Rowe's late winner means play-off hunt is back on

First published in News

Grimsby 1
Harriers 2

SUBSTITUTE Ryan Rowe grabbed a dramatic winner as impressive Harriers gave their play-off hopes in the Blue Square Bet Premier a huge boost with a win at promotion rivals Grimsby Town on Saturday.

Steve Burr's side had been trailing to Andy Wright's opening goal in the first half, which left their Football League aspirations hanging by a thread.

But Anthony Malbon headed the leveller home early in the second half and substitute Ryan Rowe made it 2-1 in time added on.

Victory means the Aggborough outfit are seventh in the table and just three points off the top five.

Grimsby had the first shot on goal in the third minute but top-scorer Liam Hearn's curling effort was taken comfortably by keeper Tony Breeden.

Mariners wideman Michael Coulson then drove a shot from the edge area over the bar but came closer with his next effort, as he fired a stinging shot straight at Harriers' shot-stopper.

The away side had a goal ruled out in the 14th minute. Tom Marshall thundered a header goalwards from a Marvin Johnson corner and after keeper James McKeown parried, Malbon bundled the ball over the line, only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside.

Grimsby winger Pete Winn saw a low shot curl just wide after he pounced on Marshall's slip.

The game developed into an end-to-end affair. Jack Byrne did well to block a firm Frankie Artus shot from 20-yards.

Moments later, Byrne's fine crossfield pass freed up veteran goal-getter Steve Guinan in the box but McKeown was equal to his effort.

Guinan tried his luck again moments later but his low shot from edge of area rolled wide.

Breeden was called into action in the 28th minute, getting strong contact to punch away Hearn's goalbound far post header.

But Harriers fell behind in the 38th minute. The away side conceded a needless free-kick just to the left of the area when Lee Vaughan fouled Conor Townsend. Frankie Artus delivered a pin-point ball and Wright flicked a header into the back of the net.

But the visitors responded with gusto. Byrne drove forward brilliantly and rifled in a shot which a flailing McKeown could only put behind.

Harriers came close to levelling three minutes into the second half. Malbon did well to hold up the ball and from-six yards out fired in a shot which a desperate McKeown got a hand to.

However, Malbon levelled the scores in the 55th minute. Kyle Storer's free-kick hit the wall and fell to the alert Vaughan on the right. He whipped in a fine ball and Malbon's fine near post header made it 1-1.

Winger Johnson then showed good tenacity to win the ball on the edge of the box, drove forwards and shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

Marshall then kept the hosts at bay, sliding into block Elding's shot.

Harriers were unlucky to see a claim for a penalty turned down in the 74th minute.

Vaughan had broken into the area and fired goal-wards and the ball seemed to hit defender Shaun Pearson on the hand as he dived to block the shot, but the away side's claims were ignored by the referee.

Harriers were ending the game strongly and Marshall saw a thundering free-kick saved by McKeown.

But the match ended the match in dramatic fashion as substitute Rowe grabbed a 93rd minute winner.

The striker grabbed his second in as many games when he cut in from the left and slammed a shot beyond a stunned McKeown.

Harriers: Breeden; Vaughan; Williams; Jones; Marshall; Hankin; Guinan (Rowe, 80); Byrne; Storer; Malbon; Johnson (Wright, 80).

Unused substitutes: Vincent; Lyness; Demetriou.

Grimsby: McKeown; Coulson; Hearn; Artus (Hughes-Mason, 82); Pearson; Wood; Townsend; Miller; Wright; Winn (Church, 58); Elding (Duffy, 76).

Unused substitutes: L'Anson; Soares.

Referee: R Clark. Attendance: 3,194 (78)

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