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Harriers 2 Mansfield Town 3


Date: 18-08-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif att: 1770gif away fans: 400
Harriers slump to the bottom

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Kidderminster Harriers slipped to their third defeat in the league this season, or the fourth in all competitive games.  It wouldn't be so bad but for the fact we have only played three league games so far and, against fellow early-season strugglers Mansfield, our defence couldn't cope with the Stags.

Steve Burr named the same side that lost 2-0 to Luton Town on Tuesday night whilst Mansfield boss Paul Cox named former Harriers stars Luke Jones in the centre of defence and Nick Wright on the bench.

Mansfield started the brighter of the two sides, straight from kick-off they won the ball from Harriers, played a slick through ball to Matt Green who missed with his shot.  The warning signs were there but were quelled after James Vincent's shot was parried for a corner which was subsequently crossed for Jack Byrne to head from the near post into the goal.

The Harriers first this season.

The pressure on the Stags continued but Harriers failed to make the most of it.  Green, who was a constant thorn in the Harriers side all afternoon, was constantly catching the Harriers backline of Ryan Austin and Exodus Geohaghon on the backfoot as his pace ripped them apart.  The first time the ball came over the top, Danny Lewis was out quick to claim it.  The second time Green got there first and attempted to lob Lewis who blocked the shot.

The former Corby striker Matt Rhead was causing the Harriers defence problems with his physical presence.  His header from a cross on the left went wide of Lewis' goal but from a free-kick just before half-time, his header was straight at Lewis, who parried it to Green who looked offside.  He looked across to see no flag before burying it into the goal to equalise much to the fury of the home support.

The video will tell whether or not Green was onside, but he looked very much off.
  HT: 1 - 1
Harriers came back out after half time playing with a bit more vigour than they had at the end of the first half.  Anthony Howell then attempted to beat that new-found vigour from the Harriers when he piled in elbow first on Jack Byrne.  Howell then compounded this by walking away from the incident despite repeated calls for him to go to the referee for a simple yellow card when it in fact warranted a red.  Horrible.

However this didn't stop Harriers re-taking the lead.  Marvin Johnson got the ball on the right wing then cut in before hitting a shot that deflected off John Dempster into the goal.  Then ex-Stag Exodus Geohaghon powered a header at goal from a corner that was well saved by Alan Marriott.

Mansfield soon turned the tables and started to dominate the game.  Green continued to cause problems as Mansfield fired shots in on goal, one of which was cleared off the line.  It was all starting to look desperate and was made worse by Mansfield equalising again in the sixtieth minute.

Green, again, ran at the defence going past the sliding challenge of Ryan Austin once he had beaten him for pace, putting a ball across a field of diving bodies towards Lindon Miekle who had an easy tap-in.

For the next ten minutes nothing changed, no substitutes were made either as Harriers play stagnated with nothing bright coming from it.  Then game the winner as the clock started to tick towards eighty minutes.  A ball was put straight through the middle towards the pacey duo of Nick Wright and Lindon Miekle with the latter taking the ball past Lewis with ease and slotting the ball past him to cap off a comeback from Mansfield.

Then for some reason Burr decided not to bring anyone on for another five minutes, despite that by this point the team looked exhausted.  Ricky Shakes and Nathan Blissett hadn't changed the game when they had come on earlier for Ryan Rowe and Kyle Storer, but Burr decided to wait five minutes to make a substitute he probably would've made earlier when he brought on Danny Pilkington in place of Marvin Johnson.  Pointless!

The game then drew to a close.  After three defeats in three games Steve Burr has now got to look hard at his line-up and tactics.

Entertaining football maybe, but not for the home fans of late.  To win leagues, to get into playoffs, clean-sheets are paramount and this is where Burr lets himself down.  Mickey Demetriou deserves a start after his form previously and prowess in going forward.

Equally, why sign players like Shakes and Pilkington if they are only going to sit on the bench?  Many questions, and hopefully will be answered away at newly-promoted Dartford on Saturday.  Many more losses and people will have to sit up and face we might have problems.

Hopefully three points on Saturday will set us on a roll to climb the league.
  FT: 2 - 3

 Goals for Harriers: Byrne 8, Johnson 52
 Goals for Mansfield: Green 45, Meikle 60, 78

Harrys MotM is:

gif Keith Briggs

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Harriers  goals   subs   cards      Mansfield Town  goals   subs   cards 
Lewis     Marriott  
Briggs     Sutton  
Williams     Daniel  
Storer gif     Dempster  
Geohaghon     Jones  
Austin     Todd
Byrne gif   Meikle gif  
Vincent     Howell
Rowe gif     Rhead  
Malbon     Green gif gif  
Johnson gif gif     Roberts
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Vaughan     Thompson  
Demetriou     Briscoe  
Blissett gif     Clements  
D Pilkington gif     Wright gif  
Shakes gif     Speight  

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