With this being United's third game in six days manager Garry Haylock gave 17 year old striker Daniel Wishart his first start after several appearances from the bench, also returning to the line-up was defender Ed Harris.
The game actually started at quite a lively pace and after just three minutes United created the first opening when Marc Canham sprayed the ball crossfield to Adam Green on the left and he drove the ball across the six yard box just out of the range of a diving Ram Marwa and Scott Fitzgerald who slid in at the far post.
A minute later Green was again in attack mode as he latched onto a Danny Allen-Page cross that had been partially cleared by Martin Riley, the United left-back's shot being smothered by Harriers keeper Ross Atkins.
Play then became a little sketchy as we had two breaks for head injuries to Harriers players and a suspension of around five minutes when two players challenging for the ball near the dugouts clattered into fourth official Peter Georgiou who appeared to have been knocked unconscious and was later taken to hospital.
With a temporary fourth official in the form of John Bond in place the game continued and on 20 minutes Harriers Darryl Knights did well to bring the ball under control in the United area only to be denied a strike by a fine Marwa interception.
The half hour mark saw Allen-Page make space on the right and laid the ball back to Justin Cochrane, his centre was knocked down by Ed Harris to Marwa who fired over when well placed in the six yard box. Minutes later United went even closer when a Green corner was headed out to Tom Cadmore and he aimed a header for the top corner only for an excellent goal-line clearance by Dean Bennett to deny him.
As the game entered the first of seven minutes stoppage time the deadlock was finally broken. Canham's corner from the right was met by Cadmore, his effort being blocked on the line and the ball fell to Fitzgerald who fired hard and low past the wall of defenders on the line.
The second half when it eventually got underway saw the visitors in much more threatening mood and after just two minutes Chris McPhee and Brian Smikle carved out an opening for the latter but under intense pressure from Ed Harris the Harriers man fired well over the United bar.
Harriers were to find an equaliser though on 54 minutes. Substitute Duane Courtney crossed from the right to the near post, McPhee saw the ball bounce up off him and with keeper Clark Masters right behind him the striker was quickest to react to the loose ball and he managed to hook the ball under Masters and into the net.
Just before the hour mark another Canham corner caused confusion in the Harriers area as keeper Atkins appeared to punch the ball straight into the ground but in a mass of legs his defenders managed to scramble the ball clear. Things did not work out so well for the visitors eight minutes later though when several attempts to clear the ball from inside their own area finally saw the ball arrive with Fitzgerald on the edge of the area and he fired a controlled volley into the bottom corner of Atkins net.
Ten minutes later the United scorer was to be denied the chance of a hat-trick when after a challenge between himself and Luke Prosser in the Harriers area the two squared up to each other and referee Mrs Fearn chose to caution both players but sadly for Fitzgerald this was his second and the resultant two game ban will end his season prematurely.
Within a minute the extra man was put to good use as the visitors equalised. Knights played in a corner from the right that Masters came for and got nowhere near, the ball being met by Harriers centre-back Martin Riley
who looped a header over and and sundry into the far corner of the United net.
With stoppage time
now being played, Jack Byrne fired wide for Harriers while James Mulley surged upfield in the last minute and cut inside only to see his shot blocked wide by a defender, for a goal kick!
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video
United Man of the Match: Scott Fitzgerald.