HARRIERS got back to winning ways in the league in style by thrashing Bradford Park Avenue 5-1 at Aggborough Stadium.

The Reds had been without a league win since August and had lost their last three on the bounce. That run was ended emphatically, however, with a brace of screamers from Omari Sterling being the pick of the bunch.

Ethan Freemantle, Ashley Hemmings and Nathan Cameron were all also on target in front of a 1,500 strong crowd that included a contingent of NHS staff after the club handed out free tickets to them in the build up.

Russ Penn made something of a surprising change to his starting line-up for the tie, Amari Morgan-Smith dropping down to the bench despite notching the winning goal in the FA Cup tie at Bedfont a week prior. Sterling came in for him, while new man Elliot Bonds also among the substitutes following his arrival at Aggborough from Cheltenham Town.

The game was slow to start, and Harriers had their noses in front with the first real chance of the afternoon – ten minutes on the clock when Omari Sterling drove firmly at goal from distance, goalkeeper Jonny Saltmer parrying the ball straight into the path of Freematle who turned it home.

Bar a half chance for Bradford’s Rawson up at the other end, the goal was all the notable action until the next one arrived just after the half-hour. A dangerous cross from Richards was only cleared as far as Hemmings who moved it quickly to shift his feet and fire a finish into the top corner.

The visitors, deadly from set-pieces, broke back just five minutes later making it 2-1 – Mottley-Henry left relatively free to fire the ball beyond Luke Simpson after Harriers failed to clear their lines at a corner.

The second half wasn’t much brighter to start than the second, with Austin and Hemmings warming the gloves of Saltmer close to the hour. The Avenue custodian got nowhere near Hemmings subsequent attempt soon after, but a driven effort from 25 yards dropped over the target.

From there, it turned into the Sterling show as his brace within five minutes put the tie beyond doubt in the most astonishing style. With 65 on the clock, he planted one in the bottom corner from just outside the area and followed that up soon after with a Goal of the Season contender. With barely any run-up, he stuck his foot through a free-kick from 35 yards that sailed past Saltmer to the delight of the Aggborough faithful.

Cameron’s towering header from a corner put the gloss on the score line and made it five with just two minutes of normal time left, though the experienced defender almost blotted his copybook by squaring up to Mottley-Henry in injury time, both parties booked by the referee.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Cameron, Austin, Carrington (Bonds 73), Hemmings, Sterling (White 85), Martin, Bajrami, Freemantle (Morgan-Smith 63).

Subs not used: Emery, Bell.

Attendance: 1,515

Referee: Dean Watson