Harriers Continue Solid Start: Darlington 0-1 Harriers
Arthur Gnahoua's fourth goal of the season was enough to earn Harriers victory in their first big test of the season.
Darlington had been amongst the early pacesetters in the division, losing just once in the opening games of the campaign before this game kicked-off, and began the game one place above Harriers in the league.
John Eustace stuck with the same side that had beaten Altrincham earlier in the week and they began the game well knocking the ball around nicely on the excellent surface at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park.
Gnahoua struck after just 13 minutes to give Harriers the lead, curling in a shot from outside the penalty area in the inside-left channel after good build up play involving James McQuilkin and Zaine Francis-Angol.
Darlington had chances of their own at the other end of the pitch that could have got them back into the game, fortunately for Harriers they fell to a defender rather than a striker and were wasted: from a left wing corner Terry Galbraith rose at the far post but headed wide and then after being put in on the left blasted his shot over the bar.
Elton Ngwatala tried his luck from distance shortly before the interval but his shot took a deflection and went narrowly wide but the officials didn't award a corner.
After the break Gnahoua had an early chance to double the advantage but his 20-yard effort was pushed over the bar by Peter Jameson for a corner.
As the game wore on Darlington became more frantic and threw everything that they had at Harriers in search of an equaliser. Galbraith fired over the bar with a free-kick from the right and a Mark Beck header was saved by Sam Hornby that lead to a scramble that ended with Ryan Croasdale clearing off the line.
Hornby made another good save to deny Kevin Burgess and then held another free-kick that was headed to the top corner of the goal, this time from substitute Adam Mitchell.
Harriers could have wrapped up the game with just four minutes remaining; Gnahoua got free on the right and crossed low to the near post where Mani Dieseruvwe was unmarked but steered his shot wide of the upright.
Despite this missed opportunity Harriers were able to see out the remaining time to claim victory and the points that earned them a share of top spot in the league.