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Harriers pay price for mad moment
HARRIERS have perfected the ‘Aggborough Hustle’, a dance move where they take one step forwards and two steps back.
This new dance craze was evident in Cambridgeshire on Saturday when a moment of madness allowed two points to slip through their fingers.
Mark Yates’ troops had looked on course to earn a hard fought victory when they shot themselves in the foot in the 85th minute, after a mix-up allowed lively Histon substitute Craig Hammond to bag a leveller.
The result was galling for the manager, who had asked for his players to build on the mid-week win over Mansfield and apart from the late mistake had got the right response.
After the match, full-back Duane Courtney admitted that the back four were taking time to gel.
He said: “The lads are all disappointed because we came here to win. To concede a goal at such a time put a dampener on us and we feel we lost.
“There was mis-communaication between Martin [Riley] and Dean [Coleman] for the goal but we’ve got to get our heads together and keep our chins up.
“We’ve all played at a high standard, individually and collectively we are good, but there’s something missing. I think it’s communication between us, which is why we’re making mistakes.”
The error was even more of a blow because Harriers had produced their most impressive defensive display of the campaign so far.
Histon had the lion’s share of the possession but the back four barred their way and reduced the hosts to hopeful crosses.
When they did get through, Harriers’ defenders looked sharp.
Gavin Caines produced a well-timed tackle on midfield marauder Joshua Simpson as he went to pull the trigger after a driving run by Nathaniel Knight-Percival.
Keeper Dean Coleman made a regulation save when Knight-Percival raced onto Craig Pope’s through ball but shot straight at the keeper.
Coleman did even better in the 41st minute when he dived to the foot of his right-hand post to block Simpson’s effort.
Harriers were equally solid in the second half and such was their defensive dominance, that they had looked in control when they paid the price for a slip in concentration.
Whether Riley failed to notice second half substitute Hammond lurking menancingly behind him, or Coleman was not vocal enough to make his centreback aware of him, it mattered not in the 85th minute.
The livewire hitman pounced on Riley’s weak header back to the keeper, sped beyond a flailing defender, rounded a desperate Coleman and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and encouraged Histon to pile on the pressure in search of a winner.
Luckily, Coleman made sure of a point when he blocked Simpson’s shot moments later after he had stole the ball off Caines.
The leveller was even more of a hammer blow as Harriers had been the more incisive side, despite Histon’s clumsy attempts to bludgeon the visiting backline.
In the first half, the away side were happy to absorb the pressure and hit Histon on the break with pace and menace.
Darryl Knights and Dean Coleman had seen long range efforts fly off target, when captain Chris McPhee showed them how to finish in the 34th minute.
Knights slipped the ball to the makeshift striker, who let-fly with a firm first-time right-foot shot that blazed into keeper Danny Naisbitt’s bottom right-hand corner.
He should have doubled the lead four minutes into the second half when he raced onto Courtney’s headed clearance, scampered clear of the defence but was denied by a spread-eagled Naisbitt.
Harriers thought they had doubled their lead in the 77th minute, when Naisbitt parried a shot and Brian Smikle slammed home the rebound, only for referee David Coote to signal for offside.
However, all their good work was undone by 30 seconds of madness and ensured that what on paper looked like a worthy point felt more like a defeat.
Harriers: Coleman 6; Baker ;7 Caines 7; Riley 6; Courtney 7; McDermott 6; Bennett 8; Smikle 6; Knights 7; McPhee 8; Barnes-Homer 6. Unused substitutes: Dolman; Farrell; Sharpe; Hayward; Hadley.
Histon: Nasibitt; Tann; Gwillim; Langston; Bygrave (Barker, 61); Andrews; Frew (Hammond, 59); Pope; Knight-Percival; Simpson; Farrell (Kennedy, 55). Unused substitutes: Tidswell; Welch. Referee:
David Coote (Notts). Attendance: 744
ADRIAN HOSKINS' PICTURES FROM HISTON DRAW
KEEPER RUES ERROR THAT LED TO LEVELLER
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