Report: Battling Harriers beaten

Report from Spennymoor as Harriers go down in an absolute battle…

Fraser Horsfall in action at Spennymoor in January 2019. Pic (c) David Nelson

HARRIERS lost 2-1 at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night after putting in a much-improved performance.

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After a dominant first half, Harriers looked set to go into the break a goal down after Andrew Johnson netted, but Aaron Phillips immediately replied with a goal on his first start to level matters.

A goal five after the restart after a defensive collision for Harriers eventually decided the game, but Harriers left Brewery Field able to be far prouder with their performance than the showing offered in these parts just a few days ago.

MATCH CENTRE: For full team news, videos, reports, stats and more.

The visitors had begun the game smartly and looked more creative and threatening in the first half than they had for the entirety of the trip to Darlington.

Weeks, Richard and Ironside all had sights of goal with efforts that went off target, before Hall made the night’s first save up at the other end in turning away Brogan’s rising free-kick.

Harriers then, in truth, had four serious chances to have strode ahead and should have done so – Austin’s great work and sweeping cross finding Chambers who had a shot blocked, before two followed swiftly after, Richards somehow denied at close-range as he tried to turn the ball past Gould between the sticks, Austin curling wide the recycled ball.

Six before the break Richards showed great alertness to find himself one-on-one with Gould but couldn’t finish after taking the ball around him, the goalkeeper reacting to quickly pounce on the ball.

Harriers then conceded after one misplaced pass allowed the host in to finish under Hall, but responded expertly when, inside a minute, Phillips was on hand to power home with his head after a dangerous delivery across the face of goal.

Five after the restart, Harriers found themselves behind again, Phillips and Weeks inadvertently wiping each other out as they collided and Hall was left free to advance on Brandon Hall and finish for 2-1.

Four minutes later Gould showed safe hands to hold a Richards shot before Hall made three great saves in the space of two minutes, Tuton twice and Taylor once, both drawing smart stops from the Aggborough custodian.

Past the hour, Chambers worked well to get two shots off but neither were able to trouble Gould, before Spennymoor began to make use of the counter-attack with Harriers pushed forward, huge shouts for a penalty waved away as Vaughan blocked the ball on the line.

Harriers introduced Butterfield, White and Baxendale as their only attacking options from the bench to try and fashion a late equaliser but, despite their pressure, nothing further was forthcoming.

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