Report: Harriers 5-4 Blyth Spartans

Reds win Aggborough thriller…

James Pearson

A BREATHTAKING afternoon of football saw Harriers come out on top in a 5-4 thriller against Blyth Spartans at Aggborough.

One or two may have thought we were in store for goals ahead of this one – that went down as an understatement and then some as five were netted inside the first half an hour.

Harriers got the fun and games underway as they took the lead through Andre Brown’s sweet finish, but the visitors had the game on its head, McTiernan and Hopson finishing to have them 2-1 up on 19 minutes.

On his home debut, James Pearson headed Harriers back in front, before McTiernan stole a march on his man to restore the Spartans advantage.

Harriers were also bright to start the second period and, with just over a dozen played, it was they who netted two swiftly; Sonupe dusting himself off on 56 after winning a penalty to duly dispatch it, before Pearson rose highest to double his own personal tally with an absolute bullet for 4-3.

Harriers had wrestled control of the game and, on 78 minutes they had their third goal of the half when Andre Wright turned the ball home from a corner.

The reds’ youngsters still needed plenty of resolve to see the game out – especially after Hopson drive a great strike beyond Hall, but the second half performance got what it deserved as the whistle blew at 5-4.

From the off it was end-to-end and all-action, Harriers swiftly opening the scoring as a neat passing move saw Croasdale and Ironside combine, the striker playing in Brown who swept the ball into the back of the net in style.

Sonupe went within inches of a second for the hosts as Jameson was forced to smother the ball on the goal line – before Spartans took control with two goals in three minutes; Hopson keeping his composure to round Hall and finish low, before McTiernan volleyed home sweetly as the ball fell to him from a corner.

It was down to Harriers to then respond and they duly did so, Pearson’s looping, hanging header finding the far corner – before Blyth immediately struck once again, McTiernan nipping past his man to tuck a finish beyond Hall and into the net.

Both sides had big chances at more goals either side of the break, Maguire denied superbly by Hall’s fingertips as he looked to find the net with an angled drive on 42 minutes, while Ironside was luckless four after the restart in only being able to find the goalkeeper’s leg at point-blank range.

That good second-half start did get its rewards, Sonupe was prowling with menace as he was hauled down inside the area, the tricky customer making no mistake from 12 yards to draw his team level. And, once again, we had quick-fire goals, Harriers taking a 4-3 lead through Pearson’s second, a thumping header that found the top corner.

Jameson produced a smart brace of saves to deny sub Dan Bradley on-on-one, before Wright netted off the bench for the second weekend in succession, diverting Williams’ goal-bound into the roof of the net, just to make sure.

The second-half showing was enough for Harriers to deserve the three points – and they got them, but not without a frantic finish after Hopson’s second, a great strike in all fairness, found the back of the net to make it 5-4.

As ever, you can find team news and full match details at The Match Centre.

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