Taylor 49; Chambers 77; Richards 90+5
Chadwick 3, Regan 6; Evanellinos 73
- Two goals in six minutes give visitors lead
- Taylor strike reduced deficit before Ashton net again
- Chambers and Richards strike late on to seal point
- Bradley sent off for Harriers
HARRIERS made it three straight draws at the start of the season after coming from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with Ashton United after having Dan Bradley sent off.
The reds were distinctly second best in the first 45 minutes and the visitors deservedly led 2-0 thanks to a brace of goals in the first six minutes.
Joel Taylor pulled one back on his first appearance of the season as the hosts vastly improved after the break, before Ashton again struck to make it 3-1.
But a first Ashley Chambers goal for Harriers and, in the 95th minute, a second of the season for Kane Richards ensured the home side - who'd had Bradley dismissed at 2-1 got a share of the spoils.
It was United, fresh from a 4-3 win in midweek, who stole ahead in sensational style; Chadwick slipping the ball beyond Hal from close range with three minutes on the clock before Regan cut inside before curling an impeccable finish up and over the stopper and into his top corner.
Before the half-hour, Chamber struck off target but in truth it wasn't until O'Connor had an effort hooked off the line that Harriers really went close in the first period - in the interim, Evangelinos and Tomsett going close to making it 3-0.
Harriers threw on Taylor and Ed Williams after the break and, amid a change of system, immediately looked brighter and more threatening. 30 seconds into the half, Bradley forced the goalkeeper into a splendid fingertip save, before full-back Taylor angled a splendid, low finish into the far corner to make it 2-1.
Weeks and Bradley went close before, on the hour, Bradley was shown a straight red for his reaction to a late challenge, McAtee and Tomsett then forcing Hall into fine saves as they looked to double the damage.
With 17 left to play Ashton looked to have wrapped up the win when Evangelinos nipped between Hall and Taylor to finish low -but Harriers again responded well through Chambers as he tucked away Vaughan's cross just four minutes later.
Inside the last ten minutes Ironside and Weeks went close to a leveller - the latter seeing his rising free-kick parried away - but Harriers would be rewarded for their persistence with the equaliser in the fifth of six minutes added on, Ironside nodding down to Richards who, instinctively, stuck out his head to turn the ball inside the post.
HARRIERS meet Ashton United in National League North on Saturday and defender Ryan Johnson is on the hunt for more clean sheets.
The player on loan from Stevenage has enjoyed a busy start to the campaign with Harriers thanks to a beginning of a real contrast.
Last Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Alfreton Town was followed by the slightly stingier goalless draw at home to AFC Telford.
Johnson admits the clean sheet was a big positive from the latter of those two meetings and insists he wants it to be the first of many.
Speaking to our YouTube channel he reflected: “The first game was a bit of an entertaining one, but in the end, we showed great resilience to get an important point.
“On Tuesday, it was another important point so hopefully we can get three on Saturday.
“After the first game the gaffer said that we need to eradicate those mistakes if we want to progress in the season, and I think we did that on Tuesday as I don’t think there were many chances for them.
"They stay with us and it’s a great incentive for us to carry on and keep going." Ryan Johnson
“It was great to get that first clean sheet and hopefully we can get many more.”
Harriers will play their first Saturday home game of the new season against newly-promoted Ashton, and Johnson knows that the Aggborough faithful will play a big part.
The vast majority of the 1,700 crowd in midweek did their bit in getting behind the side, with the centre back adding: “We wanted to start really quickly and try and maintain a high tempo and the fans allowed us to do that because they were behind us from minute one to minute 90.
“It’s massive – especially when the game turns and it isn’t in our favour.
“They stay with us and it’s a great incentive for us to carry on and keep going.”
With Ashley Chambers overcoming a knock to feature against AFC Telford, Harriers have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Ed Wagner (quad) is available again for selection after a recent knock of his own.
WATCH: Ryan Johnson’s full pre-match video preview courtesy of our YouTube channel by clicking the Video tab above
BUY: Match tickets using the ticket element in the top right. Don’t worry, you can still pay cash admission on the day of the game once online sales end.
Don't worry - you can still pay cash on the turnstiles on the day of the game once online sales end.
Kane Richards post-match
Ryan Johnson pre-match