Harriers 2, Gloucester 3

HARRIERS surrendered a two-goal lead as they suffered defeat to Gloucester City at Aggborough.

Kidderminster had led through Ash Chambers and Declan Weeks before Gloucester came back to draw level before the break.

The second half was a tale of two penalties. The visitors left with the spoils as Joe Hanks converted as Harriers hitman Chambers missed his opportunity to grab a point from 12 yards late on.

Reds, unchanged from Saturday’s win at Bradford Park Avenue, were quickly onto the front foot and worked the first effort of the night when Sam Austin blazed over on five minutes after driving in-field from the right.

The hosts looked to have taken control with a quick-fire double in two barnstorming minutes.

They bagged the lead on 12 minutes with a fine sweeping move. Declan Weeks’ long-range cross-field pass was crossed first time by advanced wing-back Correy Davison before Chambers provided the controlled first-time finish beyond Zack Jeacock from eight yards.

Harriers made it two just two minutes later when Weeks fired a dipping effort beyond Jeacock from 25 yards. Another big diagonal pass saw Peniket and Ed Williams link up on the right before teeing up Weeks to double the advantage.

The home side continued to dominate the ball but it was Gloucester that came close to pulling one back on the half hour mark as Marlon Jackson rattled the bar after turning neatly in the area.

However, the visitors then found a double of their own to draw level in dramatic fashion.

First Joe Parker finished neatly under Cameron Gregory on 32 minutes before Marlon Jackson curled home two minutes later after Rhys Williams was robbed on the touchline by Zak Kotwica.

Chambers passed up a big chance in-between those two City scores when he headed weakly over the bar when unmarked at the far post.

Kidderminster were cruising before those two defensive lapses and instead found themselves level at the break with the clash firmly back in the balance.

Harriers forged the first efforts of the second period as Milan Butterfield’s shot from range was gathered by Jeacock before Weeks fired a free-kick well over the crossbar.

Both sides cancelled each other out for long spells after that as Gloucester dropped deep and the hosts struggled to trouble Jeacock.

But it was the visitors that got their noses in front for the first time on 65 minutes when Joe Hanks converted from the penalty spot after Cliff Moyo was adjudged to have fouled Joe Parker in the box.

Despite ref Jon Kenny initially giving the foul outside the box after a clumsy challenge from the Reds skipper, the official eventually pointed to the spot after consulting with his assistant.

Harriers needed a reaction but with manager John Pemberton’s options limited from the bench the hosts struggled to keep the pressure on.

Peniket headed one chance wide as the clash entered the final 15 minutes before Pemberton’s men were handed the chance to land a late leveller after Chambers was fouled in the area when trying to turn.

The striker got to his feet to take it himself but saw his effort pushed away by Jeacock.

The visiting stopper denied Chambers one final time in added time when using his feet to keep out a late low drive.

With that went Kidderminster’s chances of salvaging the contest.

Harriers: Gregory, Austin, Davidson, R. Williams, Moyo (c), Johnson, Weeks, Butterfield, Chambers, E. Williams, Peniket.

Unused subs: Prosser, Mountjoy, Higginson, Scott, Lowth.

Gloucester: Jeacock, Smith (Richards 89), Harper, Hamilton, Avery (c), Knowles, Parker, Thomas (Spruce 83), Jackson (Hainault 60), Hanks, Kotwica.

Unused subs: King.

Att: 1,434 (115).