HARRIERS kept up the pace near the top of National League North with a hard-fought 1-0 win at AFC Telford on Saturday.

It was the ideal way to bounce back for the men from Aggborough following the agony of last weekend's FA Cup defeat to West Ham. 

With leading pair Gateshead and Brackley both picking up three points on the road, Harriers followed suit with a narrow success at the New Bucks Head.

It ensured the trio maintained their positions, with Russ Penn’s men made to work hard for their three points, secured with Nathan Cameron’s first half goal.

The defender notched for the fifth time this season with a close-range finish, with Harriers also forcing a string of saves from Russell Griffiths in the second half.

Boss Penn admitted after the match that his side were far from at their fluid best on a blustery afternoon in Shropshire but stressed getting the job done was the important thing.

"We didn't have our free-flowing stuff today and neither did they, to be fair,” he said.

"The wind ruins games and I don't like it, but both teams tried to play.

"At the end of the day everyone was flipping it in the last 20 minutes, and it was a second-balls game.

"That's why you've got the likes of Lewis Montrose and Keith Lowe coming on, with great experience. They can manage and see out those games."

Griffiths had looked to have gift-wrapped Harriers an opener after just six minutes when he cleared the ball straight to Morgan-Smith, only for the ball to roll wide of the post.

He came and got nothing but air for the decisive moment of the day, though, with Harriers going ahead on the 45th minute. Sterling’s free kick floated past the stopper and landed at the feet of Cameron who tapped home.

After the restart the home side were themselves more decisive in attack but pulled wide with their best chances of the day through Mace Goodridge and Carl Baker.

After that, Griffiths kept his team in it. He acrobatically tipped over a deflected Geraldo Bajrami effort having previously saved well to thwart Ashley Hemmings, Lewis Montrose and Alex Penny.

"I think he has won Man of the Match today,” added Penn. “But that's nothing against Telford as I thought they were strong today, and a lot more resolute after losing 3-0 on Tuesday.

"Credit to them, but we stood up to it. Sometimes we'll blow teams away and sometimes we'll do it the hard way, and we've done that today."

Harriers, backed by over 800 fans at Telford, will venture back to Aggborough for three successive National League North matches, starting with the visit of local rivals Hereford on Tuesday night (15th, 7:45pm).

Alfreton Town visit next weekend before Boston United then come to town in ten days’ time.