Harriers 1, Halifax Town 2

KIDDERMINSTER'S automatic promotion hopes were dealt a big blow with defeat against rivals Halifax at Aggborough.

Harriers suffered their first home defeat in 14 games with a clash that became a tale of two penalties.

With the game level at 1-1, James McQuilkin spurned a chance to hand his side the lead at half time when dragging a penalty wide in first half injury time.

He was made to pay for that miss when Jordan Sinnott netted Town's own spot kick to win it for the visitors in the second half.

Harriers had chances throughout to add to Joe Ironside's early opener but were denied by in-form keeper Sam Johnson when they did work an opening. His saves kept Reds at bay and also kept his side in with a chance of winning it, which they duly did late on.

It was Harriers that started the brighter of the two sides and they were quickly dominating possession.

It wasn't long before Johnson was called into action.

He saved from Jordan Tunnicliffe on five minutes before then getting down low to deny Ironside a minute later.

All of Harriers' best work came down the left flank, particularly through the returning Zaine Francis-Angol.

Reds were rewarded for their quick start on 11 minutes when Ironside bagged his third goal for the club when heading home a James McQuilkin corner.

The goalscorer was then denied his second on 17 minutes when Johnson again gathered well after the striker turned well in the box.

However, after weathering the storm, it was Halifax that began to have some joy of their own.

Dixon Charles headed their first real opening wide of the target on 29 minutes when unmarked from Sinnott's free-kick from out on the left.

They were level just a minute later when Tom Denton rose to head home on the half hour mark after a cross from the right.

Harriers looked to rally approaching the break and should have taken a lead into half time.

First Keith Lowe was denied by Johnson on 45 minutes before Croasdale was fouled in the box from the resulting corner.

It handed the host a chance to go ahead at a key time but McQuilkin dragged his penalty horribly wide.

The second half was a much more even affair but when Harriers did attack they were again denied by star man Johnson.

He saved from Nti and McQuilkin in the opening 10 minutes of the half.

Town still carried a threat of their own through Denton. He saw a header come back of the angle of bar and post just before the hour mark following a diagonal ball in from deep.

The big moment came on 84 minutes when substitute Cliff Moyo burst straight into the action as he went down under a challenge from Croasdale moments after entering their field. Croasdale went from winning one penalty to giving one away as the tables quickly turned.

Sinnott succeeded were McQuilkin failed to fire down the middle and beyond the dive of Sam Hornby.

There was still time for Johnson to again push away a final drive from distance from sub Darryl Knights on a frustrating afternoon for John Eustace's men.

Harriers have made a habit of hitting back from disappointing defeats this term and they'll have to do that again when they go to Gloucester next Saturday.

Harriers: Hornby, Hodgkiss, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Lowe (c), Tunnicliffe, Nti (Austin 68), McQuilkin, Ironside, Ngwatala (Knights 86), Gnahoua (Brown 86).

Unused Subs: Williams, Waite.

Halifax: Johnson, Roberts (c), Wilde, Sinnott, Garner, Hotte, King (Moyo 83), Lynch, Denton, Charles, Clarke (Peniket 58).

Unused Subs: Drench, Hone, Morgan.

Att: 2,025 (274)