ONE costly error was enough to condemn Harriers to back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season as they went down 1-0 at FC United of Manchester.
On the heels of a disappointing late defeat at Brackley last time out, Harriers made three changes to the starting eleven to freshen things up and boost a faltering away form.
There was a return between the sticks for Sam Hornby as he replaced Alex Palmer to make his first start of 2017, while Darryl Knights filled the void left by the absence of Elton Ngwatala. There was also a start for defender Josh Ezewele ahead of Tyrone Williams who dropped to the bench.
Andre Brown and Tyrell Waite were two players to retain their places in the eleven and, early on, they were the players causing most hassle to the FC United back line – having already been denied by an assistant’s flag, Brown latched on to another ball and turned on it before firing wide, while Waite’s blistering run and cross almost found the striker only for him to be smothered out.
Arthur Gnahoua warmed the gloves of Dave Carnell on 20 minutes but, four minutes later Harriers gifted the lead to their hosts as Knights laboured on a pass – Thomson cutting it out and advancing with free reign on Hornby before tucking the ball away.
Still Harriers were the brighter of the two teams. They had a great chance to level before the break but after some great work from Ezewele out wide, Gnahoua could again only fire straight at Carnell when in a good position with eight minutes to play until the break.
Harriers made two changes at the break with Austin and Truslove entering the fray, but it would be their own goalkeeper Hornby who was quickest into action as his reactive save kept out a second goal for Thomson.
Harriers kept coming – on 66 minutes Truslove side-footed a shot wide off an Austin cross when placed to do better, Gnahoua then seeing a shot deflected up and into the arms of a grateful Carnell.
United soaked up the pressure and with a quarter of an hour left they had a chance from a corner to double their lead only for a shot to be blocked on the line.
In truth the hosts were in no fit state to try and find more goals – they were kept consumed by the raft of Harriers chances but, at the last, Carnell superbly stood firm to keep out efforts from Gnahoua and Truslove.
HARRIERS: Hornby, Ezewele (Dieseruvwe 62), Francis-Angol, Lowe, Tunnicliffe, Croasdale, McQuilkin, Knights (Truslove 46), Waite, Gnahoua, Brown (Austin 46).
Unused subs: Williams, Carter.
Attendance: 2,456 Referee: Declan Bourne