Aldershot 0, Harriers 0

GARY Whild hailed hardy Harriers after they earned a battling point at bogey side Aldershot on Tuesday night.

The Reds battled and scrapped to take something from a ground where they had lost all three previous trips to Hampshire.

The draw was enough to lift the Aggborough outfit back into the final play-off spots in the Skrill Premier.

While the race for a top five finish is incredibly tight, both Forest Green Rovers and Grimsby are just a point behind the Reds with games in hand, there's no doubt Harriers will be in the mix.

A lot of that is down to their new found defensive resilience.

Since Whild took over as manager, Kidderminster have conceded just one goal in four games, an impressive response considering there were beaten 5-1 by Cambridge three weeks ago.

"It's a tough place to come and I have said before that if you can come away from home in this league, wherever it is and keep a clean sheet and get yourself a result, that's good," said Whild.

"We're pleased with that and if the lads have got themselves back into the play-offs then they deserve that for the effort they have put in over the last few games.

"They are working hard and you can't give them enough praise at the minute.

"They could have turned up and easily leaked a goal and us come away empty handed but they've dug in and kept a clean sheet again – credit to them."

Whild was forced into two changes to his starting line-up – one enforced and one tactical.

Striker Nathan Blissett, fresh from a loan spell at Hednesford Town, was drafted in up front to replace Michael Gash who pulled out through illness.

Josh O’Keefe dropped to the bench as Jack Byrne moved into the starting 11 after an impressive substitute outing against Barnet in the previous fixture.

It was the visiting side who had to be alert in the opening moments. Danny Lewis came to punch a cross as it came into the box but his clearance only found the feet of striker Brett Williams who, with the goal at his mercy, could only blaze a volley over the target.

With a dozen minutes on the clock, Amari Morgan-Smith planted a header over Glenn Morris’s goal off a Lee Vaughan cross, before Josh Gowling then did the same from Callum Gittings’ dead ball, his effort from just six yards out.

Moments of real quality were few and far between inside the first 30 minutes but Harriers crafted a well-worked chance as Anthony Malbon picked up a ball inside the area, before trying his luck with a rising shot that beat Morris but also the frame of his goal.

The hosts arguably finished the half the strongest and Adam Mekki drilled a shot straight at Lewis which the Harriers number held comfortably enough.

The Shots started the second half strongly, with the lively Mekki driving past the upright on the angle soon after the restart, Danny Jackman again soon after doing his defensive duties well as he cleared a dangerous Craig Stanley free-kick.

Harriers' manager made his first change by bringing on Nick Wright.

The Lincoln loanee who almost broke the deadlock on the hour mark, when he blazed a teasing ball across the face of goal that was begging for a far post touch to turn it home.

Morgan-Smith had an overhead kick comfortably saved but the game ended goalless, as Harriers' winless away run in the league stretched to 11 games.