Knights 40; Reid 53
- Knights goal opened scoring
- Late Ironside goal not enough
- Joe and McQuilkin back from injury
A LATE Joe Ironside goal wasn't enough to secure Harriers a share of the spoils as they went down 2-1 at Tamworth.
An even first half ended with Tamworth in front thanks to a fine strike from former Harrier Darryl Knights, after Williams had seen a header blocked on the line.
Tamworth's lead was doubled ten minutes after the break as Reid finished with style inside the area.
Joe Ironside made his return from injury as a substitute and reduced the arrears with ten minutes to go with a close-range finish.
It was very much an end-to-end first half with Knights' fine strike the only real difference.
Harriers had gone close through McQuilkin's blocked attempt and Brown's shot high over the bar from inside the area; while Brandon Hall had been kept busy in keeping out a Callum Powell drive with an excellent parry.
Williams' header from a corner, blocked on the line, was probably the visitors' best chance but it would be Knights who opened the scoring as he strode onto Powell's ball before dispatching it into the top corner.
Reid went on to get the Lambs' second on 55 minutes; a deflected ball kicking up off Sam Austin in the area and falling to the front man who held it well before putting it beyond Hall and into the bottom corner.
To their credit Tamworth then controlled the game well and pegged Harries back, going close to increasing the lead further through the influential Powell, but he could only slice wide when well placed.
Harriers grabbed one back on 80 minutes when the advancing Ngwatala saw a distance effort parried - straight to Ironside who took a touch before finding the net.
There was one huge chance to draw level after a fine low cross from Wright found the boot of Brown but goalkeeper Rowley was there to meet it with the perfect save at the perfect time.
HARRIERS are looking to back up their win at Southport on Saturday when they travel to in-form Tamworth on Tuesday night.
Amid a backdrop a little chaos with enforced team changes, a late arrival and more, the reds responded in style as a much-changed outfit saw off the Sandgrounders.
Now the acid test for a young Harriers group – younger even than normal at the weekend – is to try and follow that act.
It won’t be easy against Andy Morrell’s Lambs.
They’re four unbeaten, a run that includes fine wins against Stockport County and, on Saturday, against Spennymoor.
That 3-1 success puts them in amongst the early shake-up with five wins from ten.
Matt Gardiner looked ahead to what’s as close to you get as a local derby for Harriers this season.
He knows there’s a tasty game in prospect – you only need to look back to last season’s trip to The Lamb that saw Harriers emerge victorious from a seven-goal thriller.
“It’s a local derby and there has been a good rivalry between the two teams in the last few seasons,” he said.
“You look at the squads and there are good players on both teams and I am sure it will be a great game.
“Looking at their results so far this season it is going to be a tough place to go.
“Andy has done a good job there as he always does but we’ll go there as prepared as we can.
“The more voices we can get behind the team would help so, as always, we thank our fans for getting behind the team and following us wherever we go.”
Saturday’s showing at Southport was impressive in many respects – one of them being that it came without four key personnel for Harriers.
Joe Ironside, Dan Bradley and James McQuilkin were all ruled out through injury while Ryan Croasdale was absent for personal reasons.
Harriers are giving each of the players as long as possible before making a decision on availability for Tuesday night.
In any case, the likes of Andre Brown and Will Longbottom will have done their chances of a more permanent place in the starting eleven no harm at all with goals at the weekend.
Liam Truslove and Lee Vaughan remain longer-term absentees for Harriers but we hope to have a more detailed update on their recoveries soon.
Kick-off at Tamworth on Tuesday night is 7:45pm.
Tickets not currently available.
James McQuilkin post-match
John Eustace post-match
Extended Match Highlights