10:12am Thursday 11th October 2012
Harriers 1, Ebbsfleet 1
A SLITHER of Harriers’ new found momentum ebbed away after being frustrated in Kent on Saturday.
While the draw ensured Steve Burr’s men extended their unbeaten run eight games, this was against the leakiest defence in the Blue Square Bet Premier and will be considered two points dropped not one gained.
There were positives. Harriers continued their defensive solidity and there was plenty of industry in midfield and the forward line.
But in truth they lacked a spark, even though they squandered chances to win the game.
Burr said: “It was quite an open game and I am sure Liam (Daish) is disappointed Ebbsfleet didn’t win but I felt — particularly in the second-half — we did enough to get the points.
“Nathan Vaughan made two great saves in the first-half but we had the more clear cut chances and I am disappointed we only got a point.”
Harriers did well to withstand an almighty Ebbsfleet assault in the first 45 minutes.
The hosts were clearly out to put on a show for Fleet boss Daish, who was back in the technical area after his father’s death last week.
The Kent outfit poured forward with almost reckless abandon to put Harriers under the cosh and it needed a superb double save from keeper Vaughan to keep the visitors in the game.
The shot-stopper rushed out and spread himself wide to block Liam Bellamy’s low effort and then recovered brilliantly to dive upon Louis Soares’ follow-up.
Harriers had weathered the storm and they punished Ebbsfleet’s recklessness with a quality goal against the run of play in the 28th minute.
Nathan Blissett, the nephew of former Watford legend Luthor, drove forward from the centre circle and left defenders in his wake before smartly slipping the ball to Anthony Malbon, who coolly slotted the ball beyond Preston Edwards.
With a lead and Ebbsfleet’s best efforts repelled, Harriers had a good platform to build on.
However, six minutes later they fell asleep at a Soares’ corner and the unmarked Nathan Elder punished them emphatically with a thundering header.
Despite the setback, Harriers took control of the game after the break.
But for all their possession the visitors lacked a creative edge to open up the hosts until the late arrival of Ricky Shakes.
The Guayana international produced several testing crosses, one of which nearly created a goal as the unmarked Malbon headed off target.
Left-back Mickey Demetriou nearly won the match in the dying seconds after Ryan Peniket had cleverly drawn a foul, but his fine effort whizzed over the bar.
Harriers: N Vaughan 7, L Vaughan 7, Demetriou 7, Vincent 6, Rowe 6 (Shakes 78), Malbon 6, BLISSETT 8 (Peniket 65), Briggs 6, Dunkley 7, Watkins 7 (Gittings 68), Gowling 7. Suns not used: Lewis, Williams.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Stone, Ada, Lorraine, Marwa (Enver-Marum 73), Elder, Ashikodi (Walsh 88), Phipp, Howe, Bellamy (Greenhalgh 88), Soares. Subs not used: Menz, Williams.
Referee: Charles Breakspear. Attendance: 726
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