Kidderminster Harriers 1(0) v (2)3 Oxford United

Football League Two - Aggborough - 22 January 2005

Attendance: 3143

Individual Stats
v Oxford
John Danby 5 0(1)0100[15/1]Chris Tardiff 50(2)0000
Johnny Mullins 601100[6/2]Dave MacKay 500010
Billy Jones 6 00110[14/15]Mateo Corbo 5 00130
Simon Weaver 500120[8/4]Leo Roget 500100
Wayne Hatswell 500120[22/5]Jon Ashton 4 00200
Tom Bennett 501100[24/17]Barry Quinn 5 00120
John McGrath 7 01110[23/7]Chris Hackett 6 10110
Simon Russell 610000[19/10]Lee Bradbury 500010
Gary Birch 7 3(2)3030[10/30]Craig Davies 62(1)0237
Blair Sturrock 51(w)0201[12/8]Tommy Mooney 602101
Dean Keates 5 00211[11/3]Matt Robinson 502020
Abdou Sall      [5/9]Steve Basham 510100
Chris Beardsley 600300[7/20]Jamie Brooks 500010
Ian Foster 500000[16/25]Lee Molyneaux     
Jamie Gleeson     [18/33]Lucas Cominelli 5 00000
Daniel Lewis     [1/16]Simon Cox     
Team Stats
  Fouls Conceded Offside Corners Shots On Shots off
Kidderminster Oxford
65Jon AshtonJones' free kick from the right was headed back across goal by Birch and turned into his own net by Ashton from close range. 22Chris HackettThe Harriers defence stood still as Hackett was allowed to run through them before slotting the ball past Danby in the home goal
   38Craig Davies Tom Bennett took too long in clearing the ball from inside the penalty area and was dispossessed, the ball cam e to Davies who lashed it past Danby from a narrow angle.
   90+Steve BashamBasham had a clear run on goal, Danby came out to meet him and saved well at his feet but he was able to pounce on the loose ball and steer it into the empty net.
MullinsWeaver HatswellJones
 McGrath Keates 
 Birch Sturrock 
MacKayRoget AshtonCorbo
HackettBradbury QuinnRobinson
 Davies Mooney 
Kidderminster Oxford
46  McGrath to left midfield, Bennett to right central midfield, Russell to right midfield.  Now 4-4-2. 69BrooksHackettBrooks to right midfield.
62BeardsleySturrockBeardsley to striker. 77CominelliBradburyCominelli to left central midfield, Quinn to right central midfield.
76FosterBennettFoster to left wing, Russell to right wing.  Now 4-2-4.85BashamDaviesBasham to striker.
Kidderminster Oxford
Weaver 79 Foul  Corbo 72 Foul
Davies 76 Foul
Referee: S. Mathieson (Cheshire)
Match Report by St@tto

Terrible defending by Harriers in the first half allowed Oxford to race into a two-goal lead that was to prove ultimately insurmountable for the home team despite a much improved second half display.

Stuart Watkiss made just one change from the side that was beaten at Macclesfield last week, John McGrath came in for his first start in place of the suspended Lee Jenkins, and kept faith with the same diamond formation.  The formation seemed a little unbalanced, however, as McGrath was positioned on the right-hand side of the midfield despite being a more naturally left-sided player and was therefore unable to perform to the best of his ability.  The opening exchanges of the game had little to commend them with scrappy play bogged down in midfield.

The alarm bells started ringing for Harriers after 19 minutes, Simon Weaver hesitated in clearing and Matt Robinson was able to nip in behind but fired over the bar.  There was a great chance for Harriers that they were to rue shortly afterwards; McGrath crossed from the right and picked out Birch who headed down towards goal but Chris Tardiff did well to get down and palm it away for a corner.

The opening goal came moments after Birch's miss; the ball was played in to Chris Hackett in the middle of the Harriers half, his first touch took care of the the motionless Harriers defence and left him clear in the penalty area and he was able to slot the ball past John Danby easily.  The second goal was even worse from a Harriers point of view; Tom Bennett took too long in clearing from inside the penalty area, a lack of communication between the players that had already become apparent meant that he was not warned about the Oxford player behind him, and he was dispossessed easily and Craig Davies was left with another easy finish, rifling the ball past Danby from a narrow angle.  In the last minute of the half Harriers could have reduced the arrears when Johnny Mullins crossed from the right but a deflection took it out of the reach of McGrath and out for a corner.

After the break Harriers were a different side, clearly having had a roasting from Watkiss at the interval, and soon got on top of the game; a change of formation moved McGrath onto the left wing and Russell to the right in a more straightforward 4-4-2 rather than the diamond used in the first half.  Great play by Simon Russell on the left wing allowed him to set find Dean Keates whose chip into the penalty area was headed goalwards by Birch and Tardiff just managed to get his fingertips to it to keep it out, he didn't hold on to it, however, but neither Birch or Blair Sturrock were following up - both preferring to stand and admire the header - and United were able to clear.  United were still in the game, though, and a strong run forwards by Robinson was unchallenged and he picked out Davies outside him on the left but his shot was straight at Danby.

Harriers came even closer to a goal after an hour, Russell again was involved, he found Sturrock on the right wing who cut inside and curled a 20-yard shot against the foot of the far post.  Minutes later Harriers finally made the breakthrough; a free kick from the right wing after Chris Beardsley, on as a substitute surprisingly for Sturrock rather than the ineffective Birch, had been brought down by Mateo Corbo found Birch at the far post, his header back across goal was turned into his own net by Jon Ashton.

Harriers pressed hard for an equaliser; Beardsley got to the byline on the left and crossed into the danger area to Birch whose header finally beat Tardiff but Mullins' attempt to force it over the line instead helped only to keep it out of the net.  Shortly before the end of the game a great run by McGrath left three defenders in his wake and his through ball into the penalty area was only just a fraction too heavy for Russell to reach, Tardiff gathering it gratefully.

At the other end United went close to a third in the dying moments, a free kick from Tommy Mooney beat the wall but curled just wide of the near post.  A third goal came in stoppage time to end Harriers' resistance; with Harriers pressing for the equaliser they were caught out by Steve Basham's break from deep, Danby came out to meet him and saved well at his feet but the ball ran loose and the United striker was able to pounce on it and steer it into the empty net.