Harriers bolstered their place in the National League North play-offs by coming from a goal down to win 3-1 at Gloucester City on Tuesday night.

Goals from Ashley Hemmings, Alex Penny and Sam Austin gave the visitors all three points in a storming second half, after Harriers had been behind at the break after a lacklustre first 45.

The commanding nature of the performance in the second period will be something of a warning to their play-off rivals, with the team sweeping City aside in some style.

Manager Russ Penn admitted his team had slipped shy of their own standards early on, explaining after the match: “I am absolutely delighted, first and foremost with the three points because that’s the maximum we could’ve got today, and also our second half performance.

“The first half was nowhere near the standards we’ve set, and when you’re not quite at it in this league, you get hurt.

“We were fortunate enough to be still in the game and I thought we started the second half with such intensity and on the front foot… when we’re in the swing of things, there’s no stopping us right now.”

Harriers were forced into one change going into the clash as Keziah Martin came in for the injured Elliot Bonds.

The men from Aggborough were decidedly sloppy inside the opening half, paying the price for that with ten minutes gone as Gloucester went ahead, Hulbert’s low finish from ten yards coming after finding too much space to pick up a Dawson pass.

Though they took a while to settle, Harriers did fashion openings through Sterling who had a low shot saved after the half-hour, and Martin, who fired wide eight minutes later.

It was Hemmings who had Harriers level with five minutes gone in the second period, a ball he won in midfield before driving it beyond Cole who had no chance as the ball curled into the far corner.

With momentum behind them, the visitors were soon ahead, Penny striking with an accurate follow-up six after the hour after Morgan-Smith’s bullet header cannoned off the upright.

The control of the match was entirely with Harriers from there and while Gloucester battled on, there was no stopping Austin from running almost the length of the pitch before rounding Cole and finding the net for the eighth time this season.

Cole prevented a fifth in the dying stages, adjusting his feet well to keep out a deflected Morgan-Smith shot.

Up next for Harriers is another local trip as they head to Hereford on Saturday in the FA Trophy (3pm).

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Cameron, Bajrami, Martin, Carrington, Morgan-Smith, Austin (White 90+1), Hemmings, Sterling (Lowe 87).

Subs not used: Emery, Lissimore, Clayton-Phillips Attendance: 1,396 Referee: Saavas Yianni