Harriers 2, Telford United 0

HARRIERS overcame a determined Telford United side to get the new year off to a winning start.

Goals from Andre Brown and sub Andre Wright wrapped up an accomplished derby success for the host, who also had three penalty shouts turned down.

Harriers made two changes from the side that drew with the same opponents on Boxing Day.

Liam Truslove and Sam Austin came in for Joel Taylor and the injured Joe Ironside as Harriers were forced into a reshuffle with Andre Brown leading the line.

Harriers were soon enjoying the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges and quickly got their passing game going on a slick Aggborough pitch, James Pearson had the first sight at goal on eight minutes when he headed over a James McQuilkin free-kick from the right.

United keeper Jasbir Singh then kept it level on 16 minutes when he palmed away Elton Ngwatala's dipping effort from range.

The hosts kept the pressure on from the resulting corner and should have been ahead when Pearson failed to sweep home Jimmy O'Connor's header back across goal.

However, after not finding the breakthrough, the Reds lost their rhythm for a spell on half hour.

Elton fired in another powerful drive but Harriers struggled to break down determined Telford. Their task was made harder when live wire winger Mani Sonupe was forced off with an ankle injury. Defender Joel Taylor came on and Austin was pushed upfield as the Reds were agin forced to switch things around.

Telford rarely threatened Brandon Hall besides deep balls into the box as former Wolves hitman Sylvan Ebank-Blake fed off scraps.

They remained resolute defensively to frustrate the hosts heading towards the break.

Harriers needed to find something more in the final third and they finally got it on 40 minutes when Brown was on hand to provide the finish to Ngwatala's whipped in cross from the left after Taylor had set him up.

It could have got better in first half stoppage time but referee Scott Simpson turned down Pearson's penalty shout.

The defender burst through before being checked by Telford defender Connor Johnson.

Johnson clearly stepped across the full-back but the official quickly waved away his appeal.

Despite that, a lead at the break was no more than John Eustace's men deserved for their early dominance.

Kidderminster's injury issues continued to get worse, however, as Andre Wright replaced goal scorer Brown at half time.

The home side were still the quicker out of the blocks when play resumed and were soon keeping the visitors pegged back.

But, much like the first half, they dominated the ball without hurting the away side.

Taylor had another penalty turned down after going to ground in the box and was instead booked for diving.

Telford's main threat was carried by winger Marcus Dinanga and he nearly found a way back for his side just before the hour mark when his powerful drive from distance sailed narrowly wide.

John Marsden then fired low at Hall as Telford grew in confidence.

The game was more even as Telford began to look for a leveller and the game opened up.

Harriers then had their third and perhaps strongest penalty claim waved away by Scott Simpson on 68 minutes when Truslove was body-checked as he took the ball into the danger zone.

The host finally bagged the vital second in the 73rd minute when sub Wright reacted quickest to fire home after Truslove's powerful drive was spilt by Singh after it bounced in front of him.

Telford's best opening of the game was passed up by former Harrier Jordan Murphy five minutes later when the sub was well kept out by Hall after racing in behind the home rearguard.

Fellow sub Elliot Newby then rattled the bar on 78 minutes with a fine curled effort as Telford threw caution to the wind looking for a way back.

Harriers defended well to see off the threat as Fraser Horsfall and centre back partner O'Connor provided the calming influence.

Wright had another effort saved in the final ten minutes as the hosts made sure they ended on the front foot.

Harriers remain seventh but now face two away trips to Leamington and Chorley as they look to push further into the National League North play-off places.

Harriers: Hall, Pearson, Austin, Croasdale (c), Horsfall, O'Connor, Sonupe (Taylor 25), McQuilkin, Brown (Wright 45), Ngwatala, Truslove (Williams 85).

Unused subs: Smith, Palmer.

Telford: Singh, White, Wilson, Johnson, Sutton (c), Lussey, Leonard (Newby 65), Cowans (Dwyer 88), Ebanks-Blake, Marsden, Dinanga (Murphy 74).

Unused subs: Simpson, Royle.

Att: 2,201 (304).