HARRIERS slipped to a second home defeat inside a week after suffering a 2-1 reverse to high-flying Barnet at Aggborough Stadium.

The Hoo Road strugglers gave themselves a real mountain to climb with the concession of two first half goals.

Despite a Krystian Pearce goal in the second half to reduce the deficit, there was no further breach of the visiting back line, as Dean Brennan’s men were able to wrap up victory without being truly troubled further.

Harriers had made one enforced change going into the game. While Joe Leesley’s return after a one-match suspension for the accumulation of five yellow cards was always likely, it was accommodated more easily by the omission of Nat Knight-Percival through injury.

The experienced defender picked up a groin injury in the defeat to Oldham and is expected to miss the next week or two of action. Harriers acted by bringing in former Manchester City and Port Vale defender Sammy Robinson as a new signing. He made do with a place on the bench.

Harriers tried to impose themselves early in the game but, in conceding a cheap free kick on the edge of the area, shot themselves in the foot. Anthony Hartigan stepped up and curled a beauty of a finish into the top corner from around 20 yards.

The hosts did come close to a swift equaliser when Alex Penny struck a volley over the bar from close range, but the lead for the visitors was doubled 28 minutes later when a cross into the area was planted home by Callum Stead who found ample time and space to finish.

Bailey Hobson’s 12-yard finish was over the bar when the youngster was first placed to do better inside the area, the first half ending with an uncomfortable ease for Barnet.

Harriers threw on Robinson for his debut at the interval, but that was at the expense of Ashley Hemmings. The talisman had endured a quiet afternoon, but his withdrawal left the side even less inventive, a Joe Leesley effort over the bar on the hour mark being their first sight of the target in the half.

Moments later, though, a chink of light appeared above the increasingly grey skies over Aggborough on this autumnal afternoon as Harriers pulled a goal back; Leesley’s corner landing delightfully onto the head of Pearce who netted his first of the season.

Barnet remained dangerous and gave Harriers a further scare five minutes later when the dangerous Kanu headed over when completely unmarked in the area.

Though the Reds hassled and harried until the end, an equaliser sadly never looked close in so much as Walker barely had a save to make in the afternoon as a whole – Harriers slipping to a sixth defeat in seven matches and fifth in succession.

Harriers face midweek travels on Tuesday night when they head to Dorking Wanderers in the National League before returning home to host Wealdstone on Saturday (7th, 3pm).