Report by Matt Wall - stats provided and generated for harriers.co.uk by the Press Association.
It was a day of immense frustration for Harriers at Barrow on Saturday as a goal in each half from Louis Almond was enough to give the home side a 2-1 Blue Square Bet Premier win.
Both teams did their best to ignore some tremendously blustery conditions from the off here by keeping the ball down and passing it neatly - within five minutes it was the visitors who'd worked out an excellent double opportunity as Chris McPhee was a composed figure in the penalty area, nodding a cross back across the face to skipper Keith Briggs who struck an effort off the post with Clark Masters between the sticks well beaten. The ball came back to Briggs who tried once more, only for a covering defender to come to the rescue with a clearance.
There was a blow in personnel for boss Steve Burr after just ten minutes as defender Tom Sharpe was forced off through injury; Michael Briscoe his replacement.
Harriers were the brighter starters at Holker Street but with 17 minutes on the clock it was the hosts who stole ahead, with virtually their first opportunity of the afternoon. Paul Edwards muscled the ball up field and released Louis Almond who, after breaking past Tom Shaw, cut inside the area and lashed an excellent effort that flew past Daniel Lewis and into the back of the net.
Just before the half-hour mark there was a fine chance each for both sides; first, Lee Morris was played in superbly on goal by Matty Blair before seeing his angle narrowed and shot saved by Masters, McPhee then seeing the follow-up blocked. Less than a minute later, Almond again worked his way into the penalty area before driving at Lewis, this time low down, forcing a neat stop.
The first period ended relatively quietly as Tom Shaw fired one over for Harriers from a free-kick, Marc Goodfellow doing something similar for Barrow at the other end. There was one moment of controversy in injury time as Briggs was left fuming, the referee failing to award a penalty after the midfielder had been bundled over in the box.
Harriers looked to even up the score quickly in the second period and within five minutes they had a chance to do so as McPhee got his head on to the ball inside the area and at very close range, only a safe pair of hands from Masters stopping it from going over the line.
Less than five minutes later, though, came the hammer blow as Barrow struck a second. Burr will have been raging on the touchline as his defence just backed off and watched - Almond started from inside his own half and charged more than half the length of the pitch, holding off the attentions of the back-tracking McPhee on his way to the penalty area; he stopped around 25 yards out before crashing another one in past Lewis that was as unstoppable as the first.
2-0 it was, but Harriers should have instantly clawed back half the deficit as they immediately went back up the other end and spurned chances; Briggs' shot was saved before full-back Mike Williams curled one over the bar from close range.
The two-goal lead enabled Barrow to pack bodies behind the ball and frustrate Harriers which worked with tremendous effect; on a rare counter attack, the home side should have in fact made it 3-0 with 18 minutes to go as former Aggborough loanee Marc Goodfellow chipped Daniel Lewis, one on one, and saw his effort shave the bar on its way wide.
Harriers never allowed their frustration to stop them pressing and looking to work out chances and, finally, after 79 minutes they were rewarded for their patience with a goal - Barrow failed to clear their lines from a corner kick and the man on the spot was substitute Nick Wright who crashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net from close range.
The men in red forced nerves from around Holker Street as they tried to force what would be an unbelievable equaliser but time, in the end, ran out.