AMARI Morgan-Smith netted his fifth goal of the season to secure Harriers a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Hartlepool at Aggborough.

The draw was enough to end a run of four success defeats, but Russ Penn’s charges were indebted to Christian Dibble for a Man of the Match display to keep the visitors at bay in the second period.

Harriers rang the changes comprehensively prior to kick off and in the wake of a dismal 1-0 defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge at Aggborough on Saturday.

After not being in the squad for the last two matches, Ashley Hemmings was restored to the starting line-up, while Kai Lissimore was handed a first start since September. Jack Lambert, back from injury, was in the eleven having been out of starting action for a couple of months.

On-loan Ryan McLean and Reiss McNally were also in as part of five changes, with the ever-present Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain was among those to drop to the substitutes bench.

After a number of weeks starting matches well, it was Harriers who were hit with a strong opposition start. Hartlepool went within inches of a second minute lead when Jake Hastie saw his shot deflected behind. Five minutes later, a confident Pools side were ahead. Harriers never fully cleared their lines and, under pressure, McNallly sliced the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

To their credit, Harriers were decidedly better after that and fashioned their first chances when McNally headed over on 18 minutes and Alex Penny struck wide.

There was a scare on 24 minutes when a Tom Crawford effort threatened to beat Dibble only to clip the post, but Harriers got themselves level after the half hour when Amari Morgan-Smith planted a fine header into the net from a corner to record his fifth of the campaign.

The Reds were almost head eight before the break when a perfect pass from Lambert set McLean in, but his final shot was well smothered by goalkeeper Joel Dixon.

Hartlepool were once again stronger from the off in the second period, Crawford heading wide, ex-Harrier Mani Dieseruvwe planting off target and Hastie seeing a shot tipped over by Dibble – all within the first eight minutes of the period.

A pacy Harriers attack saw Hemmings denied by Dixon near the hour, but the Pools remained the greater threat with Hastie and Dieseruvwe both going close again before the end of the encounter.

A final Harriers chance saw Morgan-Smith head into Dixon’s arms as four minutes of added time failed to break the stalemate.

The season for Harriers shows no signs of relenting. On Saturday they travel to Oxford City in a crucial encounter near the foot of the table.