HARRIERS secured a valuable National League point with a 1-1 draw at Altrincham thanks to a superb defensive rearguard.

The visitors led early before Altrincham levelled and took control of the game, but the men from Aggborough stood firm to secure a share of the spoils.

Harriers made two changes to their starting line-up at the J Davidson Stadium, Kieran Phillips restored to the starting line-up, as was defender Reiss McNally.

The visiting bench provided perhaps bigger talking points and positives - Matt Preston returned from the injury that had kept him sidelined since August, while a new signing arrived in the form of AFC Wimbeldon winger Ryan McLean.

Harriers appear to have rediscovered their knack for creating chances early in recent weeks. They were ahead inside 90 seconds in this one, as a long throw into the area deflected off a combination of Krystian Pearce and Altrincham’s ex-Harrier Dior Angus to find the far corner of the net.

The hosts seemed undeterred by the early set-back, and set about laying a siege on the Harriers goal, with Issac Marriott and Alex Newby firing off target before the scores were levelled on 28 minutes. Alrtincham were lively from a throw-in and the ball found Lewis Banks who confidently fired his effort into the bottom corner of Christian Dibble’s goal.

Eddie Jones and Angus kept the target ticking over for the home side before the eye-catching Chris Conn-Clarke drove narrowly wide on the angle.

Harriers did have sights of goal before the break. Bailey Hobson’s firm effort needed holding by Ethan Ross, as did Kieran Phillips’ header after a good ball in from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The chances in the second half for Altrincham were arguably fewer but more clear cut as Dibble was called upon more.

A well-worked free kick just six after the restart saw Conn-Clarke go close, a rising effort tipped over the bar by Dibble before the custodian watched as Angus powered another over the target.

Harriers had one real sight of goal in the second period, and it came with 16 minutes to play. The tireless Sammy Robinson evaded a number of challenges on his way to goal and shot, the ball angling wide of the far post.

In the final minutes as Altrincham became more harried in their attempts to break down Harriers once more, Justin Amaluzor firing low and being denied by a smart stop by Dibble’s leg. The ball ended up straight back up at Amaluzor’s feet but his follow-up was blazed horribly over the target.

Dibble was needed once again with four minutes left of normal time, expertly turning aside Gez Sithole’s effort from six yards, the stop effectively securing a hard-earned point.

Harriers look set to welcome a sizable crowd to Aggborough Stadium on Saturday when league leaders Chesterfield are the visitors (3pm).