McQuilkin 62, Brown 79
Foley 7, Tait 90+ (pen)
- Harriers held late as Moors net pen
- Visitors netted early, Reds responded
- McQuilkin and Brown on target
- O'Connor shown red late on
A DRAMATIC late penalty saw Harriers held to a 2-2 draw at Aggborough by Spennymoor Town.
David Foley had put the visitors ahead early, but second half strikes from James McQuilkin and Andre Brown but Harriers in firm control.
That looked to be that, but in seven minutes of added time, James O'Connor was sent off in the award of a penalty that Joseph Tait dispatched.
By Harriers' own high standards, were slow to start and were rocked by the opening goal - A Horsfall clearance deflected into the path of Foley who, aided a little by the wind, hooked it from 40 yards over his grasp and into the net.
The reds were not without their first half chances but, having seen Sonupe denied, they were indebted to a goal line clearance from Wright after a header looked to be heading in.
The second half was very much a different story. Horsfall, Sonupe and Taylor all went close before the Harriers full-back supplied great ammo for McQuilkin who swept home a fine finish two past the hour to level matters.
It was then an assault on the Moors goal; Ironside rattled the bar with a shot and Sonupe yet again was thwarted by a block on 68 minutes, Bradley also warming the goalkeeper's hands.
Brown's goal, a header just seconds after he'd stepped off the bench, put Harriers in front as the home side upped the pressure and tried to see out the game.
There would be late, late drama; O'Connor adjudged to have fouled his man in the area as he was shown a second yellow card and sent off - the subsequent penalty awarded and slotted away by the visiting skipper.
BRANDON HALL has stressed that league progress is the team’s only priority head of Saturday’s visit to Aggborough of Spennymoor Town.
Harriers have improved in form over recent weeks.
A gradual climb up the league table has been supplemented by a good FA Cup run that has set up a First Round meeting with AFC Fylde next month.
But while that’s created some excitement over the last few days, it has very much been business as normal for the camp at Aggborough.
Goalkeeper Hall previewed the game against newly-promoted Spennymoor on our official YouTube channel and was clear on what’s in focus for the squad right now.
“Our position in the league is not where we want to be at the moment,” he explained.
“So that’s a huge priority; that we want to push on and do well in the league.
“We’ve looked at Spennymoor today… and where we can go and make it difficult for them.
“It will be a tough game but it will be a good game and it’s one we’ll be looking to win.”
Hall’s assessment is a more than accurate one – Spennymoor have achieved some fantastic results so far this term.
That has propelled them into the National League North’s early play-off positions.
They will be keen to bounce back from defeat last time out, too.
“It is clicking and coming together and there is a great team spirit amongst everyone." Brandon Hall
A 4-2 defeat to Curzon Ashton – having been in command of the game – represented a rare blip where that kind of thing is concerned, though they had been reduced to ten men.
Hall did rightly point to Harriers own improvements, though.
He feels the home changing room is starting to gather momentum as it builds familiarity.
“We have been getting a lot better,” he added.
“I think it’s just about getting people into positions that we’re comfortable playing in.
“Everyone [knows] their jobs and it’s about getting things right.
“It is clicking and coming together and there is a great team spirit amongst everyone.
“Everyone is really getting on and knowing each other’s games – that has helped tremendously.”
Harriers will sweat on the fitness of defender James Pearson going in to the game.
The former Coventry City man was substituted in the second half of the win over Chester last weekend.
Boss John Eustace admitted he re-tweaked his hamstring during the game, but did enthuse about the performance of Tyrone Williams who went on in his place.
Harriers, other than the longer-standing Liam Truslove and Lee Vaughan who have several weeks to go to be fit for action, are otherwise in good shape.
Kick-off at Aggborough on Saturday is at 3:00pm.
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Brandon Hall pre-match
Dan Bradley post-match
John Eustace post-match
Extended Match Highlights