Eyebrows raised as Harambee Stars speedstar is left out by Exeter for fourth straight EFL League One clash

STARS ABROAD Eyebrows raised as Harambee Stars speedstar is left out by Exeter for fourth straight EFL League One clash

Mark Kinyanjui 15:30 - 30.12.2023

The Harambee Stars left back has been left out of Exeter’s last four matches.

There is growing concern amongst Kenyan football fans as Harambee Stars speedstar Vincent Harper was left out of their squad to face Portsmouth in their 0-0 draw on Friday night, making it the fourth game in a row he has missed in action.

The left footed player, who was called up for Kenya’s international friendly with Russia back in October but did not feature, has made 17 league appearances this season, but failed to feature in each of the last four matches.

Reports and statistics indicate the player is fit as a fiddle and is neither at risk of suspension, which will leave fans puzzled as to why he has not been playing then.

Harper last featured against Port Vale on 9th December 2023, when he came on as an 83rd minute substitute in the 1-0 loss to the Valiants. 

Pompey created the first chance of the match when former Exeter man Jack Sparkes was played in on the left, but his shot was saved by Vili Sinisalo.

Dion Rankine was also off target with a header from a well-worked corner routine for the home side before Reece Cole won the ball and teed up Sonny Cox, but he poked his shot straight at Will Norris from 10 yards.

Rankine had a shot blocked by a Pompey defender before Jack Aitchison - on three occasions - also had efforts blocked and then Cheick Diabate brought the half to a close by heading over from an Exeter corner.

The second half started with Pompey's Paddy Lane being denied by a superb block by Diabate and, as Exeter countered, Cox crossed low for Ilmari Niskanen, who slid in and fired against the base of the post.

Lane had another great chance, but Sinisalo made a superb save low to his left, while Niskanen brought a fine save out of Norris at the other end as both teams canceled each other out.

Portsmouth remain top of the League Two table on 50 points while Exeter are just a point above the relegation places on 23 points.

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