Harriers 1, Southport 1

IF Harriers are to achieve their goal of reaching the Football League they need to find more of the other kind to make it happen.

Jack Byrne’s fine strike may have rescued a point on Saturday, but there was a sense this was two points dropped.

Goals have become a problem for Kidderminster and their profligacy is hampering their Skrill Premier play-off push.

Since Gary Whild has taken control, Harriers have stemmed the tide at the back but they have drawn a blank at the other end.

In their first 20 games of their league campaign, Kiddy had tucked away 37 goals.

But in the last 18 matches, they have only hit the back of the 19 times.

It’s a quandary for the new boss, who has re-instated Harriers’ attacking ethos but is still waiting for his talented compliment of hitmen to fire.

Michael Gash (13) has taken the mantle of leading Harriers’ goal-scoring efforts since the departure of Joe Lolley, while Amari Morgan-Smith (10) and Anthony Malbon (7) have both contributed.

A lengthy injury to the creative Adrian Cieslewicz and Marvin Johnson’s request to go on loan has also not helped Harriers’ cause.

Malbon had a chance in the first minute against Southport but his effort was straight at ‘keeper Danny Hurst.

Josh Gowling saw an effort from a corner blocked, while Jamie Grimes headed a good chance wide.

Southport opened the scoring in the 27th minute, when Danny Hattersley poked the ball home after Jason Walker all too easily evaded several ineffective challenges.

While Harriers were trying to get to grips with Southport’s midfield, Gowling did the same with Toto Nsiala’s neck during a melee. Both men were shown yellow cards.

In the second half, Byrne looked the likeliest to score and, after adjusting his range with two well-struck efforts, the midfielder bagged his fourth goal of the season in the 77th minute when he smashed a first-time effort into the bottom right corner.

Gash thought he had bagged the winner from a pin-point Mickey Demetriou delivery from a corner, only to head his effort against the far post.

The visitors almost had the last laugh in the fourth minute of time added on but, much to the relief of the hosts, David Fitzpatrick’s long-range rocket crashed off the post and ricocheted away to safety.

“I was frustrated rather than disappointed,” commented Kidderminster’s manager.

“I think overall, especially in the second half, we did enough to score two or three goals. We went behind to a sloppy goal and then showed a bit of character because we haven’t been in that situation since I came back in.”

HARRIERS: Lewis 6, L Vaughan 6, DEMETRIOU 7, Byrne 7, Gash 6 (Blissett, 82), Malbon 6, Grimes 6, Jackman 6 (Wright, 62), Gittings 6, Morgan-Smith 6, Gowling 6. Subs not used: N Vaughan, O’Keefe, Bell.

SOUTHPORT: Hurst, Brown, Nsiala, Walker (Mukendi, 89), Ledsham, Hattersley, George, Fitzpatrick, Osawe (Brodie,91), O’Sullivan, Daly. Subs not used: Challoner, Rutherford, Joyce.

Referee: Craig Hicks (Surrey). Attendance: 1,818 (71)