Barnet 3, Harriers 3

FROM utter despair to sheer bliss during 90 minutes of pure drama.

After a disastrous 45 minutes Harriers were down and out, trailing Barnet 3-0. They seemed to be in danger of suffering a humiliating defeat as the Vanarama Conference leaders ran riot.

But as the full-time whistle blew on Saturday evening they had earned a point, which felt more like a victory after a memorable fightback.

Harriers had an unwanted detour when the coach driver’s sat nav took them to Barnet’s former home Underhill, instead of The Hive. The entire team had appeared lost in the first half as they gifted the leaders three goals.

Jack Byrne’s tackle on Andy Yiadom allowed Luisma Villa to curl a delightful 25-yard free-kick into the bottom right corner in the 32nd minute.

Sam Cook’s indirect set piece snuck in unaided at the far post in the 38th, and when powerhouse centre forward John Akinde punished Danny Lewis and Josh Gowling’s long ball mix-up with an emphatic finish, it looked like game over.

With the match seemingly lost, manager Gary Whild turned the tide with a decisive half-time double substitution.

While he injected the extra physical presence of Michael Gash to support Nathan Blissett and replaced the injured Gowling with Jamie Grimes, Bees boss Martin Allen dragged off focal point Akinde for fear of aggravating a tight hamstring in the 57th minute.

Sixty seconds later, Gash ensured the pendulum had swung Harriers’ way when he volleyed home a lifeline.

But it was towering hit-man Nathan Blissett who found his mojo with a devastating double in three minutes. The big forward had forced a79th-minute corner and powered a header home emphatically.

In a carbon copy of his first goal, Blissett used his head again in the 82nd minute to seal Kidderminster’s revival.

Midfielder Callum Gittings nearly won it when he saw a header tipped onto the bar by Graham Stack.

Winger Ahmed Obeng, who injected pace and directness into Kidderminster, also produced his best display for Harriers and had hit the post before Blissett’s brace.

“Michael Gash coming on changed the dynamic of the game,” commented Blissett.

“It is normally Chey Dunkley scoring in that position, but a bit of movement and liveliness, and I managed to get myself among the goals.

“I think we should have won the game. We had the chances and were way better than them in the second half.”

HARRIERS: Lewis 6, Hodgkiss 7, Storer 6, Dunkley 6, Byrne 6, Johnson 5 (Obeng, 60, 7), Reid 5 (GASH, 46, 8), Blissett 8, Gittings 7, Nicholson 6, Gowling 5 (Grimes, 46, 7). Subs not used: Styche, O’Keefe.

BARNET: Stack, Yiadom, Johnson, N’Gala, Stephens, Weston, Akinde (Pavey, 57), Cook, Togwell (Saville, 84), Villa (Marsh-Brown, 63), Hoskins.

Subs not used: Vilhete, Gambin.

Referee: Adam Bromley.

Attendance: 1,689 (134)