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Match preview Vs Mansfield Town

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Date: 18-08-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif Kick off: 15:00hrs

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Mansfield will bring their expensively assembled, but under performing, side to Aggborough tomorrow for a game that could be termed an early six pointer just one week into the season.  Opening with an home 4-3 defeat against Newport last Saturday they followed that up with a long midweek trip to Gateshead and another big defeat.  This time 4-1 with our former defender Luke Jones scoring their solitary goal.

Nick Wright During that game defender Lee Beevers was dismissed for a poor tackle and next day the Mansfield manager, Paul Cox, laid into his team and threatened that some of his newly acquired squad would be out of the door PDQ if they didn't improve soon.  This isn't thought to include Nick Wright (right) who only came on as a sub on Saturday and didn't play at all on Tuesday but it was aimed at Jones amongst other newly signed defenders.

We're also an under performing side but not so expensively assembled and I also don't think Steve Burr is panicking too much just yet although many fans are.  Defeat at Lincoln was un-expected, but fully deserved, with a well below par performance but the reversal at home to Luton was just down to a lack of squad depth and tactics than any shortcoming in effort.

I'd say that right now we look better equipped to get a better result tomorrow than Mansfield do.  We should be back to full strength with Steve Guinan possibly coming back into the side following his twisted ankle two weeks ago and, apart from long term injury to Tom Sharpe, we'll only have the suspended Lee Vaughan missing.

The Stags, on the other hand, have a few missing.  Former Harrier Adam Murray is out for a few months with an ankle injury while last Saturday Ross Dyer was stretchered off with what has since been confirmed as a cruciate ligament injury.

As well as Beevers missing for a one game ban they also have Jamie Hand out suspended.  Saturday will be the last day of his suspension that was held over from last season when he was playing for Hayes & Yeading.

This game could also see Anthony Malbon re-united with the perpetrator of that vicious attack on him in our final game of last season.  The over the top challenge by Louis Briscoe saw the game ended early and the ground cleared to allow an air ambulance to land on the pitch and transport Anthony to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham.  Thankfully our young striker was more shook up than injured but Briscoe got off totally uncensured by the referee and his assistant even though it was clear to everyone in the ground that the challenge was uncalled for.

It can only be hoped that a shake of the hand will get this game off to the right start but we want the apologies to stop there and send Mansfield back home pointless and Paul Cox panicking some more.  We need the points more than they do and we have to make sure we get them.

[Breaking news: Harriers have this evening signed Nathan Blissett from Romulus.  It's not clear yet if the 22yr old striker, who scored 13 times in 34 games last season, will make any kind of appearance tomorrow]

Photo © KHFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Lewis, N Vaughan, Williams, Dunkley, Geohaghon, Austin, Demetriou, Byrne, Shakes, Storer, Vincent, Briggs, D Pilkington, Guinan, Johnson, Malbon, Gittings, Rowe, Blissett.

Mansfield Town from:
Marriott, Redmond, Sutton, Thompson, Dempster, Jones, G Pilkington, Meikle, Speight, Green, Briscoe, Wright, Howell, Clements, Owens, Rhead, Roberts, Tolley, Poku, Todd, Hutchinson, Stevenson, Somes, Holland, Rogers, Shaw.

Talk about the game here

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Previous games against Mansfield Town
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