MARK Yates insists Harriers will work hard to stay within striking range should one of their play-off rivals slip up.

Kidderminster remain four points off seventh-placed Telford United with just three games remaining of the regular National League North season.

They stayed on the heels of their fellow play-off hopefuls with a 1-0 success at FC United of Manchester last Saturday.

Joe Ironside's first half penalty was enough for Reds to pick up their first win in four away games.

They will now welcome Leamington to Aggborough on Friday (3pm kick-off) before a trip to Southport on Bank Holiday Monday.

Boss Yates knows how important it is for Harriers to stay in the hunt as pressure builds on those above.

He said: "We've just got to make sure we take it one game at a time and make sure we're in a position to take advantage if someone else slips up.

"It's not in our hands so that's all we can do. We have to make sure that we end up on 68 points and that whoever ends up in the play-offs has earned it, even if that does end up being ourselves.

"We're looking forward to Friday's game and hopefully it'll be a nice day and the fans will come out and really get behind us and spur the boys on.

"Hopefully we can keep our good home form going, prepare right and believe in what we are doing."

On the FC United victory, he added: "It was a good first half from us and a pleasing win. Teams don't make it easy for you but we saw the game out well and were reasonable comfortable."

The manager was also full of praise for young goalkeeper Tom Palmer after he kept a clean sheet on his full debut last Saturday.

"He didn't have loads to do but he handled well, positioned himself well when he needed to and looked comfortable," he said.

"He's had to wait in the wings for a while but he came in and did well for us."

Palmer may be in goal again this Friday unless regular number one Brandon Hall can recover from injury in time.

The game could come too soon for both Declan Weeks and Billy Daniels.

Meanwhile, Kwame Thomas has returned to parent club Solihull Moors.

The striker arrived at Aggborough on loan in mid-March alongside defender Harry Flowers.

After making five appearances for the Reds, including one start, Thomas has been recalled to Solihull.