HARRIERS netted a goal in each half to record an important and well-deserved 2-0 win over play-off contenders Stockport County at Aggborough.
Harriers boasted a strong home form while County had one of the best away records in the division, so a good game was always in prospect.
It was the visitors so settled quickest and picked up the earliest of the chances.
Inside 15 minutes they had twice gone close as, first, Courtney Meppen-Walkers drove firmly at Palmer and was met with a strong save, before hit-man Danny Lloyd capped a great move forward with a low shot that struck the upright.
With that fairly fast start, though, the game quietened a little and descended into nothing more than a battle of nerve and mettle – neither side giving an inch.
Harriers never really troubled visiting stopper Ben Hinchcliffe until the final moments of the half and, in those moments, it was the hosts securing a breakthrough.
A long clearance from County was lofted back up field by Tyrone Williams and, with defenders ready to let their goalkeeper deal with the danger, Arthur Gnahoua picked his time to charge between them and poke the ball past them all into the net.
The visitors wouldn’t have taken kindly to the nature of that goal and they came out for the second half highly-charged, within ten minutes Palmer was being put to good use as his instinctive block kept out another Gonzalez attempt.
Five minutes later only a great piece of goalkeeping up at the other end prevented Harriers from doubling their advantage, Tyrell Waite playing in Gnahoua who shot instinctively at goal, Hinchliffe on hand to make the save.
Gonzalez continued to put himself about for Stockport and, eight past the hour, he had a clear chance to level matters having been put through on goal, but his low shot dragged wide of the far post with just Palmer to beat.
The home side needed to do well with their opportunities going forward with the game so finely poised, and it was a cracking goal that made it 2-0 with just over ten minutes left, Gnahoua turning provider at the by-line with a cross that was smartly headed home by Ngwatala.
County had created chances all afternoon and they spurned two more as they looked to reduce the deficit, Jimmy Ball fizzing one chance wide before Palmer again denied Gonzalez.