JIMMY O’CONNOR wouldn’t be drawn on the sending off of Amari Morgan-Smith in Harriers’ 3-1 defeat to Hereford on Boxing Day.

Morgan-Smith saw red in the first half of the derby, his second red card of the season and one that cost his team hugely.

The dismissal swung the game the way of the home side, but the Aggborough assistant manager refused to lay the blame at the door of his striker, saying he’d need another look at the incident.

“In those moments, on the sideline things can look different,” said O’ Connor when asked about it at the final whistle. “You go off the reaction of the crowd and the players on the pitch, and you know straight away that, being away from home, there’s probably a good chance it’s going to go against you.

“I’ll have to have another look at the replay, I’ll be completely honest. Do we give the referee a decision to make? I’m not sure, I’ll have to watch it back myself. All I can focus on is the next period of the game, and it’s a long period of time to be down to ten men.”

Boss Russ Penn had chosen to name an unchanged side from the team knocked out of the FA Trophy at Stamford in their previous encounter. There was something of aa surprise on the bench, however, with Keziah Martin included among the substitutes.

A lack of a central striker on the bench may have posed questions before the game but they were brought into sharper focus when Harriers lost Morgan-Smith to a after less than half an hour, by which point his team had already scored and been pegged back.

Harriers struck first on seven minutes when a corner was taken down and planted home by Luke Maxwell. That silenced the home fans, but they soon found their voice a little over ten minutes later as they levelled, a swift forward move and James McQuilkin left in too much space as he angled a finish into the far corner.

Not long after, Morgan-Smith got his marching orders after going in late on goalkeeper Brandon Hall, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb with the majority of the game left to play. The ask got steeper still three minutes after the break as Camwell rifled a tremendous finish from long range past Simpson to give the Bulls the lead.

Continuing a worrying trend from recent matches, Harriers offered next to nothing as a real threat in front of goal – as much with ten men as eleven – and the home side were happy to sit back on their lead and created only a handful of chances, Hodgkiss firing wide and John-Lewis putting the affair to bed with the third goal late on, a powerful header from a corner that again left Simpson with little chance between the sticks.

Harriers: Simpson, Penny, Richards, Lowe, Moyo, Austin (Martin 85), Montrose, Maxwell (Prosser 67), Morgan-Smith, Hemmings, Sterling (Arthur 71).

Referee: Sam Mulhall Attendance: 938