HARRIERS’ dramatic season continued as they drew 1-1 at Blyth Spartans in a match that saw goalkeeper Luke Simpson sent off.

The visitors had taken an early lead through Amari Morgan-Smith’s first half goal but were pegged back by the National League North strugglers before half time.

Harriers looked to be in the ascendancy going into the final minutes but were dealt a blow when Simpson was dismissed for handling outside the area with around ten to play.

The Reds saw out the rest of the game with Mark Carrington in goal, with assistant boss Jimmy O’Connor taking a philosophical approach to the incident and the suspension that will follow for Simpson.

He explained: "I haven't seen it yet... but we've put ourselves in the position where [the referee] can give the decision.

"It's happened, and now we'll have to get on with it... Simmo hasn't missed a game, I believe, while he has been at the club.

"He has played every minute of every fixture which is a massive credit to him.

"Luckily it has happened now rather with three games to go rather than being the last game of the season."

Morgan-Smith had got the side of to an ideal start – Geraldo Bajrami’s goal-bound header from a corner had been saved by the goalkeeper, but the striker was on hand to knock the ball over the line.

That summed up a strong first quarter-hour for Harriers who were very much on top before Blyth got back into the game with some excellent deliveries into the area – one such corner finding the head of Toby Lees who planted a finish beyond Luke Simpson.

Blyth ended the half on top, but Harriers were again stronger after the restart, dominating much of the ball and seeing Penny and Austin chance their arm in front of goal.

On 68 minutes there was what ended up being the best chance either side had of a winner. Hemmings crossed well into the area where Freemantle was lurking, the young striker getting good contact on his header but directing it over the bar.

Harriers did continue to look the likeliest of the two sides to find another breakthrough, but the momentum swung heavily in Blyth’s favour with eight minutes left. Coming to the edge of his area to claim a ball forward, Simpson was adjudged to have handled outside, referee John Mulligan flashing red as a result.

After a considerable delay while the men from Aggborough decided on their reshuffle, Carrington was put between the sticks to play out the remainder of the tie.

He had little to do but wisely took his time doing it, Michael Liddle firing wide with Blyth’s only real late opening on 85 minutes.

Harriers, still struggling for form going into the play-offs, entertain another of the division’s strugglers in Guiseley at Aggborough on Saturday, 30th (3pm).