At Aggborough last Monday, with the scoreboard reading Harriers 0 – 2 Newport, 85 minutes played, the away fans were in full voice as they broke into a chorus of ‘cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!’, aimed at some of the departing Harriers supporters.
The rain was falling relentlessly and the light was beginning to fade, as were the play-off hopes for Steve Burr and his men.
Ten minutes later and the game had been turned completely on its head. A sensational hat-trick from substitute Nick Wright lifted the roof off the stadium as the Harriers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Newport were stunned, in fact I think everyone was stunned. It was like a script from Roy of the Rovers. I have the goals marked down as 86’, 90 + 2’ and 90 + 4’. But I could be wrong, everything happened so quickly. As Wright himself said, it was all a blur.
Never before have I witnessed such a comeback - five minutes left of normal time, trailing by two goals to nil, play-offs at stake. Talk about drama.
The scenes when Wright headed home the winning goal from a yard out were manic. Players, fans and staff alike didn’t really know what to do except jump about!
It was an afternoon I’m sure everyone will never forget. Something like that rarely happens in football, but this is why we love the game. It makes the impossible possible, toying with our every emotion. Those who left the match early must be kicking themselves! I don’t think I will ever understand why people choose to leave a game before it has finished.
Those who did hang around have seen something truly special, something which will no doubt go down in Harriers folklore. People will be taking about it in the Arms for years to come!
But then again, were we really that surprised? Late goals have become something of a feature for Burr’s boys recently, scoring stoppage time winners in each of their last three games (Grimsby, Southport and Newport). You cannot help but be impressed with their never-say-die attitude, not wanting to accept defeat. As supporters you can’t ask for more.
Saturday’s game at home to Kettering now takes on even more significance. It is a chance to keep the momentum going and heap pressure on the other teams vying for the play-off places. I just hope this time we don’t leave it until the last few minutes, I’m not sure my nerves could take it.