgs who was able to parry it to safety.

After the break the game changed considerably; Harriers had a good chance early on, Matias fed the ball to Keates who took too long to control the ball before shooting hurriedly under pressure and sending the ball harmlessly wide, a chance that Harriers would soon rue missing.  McCann won the ball in midfield and fed Martin Devaney on the left wing his cross to the near post was met by Guinan who had got in front of his marker and headed past Clarke into the top corner.

Another chance fell to Harriers to quickly reduce the arrears, a right wing free kick missed everybody in the middle of the penalty area and fell to Matias at the far post, his shot was well saved and then Birch's follow-up was wild and flew into the crowd behind the goal.  From then on the game was over as far as Harriers were concerned.  Cheltenham made two substitutions swapping their strikers Guinan and Ashley Vincent for Damien Spencer and Kayode Odejayi and they did a good job of holding play up and keeping the ball away from Harriers for long spells.  Rather than the hard-working harrying team that Harriers had been in the first half they reverted to the spineless, spark-less, rabble that look like a side at the bottom of the league.

Cheltenham should have doubled their advantage 20 minutes from the end when Brian Wilson got to the byline on the right and crossed low to the far post where an unmarked Guinan blazed over the bar from two yards out.  There was controversy ten minutes from the end; Mullins was left in a heap after a heavy challenge and Town counterattacked while Harriers waited for them to put the ball out of play so that the youngster could receive treatment.  Spencer broke through the centre and was hacked down by Hatswell, giving referee Drysdale no option but to send him off.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added, ample for Harriers to try to grab a last gasp equaliser had they been able to get the ball off the home team and get out of their own half.  Instead it was Cheltenham who scored deep into the added time; a speculative shot from McCann took a wicked deflection off Mullins and gave Clarke no chance a it nestled in the bottom corner of the net.