Harriers 3
Hereford 2

HARRIERS showed that there is a bright future as established players and trialists starred in the Aggborough side's best performance of the pre-season so far on Tuesday night.

First half goals for trialist Aaron Farrell and Brian Smikle and a super-strike from last season's leading scorer Matthew Barnes-Homer put the Bulls to the sword.

With manager Mark Yates aiming to make decisions on several of the hopefuls who have trained at the Aggborough club this season, this performance would have helped to make his mind up.

Yates handed starts to prospective new signings Rob Elvins, Aaron Farrell, Liam Dolman, Gavin Caines and Tom Sharp, while in goal he tried Doncaster keeper Kyle Letheren, 22, who is aiming to win a place at the Aggborough club.

Harriers also welcomed back two stars of last season's Blue Square Premier campaign, keeper Adam Bartlett and defender Keith Lowe, who had signed for Hereford during the close season.

Hereford had the first meaningful shot on target when Sunday Wasui let-fly with a vicious shot from 25-yards but it flew wide of Letheren's left-hand post in the sixth minute.

The visitors continued to boss the game and Marc Pugh skipped past Liam Dolman on the left and delivered a cross.

Wasui's close-range head crashed off the post and Tom Sharpe hooked the danger away.

Harriers were looking disjoined but David McDermott and Brian Smikle combined to great effect to open up the away side but Farrell couldn't quite pick up Smikle's zippy through ball.

The hosts took the lead in the 16th minute, when McDermott sent in a cross from the left, which Rob Elvins held up and passed to Smikle. The winger fired in a shot from close range that took a wicked deflection and bobbled past an out-stretched Bartlett.

Farrell was denied a goal in the 29th minute when he nimbly controlled a long ball forward, bypassed a defender and beat the keeper with his shot, but Lowe cleared the danger away.

The hitman got his just desserts in the 35th minute when he robbed the ball off Darren Dennehy and slotted the ball into the the bottom right corner.

Darryl Knights rattled the woodwork in the 40th minute when he lashed in a fierce low shot that crashed off Bartlett's bottom left post.

Harriers had another shot on target in the 51st minute after the lively Farrell picked out David McDermott on the right of the box and his strike forced a low save from Bartlett.

Matthew Barnes-Homer replaced former Aldershot and Woking man Rob Elvins in the 53rd minute.

Keeper Letheren was having a quiet night but he was called into action in the 54th minute when Pugh send a chip just wide.

Trialist Joe Wilcox then replaced Gavin Caines in central defence in the 56th minute as substitutions took their toll on the game's flow.

Letheren was called into action when Jamie Tolley broke into the box but he did enough to put him off and concede a corner in the 63rd minute.

Matthew Barnes-Homer extended Harriers lead in spectacular fashion in the 70th minute. He picked up the ball 40-yards out from goal, drove forward and unleashed a dipping effort that left substitute shot-stopper Chris Adamson reaching for air as it dipped into the back of the net.

The hitman could have bagged a fourth goal for Harriers when he broke through on the right of the box in the 81st minute but sent his strike over the bar.

Hereford pulled a goal back two minutes later when Frank Pandiani raced onto Craig Jones' through ball and finished clinically.

The visitors grabbed another lifeline in the 85th minute when Toni Ameobi headed in from close range from Jones' left-wing cross.

Harriers:Letheren; Dolman (Courtney, 66); Caines (Wilcox, 56); Sharpe; Baker (Riley, 66); McDermott; McPhee; Smikle; Knight (Hayward, 76); Elvins (Barnes-Homer, 53); Farrell.

Unused substitute: Coleman.

Hereford: Bartlett (Adamson, 56); Green (C Jones, 80); Valentine; Lunt; Lowe (Rose, 46); Dennehy (D Jones, 46); Manga (Dumbaye, 70); Tolley (Gwynne, 70); Wasui (Ameobi, 46); Constantine (Pandiani, 46); Pugh (Done, 80).

Unused substitutes: Thomas; McQuilkin.

Attendance: 625 (175)