HARRIERS kept alive their unlikely play-off push with a richly deserved 2-0 win at title favourites AFC Fylde on Easter Monday.

On the back of successive wins for the first time since January, Russ Penn’s charges travelled to the Fylde coast in plenty of confidence.

The Coasters knew a win would put them within touching distance of the National League North championship, but the visitors threw a cat amongst the pigeons with two first half goals and a fourth clean sheet on the bounce.

Amari Morgan-Smith’s stinging half volley on just four minutes gave the visiting fans something to cheer early, and the hit man doubled his team’s tally on 34 minutes to cap a first half the side had thoroughly dominated.

The victory, as well as seeing Fylde drop out of top spot thanks to King’s Lynn’s victory at Alfreton Town, saw the men from Aggborough cut the gap to the top seven to four points.

While the play-offs still look an outside bet due to the amount of teams sitting ahead of Harriers, few would bet against them thanks to their recent form that has extended to just a single defeat in nine outings.

For the fifth meeting of the term with Fylde, Penn made two enforced changes Kyle Morrison, on loan from the Coasters, was unable to feature against his parent club and missed out.

That void was filled by Nat Knight-Percival who completed a timely return from suspension. Elsewhere, the ill Kai Lissimore was replaced by Zak Brown.

Harriers were on top from the off and, as well as Morgan-Smith’s brace, Joe Leesley and Brown also went close.

Though striker Luke Charman and midfielder Nick Haughton had chances to reduce the arrears for Fylde – the former drawing a good save from Christian Dibble – the Harriers goal was rarely troubled on the day.

Ashley Hemmings had two chances to make it 3-0 in the second half, almost seeing one of those attempts dropped over his own goal line by Coasters stopper Chris Neal.

Reflecting on the game at full time, Assistant Manager Jimmy O’Connor was staying focused, saying: “It’s all about us at this stage. “We’ve said it countless times: we’re disappointed with where we are. All we’re trying to do is focus on the next game.

“I thought we came here and shot out of the blocks again… our performance levels were really good in the first half, and we’d have given a good game to anybody.

“We were well organised and on the front foot, and I thought we had quality and that killer instinct. We looked like we could hurt Fylde today.

“Going in 2-0 [at half time] is a dangerous score line, but I thought we stuck it out really well as well.”

Harriers are in action on home soil this coming Saturday when already relegated AFC Telford United visit Aggborough Stadium for a 3pm kick off.