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Match Centre

23:37 3rd July 2012
By  Matt Gooding

Rowe hattrick sinks ten-man U's

Ryan Rowe's second half hat-trick saw Kidderminster claim their first win of the season and inflict a fourth defeat in five games on Cambridge United.

The U's always faced an uphill struggle after being reduced to ten men in the first half, when Luke Berry was sent off for collecting two bookings in the space of five minutes.

But Jez George's men took a second half lead when Josh Coulson headed home. After that Rowe, who had come on at the break for Richard Penkiet, took over, equalising in the 61st minute before putting his side in front nine minutes later. United were unable to respond, and Rowe's third three minutes from time wrapped things up. 

Jez made one change to his starting line-up, restoring James Jennings after a three-game absence. He replaced the injured Ricky Wellard, but played at left-back with Danny Andrew moving into midfield.

Initially it was United who had the better of a scrappy first half, with the visitors giving the ball away time and time again. Michael Gash came close to opening the scoring when he met Andrew's low cross but saw his shot cleared off the line by Chey Dunkley. Liam Hughes latched onto the rebound but could only send a first-time shot high over the crossbar.

Up to this point Jonathan Hedge had had little to do, but the complexion of the match changed when Berry was given his marching orders. Having been booked for an aerial challenge that referee Kinsley deemed dangerous, the midfielder lunged in on Jamie Vincent, leaving the official with little option but to show him a second card.

The U's re-organised, with Andy Pugh dropping into midfield, and their goal led a charmed life as Kidderminster piled on the pressure. Hedge made a good save to deny Keith Briggs, and from the resulting corner Anthony Malbon completely missed the ball when presented with a free header six yards out.

Hopes of an unlikely victory were raised when the ten-men took the lead in the 50th minute. Andrew's corner into the box found Coulson, who was unmarked and powered a header past Nathan Vaughan.

But it was a lead that lasted just ten minutes, as Rowe stole the show. The half-time substitute equalised when he cut in from the U's right and curled a shot past Hedge. Malbon was denied by a superb block from Jonathon Thorpe before Rowe made it 2-1, this time tiptoeing in from the left flank and sending a low shot into the corner.

Adriano Moke and Tom Elliott came on to give United some extra impetus in the final third, but it was game over in the 86th minute when Rowe completed his hat-trick. Nathan Blissett robbed Rory McAuley in midfield, and slipped a pass through to Rowe in the right channel, and he advanced into the box before arrowing a powerful shot in off the underside of the bar to confirm Harriers first win in 11 games.

For the U's, it's now eight games without victory, and they will be looking to put that right on Saturday when they travel to Barrow AFC.

Man of the Match: Jonathon Thorpe - Kept going admirably in difficult circumstances.

Cambridge United: Hedge, Thorpe, Andrew (Moke 64), McAuley, Coulson, Hughes (Elliott 74), Jennings, Shaw (Jarvis 74), Berry, Gash, Pugh. Subs not used: Wylde, Eades. 

Kidderminster Harriers: N.Vaughan, L.Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Gowling, Briggs, Gittings, Vincent (Johnson 65), Penkiet (Rowe 45), Blissett, Malbon (Shakes 85). Subs not used: Lewis, Williams.

Referee: Mr N Kinsley

Attendance: 1,815 (away 66)  


21.38: There goes the whistle, Rowe and his Kidderminster team-mates celebrate, but it's another bad night for the U's. The sending off turned the game, and how Jez George must be ruing Luke Berry's five minutes of madness.

21.33: Into the last minute, and Gash goes for goal from distance and sees his shot fly low and wide of the post. Five minutes to be added, the Kidderminster 66 are in full voice.

21.29: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-3 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS. That wraps up Kidderminster's first win of the season, and what a second half for RYAN ROWE, who completes his hat-trick. McAuley loses possession in midfield, and Blissett snaps in and finds Rowe, who advances into the box and arrows a brilliant shot in at Hedge's near post off the underside of the bar.

21.27: Kiddy's final change sees Shakes replace Malbon.

21.24: United trying to bludgeon an equaliser here, and have a free kick now just outside the box as Gash goes over. It's going to be Gash to take I think, off a long run but smashed into the wall, worth a try I suppose. United keep the pressure up and though Elliott meets Jennings' flighted cross, his header is off target and floats into no man's land where Vaughan claims.

21.17: YELLOW CARD. Jonathon Thorpe will go in the book here for a two-footer on Johnson. Jez George rolls the dice with a double change, Jarvis on for Shaw and Elliott replacing Hughes.

21.12: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-2 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS. ROWE scores his second and United are in trouble. Again it's all a little too simple for the strike, who receives the ball on the right of the area, and shows admirable composure to beat a couple of half-hearted tackles and ram his low shot home.

21.07: Flying block from Thorpe foils Malbon as he looks certain to put Harriers ahead, United need to do something here and that something is Adriano Moke, who will replace Andy Pugh.

21.05: Correction, Rowe came on for Penkiet at half-time, Malbon very much still involved and on the ball now, United defending the edge of their box but struggling to clear very far.

21.03: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-1 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS. Harriers level through substitute RYAN ROWE, who joined the action just after Coulson's goal in place of Malbon. It's all a bit too easy as he steps inside an attempted tackle from Hughes and curls his shot home.

