Report as Harriers pick up three big National League North points…
By Matty Paddock - 26/02/2019
Posted 8 months ago
BILLY DANIELS struck his first Harriers goal at a perfect time to help the team to a big 1-0 win at Ashton United.
Daniels’ maiden goal for the club was the only difference between the two teams as they played out a battle for three vital points.
It came just past the hour, a sweet strike from 20 yards that flew into the net. While it was either side Ashton hitting the woodwork in the first half and having strong penalty shouts in the second, Harriers dug in and picked up a valuable away victory.
Up against an Ashton side that had won at Chorley just a few days ago, it was a stern test for Harriers, and one that began with chances at either end from the off; Ironside nodding wide at one end after Hall hand held a Goulding effort, the Harriers stopper then staying behind a Jennings shot after Harriers had again seen Ironside go close.
That was pretty much the theme for the first half, though only the woodwork stopped Ashton from taking a 23rd-minute lead as Dimaio unleashed a drive that thumped the upright and bounced free.
Harriers responded well through a Williams shot that goalkeeper McMahon saved, Chambers then going close as his industry in chasing down the stopper was almost rewarded, an attempted lob just about being dealt with.
It would be the home side who ended the first and began the second half on top. After Hall needed to be at his best to thwart Jennings with an excellent save before the restart, his fingertips were enough to deny Dimaio nine after the resumption.
Harriers took the lead on 63 minutes and it was done in style. Edging further forward, Daniels advanced in space and fancied the drive – driving firmly at an effort from 20 yards that McMahon could do little about. It might have been a second a minute later, but Johnson couldn’t quite connect with a header.
Harriers were flowing a little better with the confidence from the goal and, six after it, they almost made it 2-0 when Daniels played in Chambers who hit a near-perfect volley that dropped over, but not by much.
Fighting for their lives in the bottom three, Ashton were always going to have a spell near the end of the game, and so it came. The test, particularly after Saturday, would be how Harriers dealt with it. The answer was decisive as, for all their pressure, the visitors kept Ashton at bay with only a late penalty appeal threatening to derail the night.
A big clean sheet accompanied three big points after three minutes of added time.
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