Report: Late goal beats Harriers

Defeat on the road for Harriers…

Joe Ironside

A 90TH-minute Darlington goal robbed Harriers of a point in the north-east courtesy of a 2-1 defeat.

The hosts took the lead after ten minutes through Heaton’s close-range finish, but Harriers created plenty and, in the second half, were deservedly level through Joe Ironside’s 18th of the term.

There would be no share of the spoils, though, as the Quakers snatched all three points at the death as Thompson drove the ball on the angle and into the far corner.

A busy start to the game set the tone for what was a fairly frantic tie and it was Harriers who had the best early chance as Bradley cut the ball across goal from a tight angle for McQuilkin who stabbed wide.

Up at the other and within a couple of minutes, Darlington were ahead as Heaton was alive to a dropping ball into the area and goalkeeper Flatt off his line after he’d come to punch clear – while the initial effort was blocked, his follow-up found the net.

The response to the goal was good – Harriers kept home goalkeeper Aynsley Pears in working order, Weeks seeing his well-taken free-kick fumbled before the stopper recovered to keep out a follow-up from Waring.

Lee Vaughan picked up Bradley’s pass with eleven left in the first half but his curled attempt was turned away well by Pears.

After the break, the hosts threatened through Syers and Pearson’s goal-line clearance certainly prevented a second as Wheatley’s shot came in, Ngwatala taking aim with a wayward shot at the other end.

A key seven minutes at either end saw Harriers pull level after the hosts had struck the upright through Reece Styche. His curling effort clipped the outside of the post before Ironside’s header did so soon after, the reds’ top scorer there to tidy away the follow-up.

Chances kept coming for both sides and Styche might have netted when Syers squared the ball to him, only for the forward to lose his footing at the vital moment – Andre Brown blazing wide at the opposite end as Harriers pushed forward.

The two teams traded late blows but it was the hosts who nailed the sucker punch, winning the ball high up field and playing in Thompson who took a touch before confidently dispatching an angled finish beyond Flatt.

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