HARRIERS were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Blyth Spartans on a day that saw them lose two more players through injury.

There was plenty of drama before a ball was kicked at Blyth, with the news coming prior to the match that Ed Williams had been dropped to the bench in favour of Declan Weeks, who returned from injury.

John Pemberton was forced into another change just minutes prior to the game; goalkeeper Cameron Gregory was injured in the warm-up, replaced by sub shot-stopper, Tom Palmer.

Palmer was forced to be alert early as Roberts and Amantchi took aim at the target, a first half chance for Harriers, up at the other end, when Peniket’s header was comfortably dealt with by the goalkeeper.

The Harriers stopper did well to turn Wrightson’s 20th-minute effort around the post, before more injury woe struck for the Reds when Sharman was forced off with less than half an hour played.

Eight before the break, sub Ed Williams exchanged passes with Chambers before firing over. Peniket then had an effort blocked, Chambers also having a good header hooked the line in the half’s final moments.

Harriers wasted no time getting in front after the break, though, captialising on their positive finish to the first period when Prosser’s composed finish opened the scoring following a neat Williams pass. Peniket, played through, should have made it 2-0 four before the hour, but having latched on to a Chambers ball, he could only fire wide of the target.

The visitors would be made to pay for taking those chances when, on 65 minutes, home skipper Dale drove a free-kick past Palmer, with venom, and into the net from around 20 yards to level the scores.

That left, for the first time, the home side more in the ascendancy as they searched for what would have been a first win of the season, Peniket’s header at the other end on 72 minutes not proving too much trouble for keeper Foden.

Inside the final 15 minutes, there were chances at either end, with Davidson firing wide for Harriers, before sub Fenwick forced Palmer into a save with an effort from distance. The men from Aggborough did finish the strongest, though, with Austin seeing a shot deflected, Johnson going agonisingly close with a header from a corner and Chambers denied by Foden in the final stages.

HARRIERS: Palmer, Austin, Davidson, Moyo, Johnson, Sharman (Williams 28), Shenton (White 68), Weeks, Prosser, Chambers, Peniket.

Subs not used: Higginson, Lowth.

Attendance: 796 Referee: Daniel Locker