Josh Gowling was in amongst the goals as Harriers comfortably beat Alfreton 2-1 at Aggborough on Saturday to move up to second in the table.
It was as ideal a start as you could get from a Harriers perspective as, within a minute they had the ball in the back of the net to pounce on the perfect start – it was Anthony Malbon
troubling the two town central defenders, the ball spilling to Amari Morgan-Smith who battled on to it before taking a touch and slotting it past goalkeeper Phil Barnes.
There was a good response to that set-back however as, around the quarter-hour mark, Alfreton had two good opportunities to level but Danny Lewis
did well to parry away Paul Clayton’s effort before Connnor Franklin lifted a speculative effort over the bar.
With 20 minutes on the clock winger Marvin Johnson
almost arrowed in a second but his volley crashed wide of the foot of Barnes’ upright, but the equaliser that Alfreton battled for duly arrived on 29 minutes as Ben Tomlinson nodded the ball past Danny Lewis
from close range, latching on to the end of Dan Bradley’s cross.
There was just ten minutes left of the half when Alfreton suffered a blow with an injury to goalkeeper Barnes – he soldiered on but clearly not at 100%; he stood and watched as a set-play delivery was whipped under his nose that was duly put past him by the mopped top of Josh Gowling
Before the break things would get better as Harriers turned the screw and went 3-1 ahead; Barnes again a passenger as Johnson’s delightful, deep cross being thumped in at the far post on the volley by red-hot hit-man Malbon – Barnes then replaced by outfield man Leigh Franks at the break.
The start to the second half was far brighter from an Alfreton perspective as they looked to press and reduce the deficit though the closest they got to that prior to the hour mark was an effort over by Nathan Arnold an one curled wide by ex-Kiddy man Bradley.
Josh Law drove a rising effort high over the bar with 70 gone to keep a fairly quiet second half ticking over, a needless brawl then following around five minutes later – Theo Streete given a straight red card for violent conduct as he clashed with Josh Gowling
Soon after it was almost four as Malbon teed up Danny Jackman who drove at stand-in keeper Franks; he did well to parry the danger away, doing even better on 78 as James Vincent
struck on the angle, the midfielder seeing his attempt kept out by the feet.