HARRIERS picked up three big more points for their play-off quest as they won 2-1 at Blyth Spartans.

The injury curse that seems to have been hovering over Aggborough for much of the season stuck again going into this one – Joel Taylor remained out through illness, while Dan Bradley missed out after picking up a knee injury.

Lee Vaughan began the first of a three-match suspension so the return of Jimmy O’Connor was as timely as it was welcome as he slotted into the eleven.

Harriers began the game quite brightly with successive corners as two teams adjusted well to what was a very wet surface – while Elton Ngwatala saw a shot blocked early on, the home side registered clearer sights of goal in the first half of the opening period, namely through Buddle, who heeded over when well placed, and Hopson who fired over the bar.

Six minutes before the interval, the hosts had another clear sight of goal after some good build-up play, Hopson was again on the end of it but his low drive deflected off a Harriers boot and drifted away for a corner.

Sub Sonupé put in a key block to snuff out Blyth not long after the restart, before Mullen struck from distance for Blyth with an attempt that flew just wide of the target.

Two shy of the hour, home skipper Dale twisted past his man at the by-line and tried to curl an effort towards the far corner only to drive just off target before Wrightson’s half-volley was held by Hall.

On 64 Harriers had the lead and, in all honesty, it was against the run of play as skipper Croasdale swept home the ball into the bottom corner for his seventh of the season after being teed up by Ironside.

Wrightson had a good chance to level soon after but was wasteful in shooting straight at all – he was punished as Harriers made it two through Sonupé’s solo effort, chasing the length of he pitch before chipping the ball into the far corner.

Harriers did a good job of seeing the win out, but weren’t able to count on the bonus of a clean sheet after Blyth netted a late consolation from Reid; he was on hand to stab the ball past Hall from a corner to reduce their arrears.

HARRIERS: Hall, Pearson, Austin, Croasdale, Horsfall, O’Connor, Weeks, McQuilkin (Sonupé 49), Ironside, Ngwatala (Waring 71), Brown.

Subs: Truslove, Digie, Vaughan.

Attendance: 738 Referee: Thomas Parsons