JIMMY O’CONNOR was keeping a level head despite seeing Harriers dispatch Blyth Spartans 3-0 at Aggborough Stadium.

The victory, earned by goals from Ethan Freemantle, Sam Austin and Ashley Hemmings, sent the Reds top of the very early National League North table.

With maximum points from both their games played, it’s a strong start from the Reds – but not enough to stop O’Connor sounding a note of caution and turning attention straight to the upcoming Bank Holiday double with Southport and Chester next weekend.

He said at full time: “It’s nice, but our focus straight away – and it’s boring – is [next] Saturday. Of course it is.

“It’s Southport away and a double header with a Saturday-Monday. That’s difficult at any level, but even more so here with a tight-knit squad.

“Straight away, we’re doing the right things in there and are recovering right and preparing right.”

For the second weekend running, there was a blow when the team news was announced - not only was Lewis Montrose ruled out through injury, but experienced defender Keith Lowe would join him through illness.

That did at least leave the door open for a debut for newest signing, former Birmingham City man Geraldo Bajrami, who arrived at the club in the days leading up to the game.

Bajrami was a solid performer in what was, in the first half particularly, a real battle against an experienced and physical Spartans outfit.

Harriers did ensure the visiting goalkeeper was the busiest of the two before the break, with Austin and Hemmings forcing a number of saves, and Nathan Cameron even getting in on the act with an early shot.

After a keenly contested first half, it was actually Blyth who came close to an opener not long after the restart, home stopper Luke Simpson getting down well to keep out a deflected Connor Thompson shot that threatened to squirm in at the near post.

Barely a minute later, though, Harriers were ahead and from there they never looked back – Austin supplying Freemantle with a delicious reverse pass to Freemantle who fired it into the roof of the net for his first of the season.

Bajrami and Hemmings then went close as Harriers piled on the pressure, the second goal coming six after the hour as Austin again supplied Freemantle who promptly gave the back, Austin then firing low into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later a rampant second half showing was complete as Hemmings got in on the act, a superb solo effort that saw him advance the ball forward and slide it coolly beyond Mitchell between the sticks.

Bajrami also had the last word as Harriers went close to a fourth on 85 minutes, but his effort rose up and over the bar.

Harriers: Simpson, Richards, Cameron, Austin (White 82), Carrington, Hemmings (Lissimore 90), Sterling, Foulkes, Martin, Bajrami, Freemantle (Bell 75).

Subs not used: Emery, Penny


Referee: David McNamara


Attendance: 1,462