RUSS Penn lamented ‘one of those nights’ for the Harriers as their long unbeaten run in the Championship ended in a 2-0 defeat at Hereford.
A goal either side of halftime for the Bulls gave them all three points and bragging rights in the league’s first derby of the season.
It gave the Harriers their first defeat in the National League North since the 2-0 reverse against Brackley in October and ended an unbeaten streak that had reached double digits.
It was also quite an unlucky night – the Reds not only lost the game but also injured Ethan Freemantle just half an hour later.
The striker joins Nathan Cameron, Lewis Montrose and new signing Devonte Redmond on the sidelines. While Penn says he expects some of those names to be back in contention for York’s weekend visit to Aggborough, that has done little to console the Edgar boss Street.
Looking back on the backhand, he admitted: “The worst thing is the second goal, so at the start of the second half, when we also had a good start.
“The whole game plan goes out the window. You mix and change, you bring guys in and make formations because of the bodies that we miss and don’t have.
“You play players everywhere and Sam played about five different positions tonight, which I hate to do.
“It was just one of those nights.”
Thanks to Austin and Sterling Harriers worked two of the night’s best opportunities before the half-hour mark on a cold, foggy night – former Harrier Brandon Hall being equal to those two.
The home side were ahead on 39 minutes when Gordon was on hand to head a finish past Simpson after a corner was not cleared properly.
It was a lead the Bulls doubled shortly after the restart – 49 minutes on the clock when a quick counter ended in Owen-Evans finishing on the angle past Simpson.
As the half wore on, Sterling proved to be the Harriers’ biggest threat and he came closest to reducing the backlog – forcing a save with one free kick after another , and drilling another shot just wide of Hall’s target.
Penn’s men will need to dust themselves off quickly – promotion contenders York travel to Worcestershire for a 3pm kick-off with another big crowd expected in Aggborough.
Meanwhile, the club confirmed this week that defender Caleb Richards has extended his contract with the club until 2023.