HARRIERS pulled themselves off the bottom of the National League with a crucial 2-0 victory over Ebbsfleet United.

After pulling off a big victory over the freezing weather conditions to get the game on, Russ Penn’s men took advantage of AFC Fylde’s match falling by the wayside by securing maximum points against The Fleet.

The win, secured by Ashley Hemmings’ brace in the first half, sees Harriers leapfrog The Coasters at the foot of the table and move within three points of safety, albeit now having played a game more.

Hemmings took his tally for the season to five, his own mini revival of sorts coinciding with that of the team who are now three games unbeaten.

It comes just week after the former Wolves youngster was left out of the Harriers squad – the player’s reaction being something that’s pleased the Aggborough management team.

After full time, Jimmy O’Connor commented: “You want reactions out of players when it’s not going their way.

“Credit Ash, he’s had a reaction and has been a match-winner today.

“There has been good performances all across the pitch, though. That’s important to see and I think we’ve seen it in abundance today.”

It had been an end-to-end first half against fellow strugglers Ebbsfleet, in which both goalkeepers were called upon. The lively Dominic Poleon was a threat for the visitors – having bagged two goals in the return fixture earlier this season – while Hemmings and Jack Lambert went close for the hosts.

A fairly even first half looked like it would end goalless before Harriers struck in a deadly spell in added time at the end of the first half.

Hemmings, fresh from a first league goal of the term last weekend, finished expertly past Mark Cousins to break the deadlock after being threaded through by Sammy Robinson. He quickly doubled the advantage by slotting Lambert’s pass at a quickly taken free kick past a furious custodian.

Harriers could have should have put Ebbsfleet out of sight after the restart with a handful of key chances, none more so than an opening for a Hemmings hat-trick when his header was parried away well by Cousins.

Ebbsfleet controlled spells of the second half from there, but only really went close to reducing the arrears when Poleon struck the post with Christian Dibble rooted to the spot with 12 minutes to play.

Harriers take a break from league action when local rivals Stourbridge visit Aggborough in the FA Trophy on Saturday, 9 December, 3:00pm.