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Harriers 0 Mansfield Town 3

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Date: 28-04-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 3565gif away fans: 674
Harriers hopes dashed but that's not important anymore

gif Report by Steve Williams
The Reds brilliant season came to an end after an "over-performing" Harriers, according to chairman Mark Serrell, lost to promotion hopefuls Mansfield, although the Harriers were left to ponder on what might have been after the fan's player of the season Lee Vaughan was sent off and Anthony Malbon was airlifted to hospital.

Although the Reds wouldn't have eventually made the play offs, following Lutons 2-0 win at Fleetwood, the result on the day could have been different after a couple of early chances came our way.  Firstly, a free kick was awarded and eventually went for a corner but was quickly taken.  Luke Jones header fell to Kyle Storer at the back post where he should have scored but his header was inches wide of breaking the deadlock.

The momentum seemed to diminish after this attack though and Mansfield set the tone for the remainder of the match. An horrific header was aimed back to goal from Tom Marshall but it was too short and Mansfield's Matt Rhead capitalised and put a lofted effort on goal.  This was stopped from going in with a brilliant claw from Tony Breeden, who had to back track to reach it.

After hearing of Luton's first goal at Highbury the fans urged the players to try and get a goal, and, after a whipping cross from Vaughan, they almost got their wish but it was held by a shaky Shane Redmond in the Stags' net.

The Stags though should've taken the lead, if it wasn't for a great stop from Breeden.  Rhead got the ball into the Harriers box and laid it off for Chris Todd, whose shot was well saved by the Harriers stopper.

There was drama shortly before the break though after the referee judged Redmond's fall on the ball, following a back pass, was not a free kick despite Redmond handling it at least five times.  This marked the end of the half with the score at a stalemate and the fans furious with the referees antics.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half started in the worst possible manner with full-back Lee Vaughan being sent off for what appeared to be an elbow on the Stags' striker, Rhead.  This left the fans in anger towards Vaughan as he looked to have cost us a win once more.

With the Harriers now down to ten men and Luton winning the drive seemed to drain from the team and became something that Mansfield addressed quickly.  Rhead played a ball through to Lee Stevenson, who slotted home, between Breeden's legs.

The Harriers did try to get themselves back into the game though and after good work from the hard-working Ryan Rowe the ball came out to Marvin Johnson on the edge of the area but he hit the ball well over.

Then came the moment which most Harriers fans will be caring about tonight.  A horrendous challenge from the Stags' Louis Briscoe was deemed as only being worthy of a yellow card by the referee after he went straight through Malbon on the touchline.  Malbon was left unconscious and out for the count until he was eventually stretchered off six minutes later to a chorus of his name from concerned Harriers fans.

It was that man Briscoe though who put Mansfield two goals ahead and the Harriers hopes in shreds following a second goal at Fleetwood for Luton.  He headed home to double the lead for Mansfield with just over ten minutes to go to go.  This lead was increased nine minutes after when Matt Green's shot was deemed to have crossed the line despite Luke Jones best efforts to clear it.

It was a day of gloom for the Harriers to reflect on a season of "so close, yet so far", especially after our loss and Luton's win meant that they finished five points ahead of the Reds.  The players and staff can hold their heads high for taking it to the last day of the season, although it is for the third time in four seasons.  It looks clear that we should, once more, be able to achieve those prestigious play off places next time round and with our squad quickly gaining experience, and more Steve Burr transfer magic to come, who at this point could doubt it?

For the present though, I'm sure you will all join me in wishing Anthony Malbon a speedy recovery and we'll all re-convene in a few months time to go through all of this again.
  FT: 0 - 3

 Goals for Mansfield: Stevenson 56, Briscoe 78, Green 87,


The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Ryan Rowe



Just a note from moi.  I'd like to thank all of my 'staff' for the good work that they've done in bringing match reports to you this season.

Along with a big thank you to Steve for todays report I'd also like to thank his mate Arno Bryant.  Harry Taylor for his reports when he manages to escape from the wilds of Mid Wales and finally to Centreforeword for his excellent reports from away games, sometimes written at some unheard of hour in the morning having just got back from such far flung places as Gateshead, Barrow and, er, Telford.

Thanks guys and I hope to see your input once again next season if you still want to do it.  Meanwhile if anyone would like to contribute to the site then please do contact me and offer your services.

To all the fans that have read these reports I thank you too.  Without the fans this site would be pointless.

Phil...

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Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  subs   cards      Mansfield Town  subs   cards 
Breeden     Redmond  
Vaughan   O'Neill gif  
Mike Williams     Andrew gif
Jones     Worthington  
Marshall     Thompson  
Storer gif   Riley  
Hankin gif     L Briscoe gif
Vincent     Stevenson  
Malbon gif     Rhead
Rowe     Todd  
Johnson   Roberts
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lyness     Marriott  
Bradley gif     Sutton gif  
Wright gif     Meikle  
Byrne gif     Green gif  
Guinan     Hutchinson gif  

REFEREE:
Mr J Simpson
Lancashire




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