HARRIERS were brought crashing back to earth in the wake of the win at York with a sobering defeat at Chester.

The home side bossed the majority of the tie and ended up 3-1 winners on the night with an Ed Williams penalty little more than a consolation.

Once again Harriers had the luxury of naming an unchanged sixteen for the clash which was re-arranged form the opening weeks of the campaign after extensive storm damage to the ground in Chester rendered the facility unusable.

The night did find the home side in good form and in a lively mood, a stark contrast to where they'd been ahead of the postponed game which had come immediately after their 8-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans. The progress they'd made since then was evident as they bossed the early stages.

Their start got what it deserved – the opening goal. They were in the faces of Harriers from the off and, with two minutes, Grand had already flashed an effort wide of the target as a warning of more to come. Four later, in a desperate attempt to get back at the ball, the visitors conceded a penalty which Anthony Dudley stepped up to calmly power past Brandon Hall.

Harriers were were reduced to chances from distance as Daniels and Weeks tried their luck without much joy, before a mistake by Digie allowed Dudley to rob him of the ball. He shot wide of the far post when he ought to have passed, giving Harriers something of a let off.

It was a reprieve MacFarlane’s men made use of in so much as their showing was improved – Weeks again winning the ball and driving dangerously up the pitch with 38 on the clock he played in Chambers who held off his man enough to get a shot off, only to see it blocked by the hosts.

Two minutes later, Vaughan’s cross almost dipped beyond goalkeeper Shenton and went perilously close to the top corner before landing on the roof of the net.

Harriers hopes of getting back into it early in the second half were dealt a hammer blow just seven minutes after the restart when they conceded another; Mooney’s corner causing all sorts of panic as Hall was forced to palm it off the post, Hughes eventually reacting quickest to turn the ball home.

Almost immediately after, Bradley might have reduced the deficit but struck wide when well paced, as Harriers struggled to create consecutive clear-cut opportunities.

On 67 minutes the game really should have been done and dusted as Murray advanced on the harriers goal but Hall was on hand to get a strong parry to beat his shot away, before Bradley again struck off target at the other end moments later.

Harriers needed a lifeline and got one on 72 minutes when Williams tucked home a penalty for his sixth goal of the season after a handball in the area, Chester almost immediately restoring the two-goal cushion when Moran fired over.

It never felt like being the visitors’ night, and the third home goal arrive with just nine left on the clock as sub Hughes nabbed his second, allowed in by a slip from O’Connor. It mattered not that he had nobody to square the ball to as he powered it high past everyone at the near post, before nearly sealing a hat-trick with a drive that struck the post.

Harriers: Hall, Vaughan, Taylor, O'Connor, Horsfall, Digie (Richards 65), Daniels, Weeks, Williams, Ironside (Bradley 46), Chambers.

Subs: Austin, Johnson, Baxendale Attendance: 1,512 Referee: Michael Barlow