Bradley 58, 72
- Harriers back to winning ways
- Bradley brace earns the points
- City fire back late to grab a consolation
- Brandon Hall returns for reds
DAN BRADLEY hit his first two goals of the season in fine style to help Harriers to a 2-1 win over York City at Aggborough.
Bradley's second half brace helped the team get back to winning ways - a fine header followed up by a curled finish.
Though City pulled a goal back in injury time, the result was one fully deserved by John Eustace's men as they responded to the challenge of bouncing back from three straight defeats.
It might have been different - City's Jon Parkin nailed a volley over from a corner in the second minute as both sides flew out of the traps in a lively beginning.
Half chances came and went at both ends, the first serious save of the night made by Adam Bartlett as he got down well to push a Declan Weeks drive on to the post on 15 minutes, before a David Ferguson shot brought a good save from Brandon Hall - that coming between attempts by Bradlley as he drove wide of the target.
McQuilkin and Bradley then had attempts before, in space, York's Almond advanced towards the area and stuck narrowly wide. Sonupé, McQuilkin and Weeks all then tried their luck before the interval.
The second half didn't begin with quite the frantic pace of the first but, two shy of the hour the home side had that all-important breakthrough as a tasty delivery from Vaughan found Bradley who nodded the ball back across Bartlett and into the net.
Skipper Newton looked to respond quickly for York with a brace of efforts, but Parkin really ought to have done better on 67 as he dragged a shot wide from a good position.
Five minutes later City were punished for that miss as a blistering counter found Sonupé and Weeks combining to thread in Bradley who curled a peach of a finish beyond the dive of Bartlett.
Newton forced another smart save from Hall with eight minutes remaining - a consolation goal they managed to find in injury time after Kempster's cross deflected up and fell at the feet of Newton who drilled it smartly into the bottom corner.
Harriers, though, held on.
JOEL TAYLOR is confident Harriers can bounce back from a string of defeats as they host York City on Tuesday.
The reds have lost their last three matches in succession – and its perhaps a sign of the standards the group set themselves that this stands as their worst league run since Harriers joined this league a couple of years ago.
It’s clear the message is that team shouldn’t be panicking but, on the flipside, it’s also clear to Taylor just what needs to be done to turn the current run on its head.
He told The Harrier: “We create a lot of chances as everyone can see but we haven’t been as clinical as we should be recently, and that’s not having a go at anybody.
“As a team we need to knuckle down and [start] scoring goals.
“I have no doubt that we will find our feet very soon
“Points are very vital at this stage of the season
“Obviously we want to get automatic promotion and if not, we want to be in the play-offs.”
After the last two games yielded defeats on the road for Harriers at Darlington and Gainsborough Trinity, the action switches back to Aggborough on Tuesday night.
That’s a bonus for the former Stoke City youngster who knows the backing from the home fans will play a big part in what is already a challenging fixture.
I think any football team would prefer to play in front of their own fans... Joel Taylor
“I think any football team would prefer to play in front of their own fans,” he went on to say.
“The fans give us a lot of help when we are playing and they stick by us, so playing at Aggborough is a positive.
“It is going to be a tough game, they are on a similar number of points to us and they are heading in the same direction that we are.
“It is definitely going to be a difficult game but we’re ready for it.
Taylor himself made a return from injury to feature at Gainsborough on Saturday.
The full-back came through the contest with no adverse reaction – a big boost to the player and the team in general after a stop-start run with injuries has seen him start just four matches since the turn of the year.
While he boosted numbers with a return, Jimmy O’Connor remains out with his Achilles injury, while goalkeeper Brandon Hall remains doubtful.
Kick-off at Aggborough Stadium on Tuesday is 7:45pm.
READ: 5 Things you need to know about Harriers v York City
LOOK: At some past photos from meetings with York down the years
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