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Forest Green: Eventful draw for Rovers against Harriers

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 08, 2014

Ady Pennock

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Forest Green's winless Skrill Premier run stretched to five games as they paid the price for a lack of ruthlessness at the New Lawn.

Majestic at times during the opening half, Rovers only had Paul Green's goal to show for their efforts and were somewhat predictably pegged back by a Nick Wright strike.

Dale Bennett, Anthony Barry and Matty Taylor were all recalled by Ady Pennock as the hosts lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, and they were quickly on the front foot.

James Norwood had two sighters inside the first five minutes, forcing a routine save from Danny Lewis before nodding over the crossbar from the resulting Barry corner.

Three minutes later Norwood helped Bradley Jordan's lofted pass into the path of Taylor, who could only scuff his shot wide under pressure.

Kidderminster looked all at sea in defence, and from the corner that followed Eddie Oshodi saw a meaty header crash against the bar.

The home side needed to make their total dominance count, and they did so thanks to a sublime 12th minute move in which Norwood was again instrumental.

His deft reverse pass fed Yan Klukowski for a shot that was parried by Lewis into the path of Green, who made no mistake in ramming home his second goal of the season.

Green saw an ambitious drive fly wide as Rovers continued to stream forward, and Taylor was unfortunate to volley wide after connecting sweetly with a ball over his shoulder.

Two further Barry corners created havoc in the visiting backline, Oshodi meeting both with his forehead and frustrated not to test Lewis again.

Harriers finally mustered a shot on target in the 33rd minute, Jack Byrne's swerving effort from 25 yards forcing a plunging save from Sam Russell.

The Rovers keeper was tested again when Wright wriggled clear of Bennett and Luke Oliver and found the target with the help of some improvisation.

Fortunate not to be out of the contest by half time, Kidderminster were level within four minutes of the restart when Michael Gash skipped past makeshift right-back Oshodi and cut the ball back for Wright to net from close range.

Rovers took time to clear their heads and rediscover some rhythm, but Green's 62nd minute shot had to be carefully watched by Lewis before Jordan curled one wide from 15 yards.

It was now anyone's game, and Amari Morgan-Smith brought a smart low save from Russell with a shap-shot on the turn.

Gash volleyed wide from the edge of the area, while a buccaneering run from Oshodi created a shooting chance for Taylor which he steered wide.

Harriers substitute Adrian Cieslewicz has tormented Forest Green in Wrexham colours in the past, and in the 82nd minute he outpaced Oliver and let fly with a drive that was beaten away by Russell.

Lee Hughes was summoned from the bench with three minutes left to face his old club, and he was on hand to clear Chey Dunkley's header off the line.

And there were chaotic scenes at the death when Josh O'Keefe thought he had got away with punching home a winner, only for referee Brett Huxtable to belatedly disallow it following furious protests.

Forest Green: S. Russell; E. Oshodi, L. Oliver, D. Bennett, J. Hodgkiss; J. Norwood, P. Green, A. Barry, B. Jordan (L. Rodgers 76); J. Norwood, M. Taylor (L. Hughes 87); Subs not used: A. Bangura, D. Wright, P. White.

Kidderminster Harriers: D. Lewis; L. Vaughan, J. Grimes, C. Dunkley, M. Demetriou; J. Byrne, J. O'Keefe, A. Bell; N. Wright (A. Verma 67), M. Gash (N. Blissett 87), A. Morgan-Smith (A. Cieslewicz 74); Subs not used: A. Malbon, N. Vaughan.

Referee: B. Huxtable (Barnstaple)

Attendance: 1,231

Star man: Dale Bennett

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