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Mansfield Town 0 Harriers 2


Date: 12-01-13gif Venue: One Call Stadiumgif att: 2405gif away fans: 208
Defenders double wins it for the Harriers

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers hit Mansfield on the rebound today with two fine first half goals at the One Call Stadium today.  Last week our hosts had been entertaining the illustrious Liverpool but lost with bravery in their hearts.

Today they crumbled and withered against the illustrious Harriers.

With Jamille Matt no longer with us it was a return to the 4-3-3 that we stuck with to no avail earlier in the season.  Ryan Rowe and Anthony Malbon started the game as our lone strikers but it was two players from the other end of the pitch that grabbed the points for us.

The home side had already come close to opening the scoring when Matt Greens superb strike veered away from Danny Lewis and struck the outside of the post.  Harriers fans sat in the stand behind the goal began to expect the worst but once through the early storm we managed to get a grip on the game.

We gained a free kick that lead to our usual, unwanted, four man charade of each taking turns to run over the ball before being struck goalwards.  This time by Mickey Demetriou and this time it wasn't too far off the target.  That was just a practice run though.

Malbon should really have opened the scoring for the Harriers soon after when he was selflessly played in by James Vincent after the Mansfield keeper, Alan Marriott had gone walkabout Breeden fashion, but his side footed attempt in front of an open goal ballooned over the top.

The atmosphere was starting to rise now that we could see that Mansfield were not going to be the tough opponent that they should have been.  Much of that atmosphere was being directed at Exodus Geohaghon in telling him what the Harriers thought of him or his deceit when he was with us for that short period of time at the start of the season.

Midway through the half and we were handed another free kick.  Again, as in our first free kick, it was Lee Beevers that upended a player on the edge of the area but this time there was no messing about with half the team lining up to give the ball a tap.  Up stepped Mickey D to blast the ball goalwards and fizzing to the right of Marriott and into the net.

And now we know that he must be our penalty taker.

It was to get even better a few minutes later.  First Malbon came so close to getting back onto the score sheet when he made a great run to find space and then sent in a dipping shot that the Stags keeper only just managed to tip over the bar and then Lee Vaughan struck.

He deftly stepped over a red card worthy lunge from Beevers and then, closing in on goal from the narrowest of angles, sent in a shot that literally flew across the face of the goal to nestle in the far corner.

The Harriers had their commanding lead and now they needed to hold on to it.

Mansfield stepped their game up and should have pulled a goal back soon after but Danny Lewis was beginning to show his worth in the Harriers goal.  John Dempster, once a target signing for Steve Burr, headed goalwards from a corner but Danny was quick to react and pushed it onto the underside of the bar.  From the rebound Matt Green should have buried the ball but thankfully Josh Gowling cleared the ball to safety in the nick of time.

With the halftime whistle seemingly never going to happen, for reasons known only to the referee, we had a chance to increase our lead further when Demetriou hit the foot of the post following a lengthy run into the goal area by Marvin Johnson.  It was Mansfield that was to end the half the strongest though when a long throw from Geohaghon was headed backwards by a Harriers defender into the path of Lindon Meikle and his snapshot went narrowly over the bar.

Then in almost the final minute they had their best chance of the game when Green picked up the ball on the edge of the area to send a tremendous, powerful shot in that bent the bar as it came back off it.  The ball was cleared to safety by Chey Dunkley but it really had goal written all over it.
  HT: 0 - 2
The second period started with a double substitution by the Mansfield manager, Paul Cox, in an effort to rescue the game.  On came Colin Daniel and Richie Sutton for John Thompson and Louis Briscoe and straight away Daniel had the first chance of the half when he sent his low shot wide of the Harriers goal.

Harriers fans celebrate after the 2-0 win at Mansfield The change in personnel seemed to work, to a degree, for the home side because most of the second half play was in our half of the field.  Rarely did the away fans see an action up our end of the pitch.

Matt Green, Mansfields best player by far, tried his luck again but again Lewis was equal to him and palmed his effort from an outstretched leg cleanly away.  Danny also easily coped with a header from Geohaghon soon after but the traitor was having a typically bad performance and, frankly, we did the right thing getting shut of him.

The Harriers management could see that we were struggling to cope with the home teams pressure on our goal and made a double substitution in an effort to counteract that.  On came Nathan Blissett for Ryan Rowe while Marvin Johnson made way for Sean Clancy but Clancy was to last just four minutes before making his way back to the dressing room.

Frustration was starting to set in from Mansfield as the began to lose faith in their ability to score.  Malbon was getting a hard time from niggly tackles and shirt pulling but when he took retribution out on Dempster he got booked.  Matt Green also got booked for arguing with the referee and then came the stupid challenge on Lee Beevers by Clancy.

What looked to be a routine challenge on the touchline left Beevers rolling around like a 'good un'.  Play had continued but the linesman called the referees attention to it and while Beevers was being treated with an invisible spray and a pretend sticking plaster the ref pulled a red card out and sent Clancy off.

Beevers got to his feet and limped around for a bit before asking to come off.  Job done.

The Harriers consolidated following that incident and continued to get more out of the game.  We could have increased our lead further when Blissett managed to trick his way past some Mansfield defenders to run into the area and lay the ball off to Callum Gittings but his shot at an almost open goal went flying over the bar.

At the other end Danny made a great save from Adam Murray but, with the ball safely in his arms, he was bundled over the line by Matt Rhead.  The referee didn't think the clear and dangerous foul was worthy of a caution.

The end of the game finally arrived just before 5.00pm and the Harriers fans rushed to the front to celebrate another fine win away from home.  We must do it all again at Macclesfield next week.

Good idea :)
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Demetriou 22, L Vaughan 25

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Mansfield Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Marriott     Lewis  
Beevers gif     Demetriou gif  
Thompson gif   L Vaughan gif  
Dempster     Storer  
Geohaghon     Dunkley
Howell     Gowling  
Meikle     Gittings  
Clements     Vincent  
Green   Rowe gif  
Murray     Malbon gif
Briscoe gif     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Sutton gif     N Vaughan  
Stevenson     Clancy gif
Daniel gif     Shakes gif  
Rhead gif     Williams  
Wright     Blissett gif  

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