21.01: YELLOW CARD. Jennings slides in late on Malbon, that's an obvious booking a free kick to Kiddy in a good position. It's rolled back to Vaughan, whose shot is blocked, and Blissett's second effort on the turn is wide. Tonight's attendance, 1,815, away 66.

20.57: Kidderminster going forward win a corner, but United clear. Going to be important the U's don't sink too deep too early, but now they're on the attack with Gash in the box. He thinks he's won a corner, ref signals goal kick. 1815 66

20.53: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-0 KIDDERMINSTER Persistence from Gash and Hughes wins United a corner on their right. Andrew to deliver, it's a good one, and JOSH COULSON arrives unmarked to head home despite the efforts of a defender on the the line. The ten men lead.

20.49: Back underway here at the R Costings Abbey Stadium, no changes as far as I can tell.

HALF-TIME: Cambridge United 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers

20.32: Massive scramble in the United box, but we eventually clear. Into stoppage time now, and indeed that's half-time. A mediocre match took a distinctly sour turn for the U's when Berry was sent off, but we've coped ok so far. Could be a long second half.

20.27: Great save from Hedge to deny Briggs as the Kiddy skipper lets fly from 25 yards, that was heading for the bottom corner. Then we survive a let off as Vincent gets free in the area but can't head home the resulting corner, he should've scored.

20.26: The ten men coping reasonably well so far, and have a corner won by the industrious Hughes. In it comes, just over McAuley and Pugh can't connect, slicing a shot wide. Good chance I think, though he must've seen it late.

20.21: RED CARD. That slightly dubious booking for Berry looks very costly now, moments later he miscontrols and slides in on Vincent. It isn't dangerous, but you can't really blame the referee for showing him a second yellow, the midfielder wasn't in control of his body. United now have 55 minutes to play with ten men, fun times.

20.17: YELLOW CARD.  Free kick to Kidderminster now in a good position, Berry penalised for leading with his arm and shown a yellow card. Free kick to be taken by Demetriou, but it thunders into the wall, then rebounds to Demetriou who fires well wide on the volley.

20.12: Both teams struggling to keep hold of the ball, United have a free kick now though, Gowling penalised for a foul on Gash. In it comes from Andrew but Demetriou gets his head to the ball and clears.

20.03: Good break from the U's, Gash's flick finding Hughes, who holds the ball up, waits for support, and arrows in a cross which Vaughan just about manages to pluck off the head of Andrews.

19.55: Kidderminster are trying to play some neat stuff, but they give the ball away a lot and the U's nearly profit there, Jennings finding Andrew, and though his cross is behind Pugh, it runs to Gash, whose shot beats the keeper but is hacked off the line by Dunkley. Hughes fires the rebound well over.

19.49: United making good progress down their right, Gash shows quick feet to make half a yard of space and fire in a low cross which is put behind for a corner. In it comes from Andrew, McAuley wins the header but Kidderminster scramble it clear, the ball breaks to Shaw but his shot deflects through to Nathan Vaughan.

19.45: Nick Kinsley the man in black tonight. From the way the U's are lining up, looks as though Danny Andrew will be left-midfield, Jennings at left back. Kiddy to get us underway.

19.43: Here come the teams, crowd looking a bit sparse, to be expected I suppose given recent form. Kiddy are in Arsenal-esque red and white shirts, the U's in the usual amber and black. Rory McAuley again captains the team despite the return of Jennings.

Cambridge United: Hedge, Thorpe, Andrew (Moke 64), McAuley, Coulson, Hughes (Elliott 74), Jennings, Shaw (Jarvis 74), Berry, Gash, Pugh. Subs not used: Wylde, Eades.

Kidderminster Harriers: N.Vaughan, L.Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Gowling, Briggs, Gittings, Vincent (Johnson 65), Penkiet (Rowe 45), Blissett, Malbon (Shakes 85). Subs: Lewis, Williams, Rowe, Johnson, Shakes.

19.20: TEAM NEWS. So, just the one change for the U's, James Jennings returns from his two-game exile at the expense of Ricky Wellard, who drops out of the squad all together. Changes a-plenty on the bench, with Adriano Moke, Rossi Jarvis and Tom Elliott named among the replacements.

Kidderminster will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Anthony Malbon the dangerman up front.

19.10: Kidderminster last visited us in August 2011, and inflicted our first defeat of last season by coming away with a 2-1 win. Veteran ex-U's loanee Steve Guinan was the man who grabbed both goals for the visitors in a five-minute spell in the first half. United had played well up to that point, and pulled one back when Michael Gash came off the bench to notch his first of the season. But despite some late pressure, Jez George's men were unable to force an equaliser, and the manager will be hoping for a more positive outcome tonight.

19.00: Good evening and welcome to the R Costings Abbey Stadium for tonight's Blue Square Bet Premier match between Cambridge United and Kidderminster Harriers. The visitors have often been our bogey team in the past, but come into this evening's encounter without a win in their first ten games. United - on a seven-game win-less stretch of their own, will see this an opportunity to clinch a welcome three points.
    Data provided by Press Association