HARRIERS edged towards the end of their season with a solid but uninspiring 0-0 draw against Alfreton Town at Aggborough.

The team’s fifth draw in six matches has helped build a run that’s also one defeat in six, likely keeping them clear of any lingering fears over a relegation scrap.

It has, equally, been just one win in eleven National Legue North matches for Russ Penn’s outfit, who are similarly too far away to have a fighting chance of squeezing into the division’s play-off places.

The stalemate against Billy Heath’s Alfreton was played out almost as if all were resigned to such a fate. Harriers, in fairness, showed comfortably more attacking intent than their guests overall but were plagued by the same lack of a killer finishing touch that’s been present all season.

Penn opted to make one change to his starting eleven. Alex Penny, back from injury, was restored to the side at the expense of Joe Foulkes, while Joe Leesley was also back in the 16 after a lengthy lay-off.

It was Alfreton who had the first serious opening of the day after a quiet start to the clash. He ghosted in to meet a cross into the area, a diving header being met by a strong one-handed save by Christian Dibble to force the ball away.

Harriers were handed a blow eight minutes from the break as Ethan Freemantle was forced off through injury. Trying to win the ball at the by-line, the striker collided with his man who inadvertently appeared to land with his boot across the face of the Harriers man. A bloodied Freemantle was helped off and sustained what is believed to be a cheekbone injury that Penn later added will end his season.

On the stroke of half time, Harriers really ought to have taken the lead. Asley Hemmings held on to the ball outside the area before laying off to Caleb Richards, whose cross was met by Amari Morgan-Smith who side-footed over from six yards out.

Penny headed off target from a similar distance after rising to meet another good Richards delivery seven after the restart, before Hemmings went close with a shot that George Willis in goal got behind with a strong parry.

Having done so several times this season, Harriers almost another goal from a dreaded long throw seven minutes from time when substitute Dayle Southwell’s effort was saved by Dibble, and the expected result between two of the division’s meanest defences duly came to pass.

Harriers are next in action when they travel to relegation-threatened Farsley Celtic on 1st April.