Harriers 3, Curzon Ashton 2

HARRIERS survived a late scare to take the points against Curzon Ashton.

A brace from James McQuilkin and a strike from Andre Brown early in the first half had put the hosts well in control at Aggborough.

However, a poor second half nearly handed Ashton an unlikely way back.

They struck twice in the last 15 minutes through Ryan Hall and sub Jordan Wright to make for a nervy end to the clash.

Kidderminster had made a blistering start to proceedings as they netted three goals in the first 15 minutes.

The first arrived after just 92 seconds when McQuilkin fired beyond keeper Hakan Burton after he'd been found by Darryl Knights in the box.

Just four minutes later it was two as Brown raced into an Elton Ngwatala through ball. He got past the outrushing Burton before rolling into an unguarded net.

It got even better for the Reds on 14 minutes as McQuilkin struck again.

This time it was a ball in from Josh Ezewele on the left that found the midfielder in a central position to drive powerfully into the back of the net.

Curzon did have a few openings of their own following the early battering but first Matt Warburton and then Neil Cummins dragged weak efforts straight at Alex Palmer from the edge of the box.

Brown forced Burton into a good save just before half time but the hosts had to settle for a three-goal advantage at the break.

But the home side never reached the heights of those opening moments of the first half as they struggled to hit top gear after the break.

McQuilkin did fire wide on 55 minutes and Tyrone Williams dragged an effort at Burton five minutes later but they never found their rhythm in the attacking third.

Andre Brown headed over the bar on 66 minutes from McQuilkin's ball in from what was their best chance of the second period.

Instead it would be Curzon that ended the stronger after Hall netted on 75 minutes. He turned the ball in after Jordan Tunnicliffe failed to cut out James Baillie's ball in.

Lifted by that strike, Curzon netted again in the 81st minute.

A quickly taken throw that was wrongly given to the visitors caught out the home back line as Hall raced away.

His shot was well kept out by Alex Palmer but sub Wright followed up to slot home.

It could have got worse for Harriers with five minutes to go when Baillie headed wide with the goal at his mercy following a deep ball in from the left flank.

But in the end the strong finish proved too little too late for the visitors and Harriers held on for an important victory.

They will be even more pleased they got over the finishing line with the teams around them all dropped points.

Attention turns to next Saturday's trip to Chorley as they look to keep the heat on leaders Fylde.

Harriers: Palmer, Williams, Ezewele, Croasdale, Lowe (c), Tunnicliffe, Knights (Austin 60), McQuilkin, Brown (Dierseruvwe 71), Ngwatala, Gnahoua (Waite 67).

Unused Subs: Truslove, Carter.

Curzon Aston: Burton, Baillie, Guest, Hunt, Shaw, Stott, Hall, Clarke, Cummins (c) (Wright 73), Warburton, Rowney (Brown 80).

Unused Subs: Flynn, Howard, Jennings.

Att: 1,560