Out-of-sorts Harriers saw their poor form continue as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Brackley Town.

The goal-shy Reds were shut out once again against the most solid defence in the entire National League North - the Saints bagging their three points thanks to a late Lee Ndlovu goal.

In an uneventful first half in terms of chances, it was the home side who edged the territory and what little opportunities there were.

With 19 minutes gone Simpson held well from a Matt Lowe header, while Gareth Dean saw his shot deflected behind for a corner ten minutes later.

Jimmy Armson turned a shot on to the Harriers post at the half hour mark as the Saints turned up the pressure, before Redmond struck low and wide at the opposite end with the solitary visiting chance of the first period.

Come the hour, Morgan-Smith went close to finding the net as he twisted and turned inside the area before letting fly on the angle, Lewis Montrose then seeing ex-Harrier Danny Lewis hold his shot.

For the second game in succession Harriers were looking set fair for a point and a clean sheet but, off the bench, deadly marksman Ndlovu broke the deadlock on 78 minutes. He did well to meet a cross in the area, spinning a header up and over Simpson and into his far corner.

That freed Harriers from their shackles as they spent the final ten minutes on the front foot trying to respond – Hemmings firing from distance and keeping Lewis alert, before Penny almost sent a corner directly into the net, denied only by a strong block on the line.

Hemmings and Sterling each then struck over the target in the final two minutes, but Brackley saw out the win to condemn Harriers to yet another defeat to a promotion rival.

Reflecting after the game, Harriers assistant boss Jimmy O’Connor said: “We had a right good go at the end and if we’d shown that belief from minute one, we’d be talking about a completely different story today, but that’s where we are.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve come up against two sides in Brackley and Gateshead who have 100% belief in the way they play, and that’s’ what you’ve got to have.

“We’ve got to get our mojo back and do the things we’re good at. We’re just not quite there at the minute and we’re getting punished for those mistakes.”

Harriers now head into a home double-header when Chorley come to Aggborough on Tuesday before the visit of Curzon Ashton next Saturday.