HARRIERS dug in to see out a 1-0 win at Ashton United to pick up three valuable National League North points.

Harriers were able to welcome back Liam McAlinden to the pack days after he missed the Blyth trip through illness - he stepped in to replace Nick Clayton-Phillips who was injured against Spartans thanks to a heavy challenge.

Another enforced change saw Billy Daniels step in to replace Milan Butterfield in midfield after he was selected for international duty, representing Bermuda a night after the game.

The first half was certainly not a festival of chances but the opportunities that did present themselves were big ones, and evenly spread between the two sides.

An eighth-minute volley from Goulding kept Hall alert on eight minutes before Ironside just missed out on a McAlinden delivery, a header from the striker edging over the bar eight minutes further on.

A major sight of goal for the hosts was a let off for visitors when Dimaio struck a volley off the upright, but Harriers went up the other end two minutes later and, through Williams, tested goalkeeper McMahon from the edge of the area that the custodian did well to save.

Soon after, McAlinden and Chambers had a brace of chances, the latter closing down the stopper and attempting to chip him, only for McMahon to backtrack and gather the ball. McAlinden remained a threat as the half wore on as he kept the goalkeeper alert, but it was McMahon’s counterpart Hall who made a superb save with four to go to the break, somehow twisting to beat away a firm Jennings drive.

After the break, the home side kept up their spell of chances as Jennings drove off target and Hobson shot, his effort heading for the back of the net before Hall once again diverted the danger away.

Three after the hour, though, Harriers stole ahead and did so in sensational style as Daniels rocketed in his first goal for the club – stepping into space and firing a powerful, driven finish beyond McMahon for the opener at an ideal time.

Ashton tried to respond but Jennings found his effort snuffed out by yellow shirts, before Daniels was almost involved with another cracking strike, a sublime pass to Chambers who volleyed it sweetly at goal, the ball dipping agonisngly over.

That was as close as Harriers really got to extending their lead further, and it was a solid rearguard that helped see this one through. Though United had plenty of pressure and kept asking questions of the Reds’ defence, Hall had a quieter final quarter of it than earlier in the night – huge penalty appeals after Tomsett went down in the area being the biggest turning point.

HARRIERS: Hall, Austin, Taylor, Horsfall, Johnson, Penn, Daniels, Willliams, Chambers, McAlinden, Ironside.

Subs not used: Higginson, Heaton, Stratford, Richards, Palmer.

Attendance: 226

Referee: Aaron Bannister