Harriers 3 Mansfield Town 1
away fans: 311
Harriers bring the Stags to ground
Report by Morgan Nock
A superb win for Kidderminster Harriers saw them move up to 12th in the league. Goals from Matthew Barnes-Homer, a first Harriers goal for Gavin Caines, and Chris McPhee wrapped up a victory but a late penalty from Duffy denied the home side a clean sheet. Barnes-Homer also missed a penalty.
The first half got off to a scrappy start and it ended that way too! Both sides showed shades of individual brilliance, and scrappy rubbish football. Mansfield had their fair share of half chances and their fans made a few murmurs as they pushed to open the scoring.
Despite the decrease in home support the atmosphere was somewhat improved and this reflected on the pitch as Harriers got a few lucky bounces and just fifteen minutes in Brian Smikle played a through ball and Matt Barnes-Homer wasn't going to miss in the one-on-one and he slotted the ball past Andy Marriott in the Mansfield goal.
HT: 1 - 0
Second half and Kidderminster took the initiative after anticipating a fightback from the high flying Stags.
Two minutes in and Harriers won a corner which Darryl Knights whipped in, in the absence of infamous corner specialist Kyle Hadley. The corner flew through the melee of players and was met by Gavin Caines at the back post who powered a fantastic header across the goal and into the net.
Building on this good start to the second half the Harriers continued into a long period of dominance which stretched the length of the half. Eventually the third goal arrived and Brian Smikle was again the provider. This time for Chris McPhee who smashed the ball past a hopelessly, flailing Marriott.
Eight Minutes before the end the former Harrier Luke Jones handled in the area and the referee pointed correctly to the spot. Chris McPhee picked up the ball but an inspired looking Barnes-Homer demanded the ball and placed it on the spot. A positive aspect of what followed is that Barnesy certainly won't be taking another penalty after he side-footed the ball straight into the arms of 'keeper Marriott.
Fortunately though we were 3-0 up and it wasn't so important.
Right at the death Lee Baker handled in the box and Rob Duffy hit the penalty past Coleman but it was far too little and far too late and Mansfield's faithful trudged away from Aggborough disappointed.
Histon next on Saturday, Come on you reds!
FT: 3 - 1
Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers got the season back on track following a run of defeats against lower opposition when they banged three goals past Mansfield Town. A late and disputable penalty gave the visitors a consolation goal but to be honest it was far more than they deserved.
Mansfield were hoping that by winning this game and for Luton Town to do them a favour at Oxford that they would then gain top place in the table. As it was Oxford beat Luton and we never gave them a chance to beat us. In fact the BBC gave us a possession difference of some 38% to the Stags and 62% to us.
From the off we took the game to our opponents with David McDermott and Darryl Knights spraying the passes around and generally worrying Mansfield into numerous mistakes. That both players started the game came as something of a surprise seeing as they both seemed to be going out of the thoughts of Mark Yates in recent weeks.
It didn't take long for the opening goal to arrive. Brian Smikle sent a ball over the top of the Mansfield defenders heads to a waiting Matthew Barnes-Homer on the edge of the area who then took the ball nearer to the goal and then rifled the ball home beyond the grasp of Alan Marriott.
With Mansfield taken aback by this turn of events we started to open up their defence even more. Knights, with the freedom to do what he does best, was opening up spaces and playing balls into areas for our forwards to run into. We came close to gaining a second goal via this route when Dazzler played the ball into the area and across the face of the goal with Gavin Caines just failing to get a touch on it.
Both our terrier type players were doing well and McDermott showed that he was going to make an impression too when he ran back from the half way line to dispossess a Town player of the ball near to the touchline.
Up front for Mansfield were two controversial players in Rob Duffy and Darryl Clare. Neither of them were getting much change from us and in the end, just before half time, Clare went off to be replaced by Kyle Perry. Perry was a giant of a man who had no real intention of playing football for his side but just to make a nuisance of himself and go crying to the referee.
The half ended with us in a narrow but commanding lead that could have been extended had MBH connected more cleanly with a Chris McPhee chip that he somehow managed to steer over the bar of Marriott's goal.
HT: 1 - 0
The second half was only a minute old when we broke the hearts of the visitors with a superbly taken goal from the much maligned Gavin Caines. Knights whipped a corner over to the other side of the area to find Caines unmarked and ready to head the ball over the reach of Marriott as he spotted him off his line. From then on the game was ours and we looked un-beatable.
The Mansfield manager made another change by bringing on Briscoe for Speight in a like for like change but it didn't really deter us at all. We just carried on taking the game to them.
Midway through the half Town started to get back into the game slightly with the introduction of the former Harrier Blair Sturrock. Kyle Perry should have done better with a good chance that he unwisely headed down into the ground instead of straight at Dean Coleman's goal and the ball bounced back up into the air and over the bar.
Duffy and Perry weren't really helping their teams cause by continually fouling and then running to the referee complaining. It was this leniency from Mr Lewis that lead to a succession of fracas' and the throwing of objects onto the pitch from the disgruntled Mansfield followers.
In one incident Dean Bennett went up for a fifty-fifty ball with Perry and without any real contact Perry dropped to the ground clutching his back. The referee waved away Perry's claims that he had been fouled by Deano but then handbags came out and it ended up with four players, including Bennett but not the perpetrator, getting booked.
Soon after the game was well and truly put out of Mansfield's reach when our third goal of the night went in.
The industrious Brian Smikle again evaded a challenges from Towns defenders to slip a ball through for Chris McPhee to run onto and fire beyond the reach of Marriott once more. It was at this point that quite a few of Mansfield's 311 fans left the ground in disgust at their sides poor showing. It was a shame they missed two penalties then.
The first one, for us, was down to a handball from another former Harrier, Luke Jones, in the area. Barnes-Homer stepped up to take it but there was no venom in his kick and the ball went straight to the keeper. A few minutes later and Mansfield were awarded a penalty for another handball but this one was un-avoidable.
Gary Mills ran onto the ball on the edge of the area and, as Lee Baker came in to close him down, Mills fired the ball straight at him from close range. With the ball flying towards his face Baker instinctively put his hands up for protection and referee awarded Mansfield a penalty. A very poor decision.
Rob Duffy stepped up to take it and showed MBH just how to take a penalty and score.
It was all too late for Mansfield though and to be honest the penalty was more than they deserved. For the Harriers it was a great result against a team in form and hoping to go higher in the table.
It also turned our recent form on its head.
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