Harriers 4, North Ferriby 0

HARRIERS put four past strugglers North Ferriby to push themselves to the edge of the play-off places.

A brace from captain Ryan Croasdale and goals from Elton Ngwatala and Joe Ironside saw them dominate against the National League North's basement boys to record their first win in three games.

The victory was forged mainly thanks to a ruthless first half showing that brought all of their four goals.

It took Harriers just six minutes to break the deadlock through hitman Ironside.

Ngwatala escaped down the left flank and provided a low cross that the visiting defenders failed to cut out. Ironside took a touch before firing under keeper Ross Durrant for his ninth of the campaign.

The hosts continued to dominate the ball and could have had a second on 13 minutes but first Ironside and then Andre Brown failed to make a meaningful contact to Sam Austin's low cross from the left.

The Reds did have their two-goal lead just two minutes later as Ngwatala's defence-splitting through ball found the well timed run of Croasdale. The skipper took a touch past Durrant and rolled the ball home.

Durrant kept Harriers out on 23 minutes when he palmed away Ironside's left-footed effort after yet more meat build-up play. Ngwatala netted the rebound but was quickly denied by the assistant's flag.

The game continued to follow the same pattern with Harriers keeping the visitors pegged back with a neat, one-touch passing game.

The third followed just past the half hour mark when Ngwatala pounced onto a flicked header on and fired a low, angled drive into the far post despite being pushed wide.

It just kept getting better for the home side and captain Croasdale, who was enjoying the freedom provided by Declan Weeks in behind him to make well-timed runs in behind the Ferriby defence.

He bagged his second and Harriers' fourth on 40 minutes, racing onto a loose ball into the area to fire powerfully home and cap a one-sided first half.

The second period continued with Reds keeping the pressure on as Ferriby sat deep.

James McQuilkin had an effort pushed away for a corner early on before Andre Brown drilled just wide from the left corner of the area in the area on 51 minutes.

Ferriby finally recorded their first effort at goal in the 56th minute when Mason Warren forced Brandon Hall to tip his drive from 25 yards over the crossbar.

The effort began a spell where Harriers lost their intensity as they struggled to move the ball with the same verve, despite the introductions of Mani Sonupe and Yan Klukowski.

Durrant had to make a double save from Austin and then Ironside with 15 minutes left on the clock but had been largely untroubled compared to the first half hammering.

Sub Liam Truslove fizzed a free-kick over the bar four minutes from time and Sonupe hit another wide as Harriers drew a blank in the second period.

However, despite that flat second half spell, the victory could have come at just the right time for John Eustace's men.

The confidence-boosting success, coupled with their first clean sheet since early September, lifts them up to eighth place ahead of this Saturday's break from league action when they go to Boston in the FA Trophy.

Harriers: Hall, Pearson, Austin, Croasdale (c), Horsfall, O'Connor, Weeks, McQuilkin (Klukowski 60), Ironside, Ngwatala (Truslove 78), Brown (Sonupe 55).

Unused subs: Higginson, Stratford.

North Ferriby: Durrant, Barrows, Brogan (c), Skelton, Gray (Gomes 45), Picton, Russell, Johnson (Pugh 74), Muskwe, Cooke (Rzonca 45), Warren.

Unused subs: Ambalu, Loftus.

Att: 1,198 (7).