BOSS Russ Penn hailed a “well earned” three points for Harriers as they moved to second in National League North with a 3-0 win over Alfreton Town.

Ashley Hemmings starred with a brace on the night, with Cliff Moyo also on target with his first goal of the campaign on what was his first start.

Penn made one change to the team that had held out for a 2-2 draw at Farsley last weekend – in came Moyo to the eleven following a number of substitute appearances, while youngster Max Taylor dropped to the bench having previously started each game of the campaign.

Alfreton, always bright at the start of games, threatened early with a Dan Bradley Drive that Simpson held, Hemmings showing quick feet at the other end before fizzing an effort wide of the target.

Branston and Clackstone then had half sights of goal for the visitors before Morgan-Smith’s tremendous strength saw him get on the end of Sterling’s pass in the area, the goalkeeper smothering his shot.

Just before the half hour the opening goal of what had become a scrappy game duly arrived; Moyo lurking with intent at the far post to nod home Sterling’s corner.

Six minutes later Harriers needed to defend well to smother the danger from the combination of Day and Bradley as they looked to turn the ball in from close range, the latter seeing a scuffed shot blocked almost on the line.

Seven after the restart a curling effort from Sterling kept Willis guessing before arcing off target, Reeves for Alfreton then seeing the sting taken out of his shot as shot on the angle. Close to the hour, Montrose of all people saw a low shot held before Bradley then did similar at the other end.

The crucial second arrived on 71 minutes, again the combination of Sterling and Hemmings proving just too much as the former crossed deep for the latter who, dead centre and six yards out, nodded down and into the back of the net. The former Mansfield man made it two for the night and six for the campaign with just three minutes to go, firing the ball into an empty net after Harriers had chased down a clearance from the goalkeeper.

Penn went on to say after the final whistle of the win: “It was well earned – we worked really hard tonight, and it wasn’t pretty at times, but you’ve got to dig deep.

“We pride ourselves on how fit we are, and I think in the last ten minutes you could see the levels of fitness in the camp this year – we’ve got to keep driving that.

Harriers host Curzon Ashton at Aggborough on Saturday (3pm) before completing a treble of home games against Kettering on Tuesday, 1st December.

HARRIERS: Simpson, Austin (Prosser 74), Penny, Richards, Montrose, Moyo, Lowe, Maxwell, Sterling (Arthur 89), Morgan-Smith, Hemmings (White 90).

Subs not used: Palmer, Taylor Referee: Jon Kenny