JIMMY O’CONNOR took the positives as Harriers drew 2-2 at Farsley Celtic to extend their unbeaten run to six matches. 

Sam Austin and Omari Sterling netted for the Reds, who had conceded first and, at 2-1 up, again just seconds into the second half. 
“It was an absolute scrap out there,” admitted O’Connor after the game. 

“At 2-2 it could have gone either way and you have to focus on the positives. At the end of the day, I think the boys have shown a level of character again today that we might not have seen in the past.

“[You can] be disappointed, but you move on but if we can back up with a result and performance on Tuesday then you look at it as a good point.”

O’Connor and boss Russ Penn had opted to name the same starting eleven as he did for the 2-0 victory over Brackley Town a few days prior – Alex Penny shook off an injury sustained during that game to keep his place in the eleven, enough to keep Cliff Moyo on the bench.

After a quiet opening that was shaded by the hosts, it was Farsley who stole ahead with 17 on the clock; Tom Allen turning in from close range as Harriers defended poorly from a corner. 

That was the first of three goals inside five minutes, however, as Harriers responded quickly to turn the game on its head. First, Austin turned superbly some 20 yards from goal before arrowing an effort past Steven Drench, before great work from Alex Penny saw him play Hemmings into space – he unselfishly but sensibly squared to Omari Sterling who coolly slotted into the net to make it 2-1 from close range.

Morgan-Smith angled a shot wide as Harriers sensed blood, but it was a half that actually ended with the home side very much on top – twice they hit off target when forward in good numbers,  Spencer latterly going close. There was a moment of controversy in the dying stages of the half when Harriers conceded a penalty despite Montrose appearing to be fouled, but any perceived injustice was eased after Richards thundered the resultant spot-kick against the woodwork.

Spencer made amends of sorts as the home side flew out of the blocks at the restart; he held off his man brilliantly and shot on the angle, the Farsley man seeing his effort parried into the path of Johnston who tucked home a finish from close range.

A Hemmings header, comfortably over on the hour, was as close as Harriers came in the early stage of the half, while Walton chanced his arm from distance not long after with an effort from the edge of the area that sailed over the bar.

The game descended into a scrappy affair from there – with a total of seven yellow cards in the contest telling the ultimate story. There were sniffs chances for both teams – Sterling seeing a shot comfortably saved by Drench while Simpson made a good save from Hayhurst look easier than it was.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Austin, Richards, Taylor, Lowe, Montrose (Prosser 90), Maxwell, Sterling (Freemantle 77), Hemmings (Arthur 67), Morgan-Smith. 
Subs not used: Moyo, Palmer.

Referee: Paul Cooper