HARRIERS endured another miserable trip to Gateshead as they were dealt a sobering 3-0 defeat at the International Stadium.

With scars from a 4-0 thumping still fresh in the mind from their last visit, Mike Williamson’s charges passed their way to another comfortable success at the expense of the men from Aggborough.

On the heels of a first home defeat of the campaign against Solihull Moors in the televised derby the Saturday prior, Russ Penn once again wielded the axe on his starting eleven with three changes.

Into the side came Kai Lissimore for a first start since the August Bank Holiday weekend, and Ashley Hemmings after an enterprising cameo in the Aggborough reverse. Krystian Pearce, too, was back in the fold after missing the Solihull clash – trio Gerry McDonagh, Amari Morgan-Smith and Alex Penny dropped to the bench.

Sadly for the visitors, the pre-match game plan was thrust out of the window with just six minutes played when Gateshead passed themselves in front – a team move comprising of a near-countless number of passes ended by Greg Olley’s low cross to an unmarked Marcus Dinanga to finish low from six yards.

12 minutes later another flowing move and an inviting Gateshead cross found Stephen Wearne in the Harriers area, but Christian Dibble was out early to smother his shot. It proved only a temporary reprieve – Greg Olley then strode forward confidently and powered a 20-yard drive into Dibble’s bottom right corner.

Though Harriers had their share of time on the ball in the half, it was never really with any threat. Gateshead always looked ominous going forward, and went close again before the break. Dibble was alive to Olley’s attempted chip and gathered nicely, before beating away a Kenton Richards free kick during added time at the end of the half.

The visitors made a double change at the break as Amari Morgan-Smith and Zak Brown were introduced, but it was the hosts who struck a third with unnerving ease just ten after the restart as Olley and Regan Booty exchanged a one-two on the edge of the area to allow the latter to finish with a low drive under Dibble.

With 70 on the clock only inspired defending by Nat Knight-Percival prevented ex-Harrier Dinanga grabbing his second and his team’s fourth, the veteran’s sliding challenge taking the ball from the striker’s toe.

Harriers did eventually carve out a couple of half chances when Brown saw a shot deflected wide and Leesley had a corner tipped on to the bar by the goalkeeper, but Gateshead held on comfortably enough.

Tuesday’s epic 450-mile round trip is followed by another lengthy journey as Harriers venture to face Eastleigh at Silverlake Park. Oldham Athletic are the guests at Aggborough next Tuesday night, 26th September.