Harriers 0, Alfreton 1

HARRIERS failed to find the net as they suffered a narrow defeat against in-form Alfreton Town.

A first half header from Dominic Smith proved the difference between the two side during an evenly-matched National League North contest.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in injury time but still left with all three points Harriers failed to find a way back.

It was a cagey and scrappy start at Aggborough as it took until the 15-minute mark before the first chance arrived for either side.

It came for the visitors as Josh Thacker headed over from six yards out after Bobby Johnson’s corner.

The home side’s biggest threat early on also came from balls into the box from deep.

Cliff Moyo failed to connect with Correy Davidson’s free-kick from the left flank on 20 minutes and Ash Chambers lifted the rebound over the bar.

Cameron Gregory made his first save of the afternoon a minute later when tipping Thacker’s lower drive round the post.

Harriers looked lively going forward, especially with the direct running of Chambers, without troubling visiting stopper Jack Atkinson.

In turn, Rhys Williams shackled former Red Amari Morman-Smith well for long spells as defences stayed on top.

However, it was Alfreton that snatched the lead before the break as Kidderminster failed to heed the earlier warning.

This time it was Dom Smith that rose unmarked from six yards out to head home Johnson’s in-swinging corner three minutes from half time.

Harriers came out the blocks quickly looking for a reaction at the start of the second half and it took just a minute for them to work an opening as Butterfield blazed over from distance.

Harriers continued to push as Ed Williams’ quickly-taken free-kick from deep in his own half freed Correy Davidson in behind the Alfreton rearguard.

The left wing-back took a good first touch but dragged his right-footed effort agonisingly wide of the post with only Atkinson to beat.

Both sides remained evenly matched for long periods and swapped chances as the clash headed into the final 20 minutes. First Morgan-Smith saw an effort expertly blocked by Rhys Williams before Alex Prosser tested keeper Atkinson from 20 yards at the other end.

It took a fine fingertips save from Cameron Gregory to prevent Alfreton bagging a second on 73 minutes. He diverted substitute Ben Tomlinson’s shot against the woodwork to keep his side in it.

Harriers looked to rescue a point with some late pressure but skipper Moyo saw two efforts kept out by Atkinson.

Chambers then had a late penalty shout waved away as Chamber went down under a challenge from Atkinson.

There was still time for the visitors to end the game with 10 men after sub Tomlinson picked up two bookings.

Harriers: Gregory, Austin, Davidson, R. Williams, Moyo (c), Johnson, Prosser (Sharman 75), Butterfield, Chambers, E. Williams (Shenton 78), Peniket.

Unused subs: Palmer, Higginson, Freemantle.

Alfreton: Atkinson, Clackstone, Wilde (c), Lynch, Killock, Qualter, Thacker, Smith, Clarke (Tomlinson 60), Morgan-Smith (Blake 87), Johnson (East 67).

Unused subs: Whitham, Hinchley.

Att: 1,183 (46).