HYDE 1 HARRIERS 3 - REPORT

Two late goals helped Harriers edge to a vital away win at bottom club Hyde on what was at times a nervy affair at Ewen Fields.

Boss Gary Whild was able to name an unchanged starting eleven going into this one, on the back of the superb win over Cambridge last time out - regular skipper Kyle Storer was back available after another four games out with suspension but he was made to make do with a slot on the bench, replacing Nick Wright who missed out through illness.

It was a bright start from the visitors and within six minutes they had the ball in the back of the net, a defensive mistake from the home side seeing an attempted clearance off a Michael Gash cross fall straight to the feet of Amari'i Bell who was on hand to finish from close range.

Josh O'Keefe tried his luck with an effort just a few minutes later but home stopper Chris Kettings got behind it well, Michael Gash only  narrowly missing out on making contact with a header on a Bell free-kick that would almost certainly have resulted in a second goal.

With a little over ten minutes before the break, the home team - who had still yet to record a single home win all season long - netted an equaliser. Harriers had failed to clear a corner properly and were made to pay as Liam Blakeman curled a fine finish beyond the dive of Lewis around a crowd of bodies.

Harriers, looking shell-shocked by the leveller, were almost caught cold for a second before the break as Adam Thurston picked up the ball outside the area with defenders again scrambling; his rising effort beat Lewis but fizzed narrowly wide of the upright.

Early in the second half some good play from Gittings played Gash in on goal and, 20 yards out, the former Cambridge marksman looked up before rifling a shot towards Kettings that flashed just over the bar.

Whild made three sweeping chances early in the period as Storer, Amari Morgan-Smith  and Adrian Cieslewicz were all introduced, but the home side kept the pressure on and again came close to a second around the hour mark as a good double-stop from Lewis kept out Jordan Clark.

Harriers then had their best spell of the game and turned the screw in terms of pressure, chances from Gash and Morgan-Smith keeping Kettings alert as he showed good hands to hold on to efforts from both.

It would be Gash, the leading scorer, who got Harriers back in front as the game entered the final quarter of an hour; fine work from Cieslewicz finding Gash at the far post, the ball sticking to his boot as he neatly worked an opening before firing home with the aid of a deflection.

Barely two minutes later it was 3-1, Morgan-Smith bravely breaking through up field to meet a delivery up against the goalkeeper, rounding him before slamming in his eleventh of the campaign.

Harriers:  Lewis, Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Grimes, Byrne (Storer 55), O'Keefe, Bell, Gittings (Cieslewicz 65), Gash, Blissett (Morgan-Smith 50).
Unused subs:  Verma, Vaughan.

Hyde: Kettings, Thurston (Kirby 55), Blakeman, Day, Thornton, Tomsett, Poole (Pollard 76), Brown (Lazenbury 90), Clark, Walker, Hughes.
Unused subs: Fitzgerald, McNiven.

Referee: Martin Coy
 

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