Harriers 2, Hereford 1

TEN-man Kidderminster Harriers returned to winning ways with a derby victory over Hereford.

The Reds recovered from back-to-back Christmas time defeats to bag a much-needed win despite Ryan Johnson’s red card at the end of the first half.

Kane Richards quickly cancelled out James Roberts’ first half opener for Hereford before a Declan Weeks’ brilliant strike within a minute at the start of the second half was enough to take the points.

Harriers made two changes from the side that lost to Stockport three days before as George Waring replaced the injured Dan Bradley and Jimmy O’Connor came in for James Baxendale as the Reds reverted to a back three.

The hosts enjoyed decent early possession but chances were at a premium for either side in the opening exchanges at Aggborough.

The first effort on target arrived 15 minutes in as Declan Weeks tried to catch Hereford keeper Matt Yates out of his goalmouth after a low clearance kick reached the midfielder 40 yards out. Weeks controlled his half volleyed effort well but Yates got back in time to gather with ease.

Instead it was Hereford that had the lead just four minutes later when the visitors took advantage of a back pass to Brandon Hall by Lee Vaughan.

James Roberts made no mistake from the free-kick as he rifled into the top corner from six yards out.

However, Reds reacted within a minute to draw level as Kane Richards was on hand to slide home the rebound after Yates pushed out Ash Chambers’ low cross from the left flank.

Harriers kept the heat on after the leveller and could have been ahead just past the half hour mark. First Richards saw an effort deflected wide after Yates spilt Weeks’ initial drive from range before O’Connor screwed a shot wide just moments later.

Just as Kidderminster had got on top in the contest, they suffered another setback as Ryan Johnson saw red for clattering into Tom Owen-Evans in midfield on 38 minutes. The late challenge looked more clumsy than dangerous but ref Steven Copeland was quick to give the defender his marching orders.

The game hit a scrappy spell following the sending off and remained all square at the break.

It took Harriers just 57 seconds of the second half to edge themselves ahead thanks to a Weeks wonder strike.

Waring’s ball in from the right was only cleared to the midfielder who expertly struck a half volley into the top corner from 25 yards to give Yates no chance.

The home side continued to dominate possession and quickly and crisply passed the ball around for long spells despite the numerical disadvantage.

Hereford finally worked their first opening of the second half on 68 minutes as the ball fell to Josh Gowling at the far post after sub Tom O’Sullivan’s corner. The defender could only blaze over from the left angle of the six yard box.

James Roberts dragged an effort wide as the clash approached the final 10 minutes with Hereford pushing forward for a late leveller.

Harriers dropped deep in the closing moments but dealt well with a host of balls into the box to see out the much-needed success.

Harriers: Hall, Vaughan, Austin, O’Connor (c), Horsfall, Johnson, Weeks, Penn, Waring, Chambers (Phillips 87), Richards.

Unused subs: Taylor, Butterfield, Baxendale, White.

Hereford: Yates, Thomas, Greenslade, Dinsley (Richards 57), Cullinane-Liburd, Gowling, Lloyd (Wharton 72), Owen-Evans, Finn (O’Sullivan 57), Roberts, Symons.

Unused subs: Smith, Horsell.

Att: 2,745 (911).