HARRIERS and Hereford battled couldn’t be parted in a 1-1 New Year’s Day draw at Aggborough Stadium.

The home side went into the game on the back of an important 1-0 win in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, though neither side had excelled in the entertainment stakes.

Back on home soil for the first time in several weeks, Harriers took the lead against their local rivals, but it was a tie that again failed to really live up to the billing of a crunch local derby in front of a strong crowd.

More than 3,400 had packed into Aggborough to see if Harriers could notch a third win in succession and, although chances were once again few and far between, the hosts did have the lead midway through the half.

The in-form Jack Bearne provided the ammunition to continue his own impressive streak, sliding the ball to Amari Morgan-Smith who finished from close range to grab just his second goal of a stunted season so far.

That advantage surprisingly failed to really thrust Harriers into the ascendancy with any real momentum before the break, but they did at least have one chance to double their lead when Joe Leesley’s low drive was kept out smartly by visiting goalkeeper Dino Visser who helped nudge it on to the post.

Hereford, on a poor run of form of their own, made tactical changes at the break and introduced Miles Storoey. With a couple of minutes he’d forced an early chance for the Bulls with a low shot that needed a save from Tom Palmer.

There then came a double blow for Harriers. Just five minutes into the half they lost the influential Leesley through what looked to be a concerning knee injury, and ten minutes later Hereford drew level. A deep cross into the box wasn’t dealt with, leaving the returning Levi Andoh free to drive a shot into the ground, the ball looping up high over Palmer’s dive and into the net.

Storey, after the hour, lifted another breakaway effort over the bar while Bearne, inside the final minutes, moved the ball forward well before shooting into the arms of Visser.

In truth, their solitary goals aside, neither outfit came seriously close to forcing a winning strike and were made to do with a share of the spoils after another game lacking in real quality.

For their part Harriers have at least steadied the ship having lost just one of their last five – they must now turn their attentions to another local derby of sorts at Leamington in National League North on Saturday, 7th.