RUSS Penn lamented his side’s Jekyll and Hyde performance after playing out a 1-1 draw in the derby against Hereford.

Searching for a route back to the form they showed earlier in the season, Harriers were ahead in the first half thanks to an Ashley Hemmings penalty. As has often been the case this term, the second half showing was far inferior – Hereford netted an equaliser and were the better team after the restart, leaving the Aggborough chief frustrated.

“In the first half we were fantastic and were on the front foot,” he reflected at the final whistle.

“We stamped our energy on the game and took the lead deservedly, but in the second half they came at us with something a bit different and could probably say what I’ve just said about the first half.

“I wasn’t happy with the second-half performance, not one bit; we’ve got to finish teams off or grind games out a bit better – we gave them something to latch on to.”

Harriers had made two changes from the side that had fallen so convincingly to defeat against the Bulls just seven days prior – Prosser came into the starting eleven to replace Sterling, while Freemantle was handed a start up top in place of the suspended Amari Morgan-Smith. New signing Jason Cowley was forced to make do with a spot on the bench after signing on loan from Bromsgrove the previous day.

True to any derby and just as with Boxing Day, it was a tight opening after which Harriers struck first. Freemantle had already forced Hall into a good, low save on nine minutes before the deadlock was broken from the penalty spot. Klukowski clumsily went in on the young striker, with the referee pointing to the spot and Hemmings successfully converting his seventh goal of the term.

Hemmings himself forced Hall into a good save on 23, before Prosser hit over and McQuilkin struck just off target for the Bulls. Seconds before the break it might’ve been two for the hosts – Moyo powering a Hemmings corner over the bar.

Hereford were largely dominant from the off in the second period – Camwell set the tone with a long-range shot, before Finn almost caught Simpson off guard at the far post with a shot the stopper scuffed around the post.

The deserved leveller came seven after the hour after Montrose was adjudged to have fouled his man in the area to the award of the game’s second penalty; John-Lewis sending the ball beyond Simpson.

Though Harriers threw on Sterling, Martin and debutant Cowley in the second half, it was certainly the visitors who finished the stronger, John-Lewis going close near the end after Sterling, at the other end, had fired into the side netting with what was virtually the hosts’ only attempt of the half.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Lowe, Moyo, Prosser (Sterling 70), Maxwell, Moyo, Austin, Freemantle (Cowley 70), Montrose, Hemmings (Martin 78).

Subs not used: Palmer, Arthur.

Referee: Michael Crusham