HARRIERS lost out by the odd goal in three as they were beaten 2-1 in National League North by Tamworth.

After seeing their pre-match preparations obliterated by a raft of late absentees prior to the Southport game just a few days prior, the news was at least slightly better for Harriers as they made their way to The Lamb.

Back in came James Mcquilkin after injury – he replaced Josh Webb in the starting eleven, while another of the missing quartet, Joe Ironside, was able to return in part as he secured a place on the bench.

A torrential downpour at kick off presented the two teams with slippery conditions but it didn’t seem to make too much of an impact on either side’s ability to move the ball forward – McQuilkin and Andre Brown going close with early efforts.

Tamworth were always quick to try and press the Harriers attack and twice they almost thwarted Hall’s attempts to quickly distribute play, turning play back around and aiming for goal – the goalkeeper particularly doing well to throw himself at a Powell effort that needed two solid palms to turn it aside.

Up at the other end, Williams went close at a Harriers corner that was blocked on the line, while Emmanuel Sonupe really warmed the palms of Shaun Rowley with a firm, angled drive that looked set to arrow into the top corner.

A half that had been fairly even ended with the Lambs very much on top, former Harriers man Darryl Knights breaking the deadlock five shy of the interval as he latched on to a great Powell through ball before holding off the attentions of Williams and firing accurately past the dive of Hall and into the net.

Powell, a real livewire, forced Hall into a good hold five minutes past the interval, but the hosts quickly established a two-goal lead thanks to a strong finish from Reid who shook off his man after picking up a deflection into the area, arrowing a finish into the net.

From there an experienced Tamworth side kept Harriers at bay and for virtually the entire half, their goalkeeper was a spectator – until the final minutes.

With ten to go, the visitors were seemingly back in it after Joe Ironside finished well following a parry of an Elton Ngwatala drive – the striker’s fourth goal of the season on his return to the side.

But Rowley’s best was saved until the very last – arguably Harriers best move of the game was one of their final ones, Wright’s run and cross finding an unmarked Brown on a well-timed run, only for his shot to be kept out by a fine, one-handed save.

HARRIERS: Hall, Austin, Taylor, Weeks (Ironside 55), Horsfall, Williams, Sonupe (Finch 70), McQuilkin, Brown, Ngwatala, Longbottom (Wright 55) Subs not used: Webb, Digie Attendance: 723 Referee: Barry Lamb