HARRIERS had to settle for a point on Boxing Day as they and AFC Telford United battled to a 0-0 draw.

Having had the luxury of naming an unchanged eleven for many of the matches during the early part of the winter, there was a blow pre-match as Harriers were forced into two changes. Tyrone Williams was rested as a precaution after he suffered a suspected head injury in the previous game. Declan Weeks was ruled out with a knee injury. In their place came Andre Brown and Jimmy O’Connor.

With a terrible pitch, former players of both teams ling up on either side and the closest distance of any other two teams where these sides are concerned, it was every bit the derby you’d expect from the off.

The hosts flew out of the traps and, although Emmanuel Sonupé saw a tame effort comfortably held by the goalkeeper, it was the Buck’s who had the greater share of the chances early on. With just four on the clock, an excellent save from Hall kept out a close-range header from former Wolves man Ebanks-Blake.

Six later, Hall’s punch landed at the feet of Sutton who turned it back goalwards, the ball sailing over him and grazing the bar on its way over.

Harriers did work their way into the ascendancy a little after the half-hour mark as McQuilkin’s well-struck free-kick was tipped over the bar by Singh – Ironside then having a header held, so too Ngwatala, a driven shot.

A dozen minutes into the second period, Harriers had the clearest chance to that point as great work by Ngwatala saw him slide past his man and drive in a cross, Brown on the end of it and denied by brave work from Singh.

Dave Edwards’ men then went close when, at point blank range, Dinanga planted a header over the bar – Sutton again then going close as he hooked a shot well over after a scramble in the area.

With a little over ten minutes left; two subs combined for Harriers as Austin and Truslove exchanged passes to play in Ngwatala who drove a firm shot just high of the target.

Newby, a sub for Telford, swerved a shot wide of the target with one of their late chances while Brown, rising from a corner, really ought to have broken the deadlock but watched on as his header dropped just shy of the net.

HARRIERS: Hall, Pearson, Taylor, Croasdale, Horsfall, O’Connor, Sonupé (Austin 73), McQuilkin, Ironside (Truslove 46), Ngwatala, Brown.

Subs not used: Vaughan, Wright, Digie

Attendance: 1,995

Referee: Sam Mulhall