Harriers finally picked up their first point of the new season at Barrow on Saturday as they drew 1-1 in another battle of the division’s slow starters.
After a little more than a minute in Cumbria Harriers were almost behind after conceding a free-kick on the edge of the area; Barrow’s Danny Rowe lifted it up well up and over the wall and almost beat goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan but a fine save saw the ball tipped over the bar.
With barely five minutes on the clock the home goalkeeper returned the favour and made a super stop of his own, getting down low at his far post to turn the ball away from a superb effort from Callum Gittings as he curled one from 20 yards.
It was a strong start from the men in yellow and with eight minutes gone they had the lead; Gittings again involved as he fed Danny Pilkington beautifully in on goal, the winger taking a touch before driving the ball past Hurst and into the back of the net.
That was Harriers’ first away goal of the season and a tally that was almost doubled within moments as Kyle Storer drilled one at goal and forced a late parry from Hurst who did well to keep it out.
Paul Rutherford and Adam Boyes combined with a touch over 20 minutes gone and forced a save from Nathan Vuaghan while up at the other end Hurst was again tested, this time as Anthony Malbon tried his luck with a shot from inside the area.
Two after the half-hour mark Nathan Vaughan was again at his best to deny Richie Baker as he tried his luck with a great effort, central to goal, from more than 20 yards; goalkeeper’s namesake Lee blocking one off the line from Rutherford just after.
The chances just kept on coming in this game and it was Harriers again with just over ten minutes before the break as Malbon raced on to a ball going towards goal and let fly with a shot that would’ve tipped underneath Hurst’s bar without the intervention of yet another top save.
With the second half a little over ten minutes old only a superb tackle from Chey Dunkley prevented Baker from firing Barrow back on level terms from close range; the first change of the day coming close to the hour mark as Pilkington was withdrawn through injury and replaced by Marvin Johnson.
On 68 minutes a strong breakaway took Harriers close to a second, good play by Nathan Blissett seeing him win possession and charge at the Barrow back-line before passing to Johnson who could only hit a shot across the face of Hurt’s goal and wide.
With a little over a quarter-hour to go, Harriers had given a debut from the bench to Manny Panther as a replacement for Gittings and, just after, almost conceded as Boyes caught out the defence and got between them and Vaughan before playing in Rutherford who could only slot straight into the goalkeeper’s arms at the bottom corner.
On 77, though, Barrow’s leveller did come and it was more than a little fortuitous as Baker lined one up at the angle and curled it towards goal, the ball catching at least one deflection on its way finally past Vaughan and into the visitors’ net.
Vaughan saved again from Baker as Barrow made a late counter-attack as both sides were forced to make do with a share of the spoils.