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Extra info
  Rawle 41
The game turns on the miss of a penalty after taking the lead and Wayne Hatswell gets turned by an on fire Simon Brown.
  Barker 48, 85
  Brown 51
  harriers-online match report
Monday 28th March 2005  
Missed penalty and poor defending cost us

This little un-beaten had to come to an end sooner or later but not in the way that this one came about.

To go one goal up then to see a player clean through on goal get upended by the keeper was bad enough but for the incompetent referee to give a penalty and then only brandish a yellow card for the offence was un-believable.  For our penalty taker in chief to then go and miss said penalty was equally disastrous.

To top it off, last seasons Player of the Year getting rings run round him by a former Harrier was depressing.  Ok, Stuart Watkiss probably didn't know much about Simon Brown but Hatswell did and still allowed himself to be chosen to mark him.

There were two changes to the win at Darlington with Blair Sturrock being given the day off to do some DIY and gardening, Mark Rawle took his place, and Lee Jenkins serving the first bit of his two game ban, Tom Bennett returned in his place from his enforced exile.

We almost, well not quite, got a goal with our first move of the game when John McGrath ran wide onto a pass from Chris Beardsley and then fired a shot across the face of the goal.  We thought it was close but the fact that it went out for a throw in to Mansfield proved how wrong we were.

The majority of the half was quiet from our point of view with us un-able to find a way through their packed midfield and resorting to continual long balls over the top.  Mansfield did have one chance on goal when Simon Brown managed to evade the off side trap and all of our defence to swoop onto a through ball.  With him clear on to a certain goal John Danby performed an excellent stop with his knees to deflect the ball out for a corner.

Our goal came out of the blue although we were starting to gain control of the game.  Tom Bennett played a great ball over the top of the Stags defence to Mark Rawle and he made no mistake sending the ball into the top of the net for his second goal in three days.

We should have gone further ahead just a minute later and Mansfield should have been down to ten men.

The ball came into the area and took a bounce, a bounce that was just right for Beardo.  He went up for it and the keeper Pilkington came crashing in to send the former Mansfield youngster crashing to the ground.

The referee didn't hesitate in pointing to the spot, and rightfully so, but the officials next decision defied belief.  Instead of showing Pilkington an instant red card he merely brandished the yellow one and the guilty keeper stayed on the pitch to be given the chance to save face by saving the penalty.

Dean Keates stepped up to take it and after his two clinical takes at Notts County you would have bet your life on him to slot this one home.  No, he missed it completely and almost knocked the corner flag over.

You had the feeling then that this was not to be our day.

HT. 1 - 0

Mansfield started the second half by coming out twenty minutes too early and making two substitutions.  We started by going into all out attack but then found ourselves suckered by a punch.

The former Macclesfield veteran, Richie Barker, picked up on a long clearance and ploughed his way towards Wayne Hatswell.  Hats did his usual and backed off until it was too late and Barker whipped past him to put himself into a 'one on one' with John Danby.  Danbs tried to narrow the gap but Barker was too wise for that and put the ball round him and into the net.

1 - 1 and we could live with that but not to have the same mistake from the same player again just a few minutes later.

An almost identical move developed but this time it was former Harrier Simon Brown taking Hats to the cleaners.  The Harriers defender let him get past him to make his way at speed towards goal and fire the ball past Danby for the second Mansfield goal.

2 - 1 and we can claw it back, there's plenty of time.

It was just after that that the keeper again found himself lucky to stay on the pitch when Beardo and McNiven became embroiled in a conflict on the edge of the area.  A bit of nose rubbing took place but was nothing compared to Pilkingtons behaviour.  He squared up to Beardo and grabbed him around the neck with a load of players rushing in to get themselves invited to the party.  Mark Rawle managed to make the peace but Pilkingtons dad just had a word with Beardo and McNiven and totally ignored the second sending off offence from the keeper.

Stuart Watkiss decided a overhaul of the team would help us get something from the game and sent on the former Stags hero, Iyseden Christie, in place of Mark Rawle.  It worked for the first five minutes with Issey getting a couple of shots in and a few nice turns but he soon ran out of steam and looked totally unfit for the task.

Simon Russell was sent on to help out in place of Cozic but, as with the one he replaced, a lack of service made him a passenger in the game.

We had a half chance from McGrath to get a goal back but the fierce shot was blocked on the line and then Christie had a goal dis-allowed after the ref said that Beardo handled the ball before it went in.  Agreed it hit his arm but there wasn't much that he could do about that.

Five minutes from the end and the game, and our unbeaten run, came to a close with Barkers second goal but this time you couldn't blame Hatswell because he had been replaced by Gary Birch to enforce our attacking options.

Adam Rundle, Mansfields Man of the Match according to their fans on StagsNet although I thought he was non descript, sent over a corner for a unmarked Barker to crash home past a rooted Danby.

A defeat, and our first one since the aftermath of the Shrewsbury game, did nothing to improve our precarious position at the bottom of the table.  Lets stop losing these games once we're above Rushden, not before please.

FT. 1 - 3

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Chris Beardsley

Played his guts out with little service.  Some of his play may not be entirely legal but he's effective gets the crowd going.
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Harriers  subs   cards      Mansfield  subs   cards 
Danby     Pilkington
Hatswell     McNiven  
Mullins     Baptiste  
Weaver     Buxton  
Jackson     McLachlan  
Bennett     Rundle  
Beardsley   Brown  
Keates     Neil  
Rawle     Barker  
Cozic     Lloyd  
McGrath     Coke  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Lewis     White  
Christie     Day  
Russell     McIntosh  
Jones     Barrowman
Birch     Herron  

Mr L Probert

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