Harriers 1, Dartford 2

HARRIERS dropped precious points in their hunt for promotion after being caught out by relegation-batting Dartford on Tuesday night.

The Carpetmen, who face Sunderland in the FA Cup on Saturday, were shot down by two first half goals.

Despite Michael Gash pulling one back and piling on the pressure, they could not find a way through.

Manager Andy Thorn made one change from the side which defeated Peterborough in the FA Cup Third Round, with Marvin Johnson handed a rare start in the front three after Joe Lolley's sale.

However, it was the visitors from Kent who made the breakthrough in the third minute.

Alex Woodyard crossed from the right and Max Cornhill headed home.

Dartford doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Harriers were undone by a swift counter-attack.

Alex Wall barged past several poor tackles and fired in a shot which Danny Lewis could only parry into the path of Lee Burns, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Lewis kept the score down when he denied Dartford skipper Elliott Woodyard.

Wall was a constant threat and he barged past Josh Gowling, who did well get back and recover well.

Kidderminster thought they had a penalty moments later when Fowler's shot hit a Dartford hand but after some discussion with the assistant referee, they were only given a free-kick.

Harriers though made a good start to the second half and made it 2-1 in the 49th minute.  Lee Vaughan whipped in a cross from the right and defender Lee Burn could only divert the ball onto Gash, who stole in at the far post and got the final touch.

Lewis came Harriers' rescue moments later, parrying Woodyard's shot from the edge of the area.

New signing Adrian Cieslewicz made his debut on the hour mark when he replaced Amari Morgan-Smith.

Gash thought he had bagged the leveller with a spectacular volley but his effort crashed off the bar.

There was a worry in the 77th minute when skipper Kyle Storer limped off injury after a meaty challenge in the centre circle but he returned to action moments later.

Kidderminster continued to search for the elusive leveller.

Cieslewicz drove into the box but went down too easily under pressure from Tyrone Sterling.

They came even closer in the 90th minute, with Gowling heading downwards and Anthony Malbon  stabbing wide.

Despite pressing hard they could not find an equaliser.

Harriers: Lewis, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Storer, Byrne, Fowler (Malbon, 69), Gash, Johnson (Aloi, 83), Jackman, Morgan-Smith (Cieslewicz, 60), Gowling.

Subs not used: Dunkley, N Vaughan.

Dartford: Julian, Sterling, Mitchel-King, Burns, Pugh, McAuley, Stevenson, Cornhill, Woodyard, Bradbrook, Wall (Kamar, 68).

Subs not used: Swallow, Hill, Momger.

Referee: Declan Ford (Lincs) Attendance: 1,580