Harriers made it back to back National League North wins with a 2-0 victory at Chorley.

A first-half double from Omari Sterling saw Russ Penn’s men bag the impressive result, their first ever three points at Chorley.

The goals came after Chorley had bossed the opening stages, Harriers then moving into the ascendancy before the break. The hosts then had the far better of the second half but couldn’t manage to find a way through a determined defence. Sterling squandered a chance to bag his hat-trick in the second half by hitting off target, but the win was deserved nonetheless.

Penn had, for the first time this season, made a change to his starting eleven for this trip. With Amari Morgan-Smith out suspended, Ethan Freemantle slotted into the side for what was a tireless performance. Luke Maxwell also returned to take his place among the substitutes.

Chorley’s promising start brought the best out of the visiting back line, with Penny superbly blocking the ball on the goal line after former Harrier Shenton struck goalwards, Reilly then hitting off target.

With Austin, Hemmings and Sterling, Harriers began to show more of a threat going forward, Hemmings in particular going close with a 20-minute shot that goalkeeper Urwin smothered well.

Ultimately the damage was done in five minutes before the break as Sterling continued his fine form with a quick-fire salvo, first showing quick feet in the area on 40 minutes before seeing a shot deflected into the net to put Harriers ahead – quickly followed by his second, the selfless Freemantle pulling back a cross that the former Mansfield man planted home at the second attempt.

Swiftly after the break, the destiny of the points seemed almost assured as Harriers survived a trio of clear-cut Chorley chances. Newby’s well-taken volley was a whisper wide of Simpson’s top corner, before towering forward Cardwell saw his header clip the post. Three shy of the hour, only great goalkeeping prevented a Magpies goal, Walker thwarted just a few yards out as Simpson extended his frame in the goal.

Shenton again saw a goal-bound effort kept out by Penny before Harriers ought to have made it three – Sterling’s pace getting him to the ball before Urwin, only for the livewire to lift it over him and also the target. It mattered not, though, as the men from Aggborough held on.

Assistant boss Jimmy O’Connor, whose side meet Blyth Spartans at Aggborough this coming Saturday (3pm) said at full time: “We came here absolutely intent on getting something positive from the game, and I thought we did that.

“We knew it was going to be a really tough test and we’re delighted to come away with the three points.”

Harriers: Simpson, Richards, Austin, Penny, Lowe, Taylor, Montrose, Sterling (Maxwell 84), Freemantle (Arthur 77), Prosser, Hemmings (Moyo 62) Subs not used: Palmer, White.


Referee: Jonny Urwin