HARRIERS got back to winning ways in the National League with goals from Alex Penny and Reiss McNally sealing a 2-1 victory at a sold-out Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

The defensive pair netted with an effort in each half to ensure Phil Brown’s men dusted themselves off from the 2-0 home defeat to Gateshead in ideal style.

Harriers made just a single change to their starting line-up despite a period of comings and goings at Aggborough that saw four new additions and a departure since the midweek defeat to Gateshead.

Of a new quartet of signings in Seb Thompson, Cole Kpekawa, Todd Miller and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, there was only space for the latter in the squad of 16 as Phil Brown continues to prepare his squad for a busy run-in.

The change that came was as a result of Aaron Harper-Bailey’s return to West Bromwich Albion following his loan spell, his spot taken by Sam Bellis.

The first half saw Harriers exert a refreshing air of control on proceedings, chances coming at periods throughout the period while the hosts were left frustrated.

With just three minutes on the clock, Krystian Pearce might’ve swept Harriers in front when he found himself in plenty of space to receive an Ashley Hemmings cross in the area. He struck wide with what looked a sizable chance.

Bellis, past the quarter-hour, saw an effort deflected behind as the hosts threw themselves at the ball to defend, the breakthrough coming on 22 minutes as Penny superbly side-stepped a midfield challenge and saw space open up. He chanced his arm having advanced on goal, his low strike coming off an Oldham leg on its way to flying into the back of the net to the delight of over 700 travelling fans.

The Reds continued to dominate the ball after going in front and, ten minutes later, Amari Morgan-Smith saw a distance effort fly high over the bar.

On the stroke of half time, Bellis saw another shot blocked with the ball falling to Hemmings who twisted before shooting, a driven attempt beating Matthew Hudson but also his target.

The play-off chasing hosts were always going to offer more in the second period, and they were level within four minutes as Nathan Sheron coolly finished after good work and pace by Mike Fondop.

Undeterred, though, Harriers were nodded back in front with McNally’s excellent finish ten minutes later, tidying away from a Hemmings corner.

And although the Latics did probe more and ask plenty of the Harriers back line, the defence did its job solidly in securing an important three points, sub Andrew Dallas heading over from a free kick with the closest of the home chances.

It might well have been a win by more than just a single goal, too, had the visitors been able to take one of a couple of late chances; Hemmings firing over from a 20-yard free kick, and Bellis striking the upright after breaking through one-on-one in injury time.

Harriers are in the thick of an away treble in the National League. After the Oldham trip comes a short journey to Solihull on Tuesday before a trek to Woking next Saturday.