HARRIERS slipped to the foot of the National League table after a 2-1 defeat to Oldham despite an energised showing at Aggborough Stadium.

Russ Penn described the outing as his team’s “best performance of the season” as the Reds pulled level against The Latics in a game the hosts dominated for large spells.

Even at 1-1 – parity given to them by Bailey Hobson’s first goal for the club – Harriers had chances to clinch a winner having originally gone behind, but were hit by a goal with just 12 minutes left to continue an all-too familiar tale that saw the night end in defeat.

Of even greater concern to Penn was the loss to injury during the game of Nat Knight-Percival, while Alex Penny also received extended medical treatment on the pitch after the final whistle.

The Club confirmed on social media late on Tuesday night that Penny had been able to return home having been “further assessed” at Aggborough.

At the start of the night, Harriers made two changes to their starting line-up from the weekend defeat to Eastleigh. Out went Kai Lissimore and the suspended Joe Leesley, with places in the starting eleven for Ashley Hemmings and recent arrival Hobson. The latter made his first start for the club after arriving on loan from Chesterfield last week.

Knight-Percival’s withdrawal came early on in the game and disrupted momentum for the hosts, who had openings through Christian Oxlade-Chamberlian who was denied by a good save, and when a corner was headed clear, only to land on the bar.

Perhaps against the run of play, Oldham took the lead on 21 minutes when Devarn Green carried the ball before firing superbly past Christian Dibble.

Hobson, Pearce and Oxlade-Chamberlain all had sights of goal before the break as Harriers responded well, the latter along with Gerry McDonagh again going close not long after the restart.

The equaliser on 62 minutes was richly deserved and was superbly executed in its own right, as McDonagh’s pace and strength saw him charge out wide before sliding the ball to the advancing Hobson who calmly finished into the net.

Six minutes later, Dibble’s fine, low save denied Oldham’s Sutton at one end before Amari Morgan-Smith and Zak Brown spurned chances at the other.

It would be profligacy that would come back to haunt Harriers as, with 78 played, a diving header from 12 yards wasn’t held by Dibble and sub Alex Reid was able to tuck home the rebound.

Teenage home sub Kobe Hall and Morgan-Smith did chances off target and saved in the final minutes but, despite the return of some vigour to the home exertions, Harriers were left empty handed.

Harriers remain in residence on home soil for this weekend’s action, a National League fixture against another promotion-chasing outfit in Barnet, 3pm kick off on Saturday.