After the high of last weeks Cup game it was a case of 'After the Lord Mayors Show' today with a display that, frankly, put a lot of players hopes of a game at Molinuex in doubt.
It also highlighted the absurd situation of not having a recognised penalty taker after Graham Ward missed a crucial spot kick just minutes before Mansfield scored the only goal of the game. With the possibility of penalties being used to decide the Cup game on Tuesday it looks like being intense penalty practice will be the highlight of training on Monday.
There was a first start for Adam Murray against his old club along with Matt Gadsby, also returning to Field Mill for the first time since he joined the Harriers before the start of the season. It was Murray who impressed early on with some nice passing moves but it was Mansfield who were to have the first shot on goal in the eighteenth minute when Curtis' attempt was easily saved by Brockie.
It was Murray again that won the penalty for us just a few minutes later when he was pulled back by Williamson as he raced into the area to reach Scott Stamps' left wing cross. With, again, the Harriers looking unsure of who was supposed to take it, up stepped Ward to aim the ball just to the left of Pilkington. There was no power behind it and Pilkington easily reached out to save.
Two minutes further on and Mansfield were a goal to the good.
The Stags were awarded a free kick that Lawrence took and with the ball floating in the air it was Rhys Day who climbed highest to send the ball goalwards. Brockie got a hand to it but could only help it into the net.
Even though the Harriers had taken a step back they still stuck to their task and Dean Bennett went close with a volley that flew only a few inches over the bar. He had another chance minutes later but this time his weak shot lacked any kind of power.
With half time looming the Harriers had a free kick in a good position but it was wasted when Murray took it too quickly and it went well wide of goal. Much to the amusement of the home fans.
HT. 1 - 0
Minutes after the break and Mansfield almost increased their slender lead. A poor pass from Craig Hinton went straight to Wayne Corden who then made space for himself before shooting just wide of the goal.
Then Iyseden Christie let fly with a powerful shot that was going all the way until it took a deflection off Hinton and went out for a corner.
Half way through the half Jan Molby bought on last weeks hero, John Williams, in place of Sean Parrish in an effort to add bite to the under performing attack. Christiansen was struggling to make any impression and was in need of some help but that didn't seem to work either and soon after he found himself taken off in favour of Bo Henriksen.
This time the change seemed to inspire us a bit and Dean Bennett went close again with a volley and then Bo just failed to connect with a poor clearance from Bobby Hassell. It wasn't all going the Harriers way though and Mendes had a chance for Town that he sent well over before Corden forced a save from Brock with a curling effort 10 minutes from time.
The game ended with two attempts from Deano to save the game for us. First he made space for himself but his shot was again just wide and then in the dying seconds Hassell blocked his goal bound shot on the line after a pin point pass from Graham Ward.
It may have been that the players thoughts were in Wolverhampton but this was a game that we should have taken at least a point from if it wasn't for a lack of authority when it comes to penalty taking matters.