Lincoln City 2, Harriers 0

HARRIERS’S season is at a crossroads.

Saturday’s defeat does not mean Kidderminster’s dream of making the Football League is over.

The Carpetmen are just seven points off the play-off spots with 48 left to play for.

But going into the season’s final third, they are struggling for momentum and are suffering from a severe lack confidence.

At Sincil Bank, they looked a pale shadow of the team which had put Gary Simpson’s strugglers to the sword at Aggborough in October and reached the FA Cup Fourth Round.

Harriers have picked up just seven points from a possible 30 and they have not won away in the Skrill Premier in eight matches.

In contrast, Lincoln have impetus and Ben Tomlinson’s impressive brace was the difference.

The visitors had started brightly but losing lost top-scorer Michael Gash to a hamstring injury in the ninth minute temporarily sucked the wind out of their sails.

It was another blow to Kidderminster’s fragile psyche and errors allowed the hosts to take the lead in the 19th minute.

Delano Sam-Yorke dispossessed Callum Gittings, strode past Chey Dunkley, who dived in early, and delivered a tantalising low cross which Tomlinson slotted home at the far post.

Harriers’s chief tormenters combined effectively to beat keeper Nathan Vaughan, who was deputising for the unwell Danny Lewis, in the 78th to seal Lincoln’s victory.

Between City’s goals, Harriers had their chances. Amari Morgan-Smith’s powerful header rattled the bar and he was then denied by debutant Birmingham keeper Nick Townsend, while Josh Gowling headed over.

Dunkley (pictured), making his first appearance since Luton in January, had their best chance to score early in the second half but his bullet header was tipped over by Townsend.

The game took a bizarre twist in the 55th minute when Lee Vaughan shoved Imps assistant Grant Brown as he tried to take a quick throw in.

He was fortunate to escape with a yellow card and when the hot-headed Harrier was caught by Todd Jordan, tempers threatened to boil over.

Manager Andy Thorn has bigger problems to fix as he searches for a winning formula.

The poor results started before he replaced Steve Burr but it’s up to him to get them back on track and win over disgruntled fans.

Afterwards he lamented: “It is all right talking about where you want to be and what you want to do but there comes a time when you have to step up and that is everybody, including myself and the staff.”

HARRIERS: N Vaughan 6, L Vaughan 4, Demetriou 6, GOWLING 7, Dunkley 6, Storer 7, Byrne 5 (Aloi, 70), Gittings 5 (Ladapo, 58), O’Keefe 5, Gash 6 (Morgan-Smith, 9, 6), Johnson 6. Subs not used: Grimes, Lewis.

LINCOLN: Townsend, Miller, Brown, Audel, Newton, Jordan, Adams, Power, Sheridan, Tomlinson, Sam-Yorke. Subs not used: Rowe, Gray, Robinson, Nolan, Preece. Referee Ben Toner. Attendance: 2012 (145)