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Harriers earn point at Fleet
5:10pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
Harriers 1, Ebbsfleet 1
ANTHONY Malbon hit the target as Harriers were frustrated by spirited Ebbsfleet in Kent on Saturday.
The young striker had fired Steve Burr's side ahead against the run of play only for Fleet powerhouse Nathan Elder to head in the leveller a few minutes later.
The Aggborough outfit had to withstand an Ebbsfleet barrage in the first period but drew the sting out of them after the break.
But despite a few efforts, they failed to really test the hosts, who boasted the leakiest defence in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
In the first half, Harriers had to weather and very heavy pressure from Ebbsfleet but had keeper Nathan Vaughan in defiant form.
Fleet hitman Elder could have opened the scoring in the seventh minute but from a Craig Stone cross, he powered a far post header wide.
At the other end, Malbon steered a difficult headed chance off target from a chipped cross from by Vaughan.
But it was the hosts who were pouring forward at every chance in search of goals as Harriers were forced to defend for long periods.
It was another Vaughan, this time shot-stopper Nathan, who kept the scores level in the 17th minute with a double save.
Liam Bellamy had powered forward and unleashed a low curling effort which Harriers' keeper got a hand to before diving down to block Louis Soares' stinging follow-up.
In-form hitman Ryan Rowe then tried his luck for the away side with a raking long range strike but it flew across the face of goal.
With Ebbsfleet powering forward with abandon they were leaving gaps at the back and towering hitman Nathan Blissett broke free from the centre circle and slipped the ball to Malbon, who curled a fine low effort beyond keeper Preston Edwards to open the scores in the 28th minute.
But the lead only lasted six minutes when Elder met a Soares corner with a venomous header to powered ball into back of the net.
Harriers could have edged ahead just before the break as Lee Vaughan, James Vincent and Malbon saw efforts blocked.
Harriers started to see more of the ball in the second half and on-loan midfielder Adam Watkins, making his first start for Harriers, dragged a shot wide from 20-yards out.
Ryan Rowe nearly played in midfielder Vincent but his clever pass was just off target.
Burr made two changes early in the second half, bringing on Richard Peniket and Callum Gittings for Blissett and Watkins respectively.
Despite Harriers enjoying more possession in the second half was a disrupted affair, broken up by fouls and substitutions.
Mickey Demetriou produced a fine tackle in the 76th minute to stop Bellamy in his tracks as he powered towards goal on the counter-attack.
Former Ebbsfleet attacker Ricky Shakes, who made the switch to Harriers in the summer, was thrown on in the 78th minute in a bid to add so much needed width to the visitors.
He nearly made an instant impact, delivering a fine cross from the right as Malbon missed the target.
Tom Phipp saw a 20-yard hit go very wide and at the other end, Gittings' shot over the bar as both sides searched for a winner in the final five minutes.
Demetriou nearly won it for Harriers in the dying seconds after Peniket had been fouled. The left-back struck a vicious free-kick which was only an inch over the bar.
Harriers: N Vaughan, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Vincent, Rowe (Shakes, 78), Malbon, Blissett (Peniket, 65), Briggs, Dunkley, Watkins (Gittings, 68), Gowling.
Unused subs: Lewis, Williams.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Stone, Ada, Lorraine, Marwa (Enver-Marum, 73), Elder, Ashikodi (Walsh, 88), Phipp, Howe, Bellamy (Greenhalgh, 88), Soares.
Unused subs: Menz, Williams.
Referee: Charles Breakspear. Attendance: 726