HARRIERS again failed to make it back-to-back wins as they slipped to another 1-0 defeat in National League North at Darlington.

John Pemberton opted to name an unchanged starting eleven from the win over Farsley Celtic just over a week prior, with Brandon Diau representing the only change to the 16 overall; the forward returning from injury to take his place among the substitutes.

Harriers found it hard to establish a rhythm in the first period and, while fashioning a couple of half-chances of their own, pretty much had to weather a storm of opportunities from the home side; the tone set early on as Rivers, O’Neill and Campbell all trying their luck within the first five minutes of the tie.

With just ten minutes played, Cameron Gregory was forced into the first of a few good saves for the evening when he clawed a driven effort from Hedley wide of the top corner. Three minutes later, Hemmings had a first sight of goal for Harriers with a wayward effort that drifted off target.

Darlington really ought to have taken the lead on 19 minutes; after O’Neill had struck off target, Gregory was at his best to deny not only Rivers but also Campbell who struck in quick succession, the latter on the follow-up.

With five before the break, though, Harriers were breached after Gregory was left exposed; most of those in a red shirt stood appealing for a free-kick for a foul on Williams that wasn’t coming, Rivers left relatively free to carry on his run and finish past the shot-stopper.

The injury sustained by Williams was enough to end his evening, the Liverpool loanee replaced by Ed Williams at the break, Harriers going close not long after the restart as Hemmings again kept the goalkeeper in his sights, a shot well held as he searched for a leveler.

Peniket volleyed wide of the target soon after the hour, Hemmings surging forward with a powerful run around 12 minutes later, only for his final attempt to lack a little power in being comfortable enough for Connell to gather.

Harriers made further changes as the half wore on and, in terms of territory, probably shaded much of the second period, though Darlington nearly put the game to bed with seven left to go when Moyo helped Gregory smother a Donawa header.

In the final couple of minutes, a huge chance arrived at last for Harriers, and it was sub Shenton with it as he picked up on Austin’s pass, driving at the target where Connell did brilliantly to deny him.

HARRIERS: Gregory, Austin, Davidson, Moyo, Johnson, Rhys Williams (Ed Williams 46), Butterfield, Weeks, Hemmings, Chambers (Shenton 73), Peniket (Diau 81).

Subs not used: Prosser, Palmer Attendance: 1,254 Referee: John Urwin