Craig Priest writes....
Fixture: Mansfield Town Vs Kidderminster Harriers
Competition: Blue Square Bet Premier – Game #28
Venue: The One Call Stadium
Date & Time: Saturday 12th January 2013 – 3pm
Match Referee: Declan Ford (Lincoln)
Attendance: 2,405 (208)
At full time yesterday prior to packing up the commentary kit, I sat in my seat in the One Call Stadium looking at a relatively empty stadium reflecting on the two past games – I was hoping that after the Liverpool defeat, Stags could take some heart and try to kick on in the league – alas not, as at full time yesterday I was reflecting on a whimpered show from Stags as they conceded two easy goals to be beaten by Kidderminster Harriers.
Fair play to Steve Burr’s side, they are a team in form and a side playing collectively with hunger – but for Stags why was there no fight, no hunger and desire – yes you can say we’ve been unlucky to hit the post countless times and some decisions haven’t quite gone for us, but realistically excuses don’t matter – we’ve lost another game and despite having numerous games in hand, need to start improving.
We’re not a bad side but sometimes I’m left questioning our attitude and desire levels when we go behind, we did it against Liverpool, so why can’t we do it against Kidderminster Harriers? I guess the only positive is for now, we have games coming thick and fast – no time for dwelling, just time for improvement and hopefully positive momentum.
Bring on Stockport midweek, a side struggling just outside the drop zone – let’s kick on now and take advantage, for now though we look back on yesterday’s game.
Paul Cox unsurprisingly stuck with the same eleven that went toe to toe with Liverpool, however 4-5-1 became the attack minded 4-2-3-1 which saw Stags come good at Alfreton on News Years Day, there last win.
Line Up [4-2-3-1] Alan Marriott, John Thompson, John Dempster, Exodus Geohaghon, Lee Beevers, Adam Murray (C), Chris Clements, Louis Briscoe, Anthony Howell, Lindon Meikle, Matt Green.
Substitutes: Ritchie Sutton, Nick Wright, Matt Rhead, Lee Stevenson, Junior Daniel.
Kidderminster had won ten from their previous eleven games going into the fixture and despite leaving hot property Jamalle Matt on Friday, they began in rampant style with fluent football getting the Stags stretched – fortunately a third minute corner failed to trouble Stags who then went in search of a goal at the other end.
Matt Green came close to finding one on six minutes as Clements and Briscoe interchanged, Green collected the ball from Clements and drove forwards before striking from 20 yards and hitting the outside of the post.
Stags would have to wait ten minutes before the next sight of goal and at the other end, clung on as Kidderminster moved the ball well, Marvin Johnson shooting narrowly wide before Exodus Geohaghon gifted his old club another effort on goal, his slip allowed Ryan Rowe to square for James Vincent – with an open goal he blazed over much to the Stags’ relief.
On 15minutes Anthony Howell was heavily involved as a Geohaghon throw was sandwiched between two Clements’ corners, Howell saw two efforts blocked as the Harriers defended resiliently.
Adam Murray then made a needless foul on Rowe as Harrier’s attacked with pace on 21 minutes, John Thompson was guilty of being caught out of position too as Johnson surged forwards to cross. The resulting free kick, right on the edge of the Stags box, was thundered in by the impressive Mickey Demetriou who weighted his set piece well to put the Harriers ahead.
Minutes later Kidderminster had a second but not before Alan Marriott palmed away another Vincent effort after the Kidderminster man turned his former team mate Exodus Geohaghon. The Harriers second game four minutes after the first, Lee Beevers was left for dead by the advanced Lee Vaughn who found space in the box to thunder home into the top corner.
Two minutes after the restart John Dempster nearly restored some hope as his thunderous effort from a Clements corner was pushed onto the bar by Harriers keeper Danny Lewis, Matt Green also saw another long range effort come close before the visitors pilled on the pressure with a goal mouth scramble, Stags serving hand ball claims from the Harriers players.
As the half came to a close, Green again struck the woodwork, this time hitting the bar from the edge of the box before clipping the follow up wide – Stags booed off at the break two goals behind.
HALF TIME: Stags 0-2 Kidderminster
Paul Cox through on Junior Daniel and Ritchie Sutton at the break for Louis Briscoe and John Thompson respectively, Harrier’s responded the better to the changes as Johnson came close to adding a third, blazing over the bar with just 39 seconds into the second half.
Lindon Meikle’s attempted give and go with Green on 50 minutes was mopped up well by Harriers who in truth, were starting to come a little unstuck down the wings but were let off by Stags’ failure to apply the finish, none more so than on 51 minutes – Junior Daniel weaved his way forwards from the half way line but screwed his final effort horribly wide. Daniel came close two minutes later from Howell’s flick but was denied by Lewis who made a good firm stop.
As the hour mark approach Lindon Meikle was twisting and turning but again curled wide from Clements’ assist, three minutes later Howell was penalised for a foul on Demetriou which meant Stags had a goal ruled out although the whistle had gone way before Howell curled home.
Still two behind Stags needed some luck but despite numerous set play’s, the reward still didn’t come, on 71 minutes Kidderminster made a double change and three minutes later, one of the two brought on Sean Clancy was shown his marching orders for a late and dangerous two footed challenge on Lee Beevers, he unable to continue despite trying and was subbed for Matt Rhead, Adam Murray was the one intended to be replaced and, upon seeing his number flash up on the fourth officials board, tore off the captains armband and ‘exchanged words’ with Paul Cox.
Kidderminster were still in control even with a man less, a sloppy and frankly pathetic pass from Geohaghon across his own box on 79 minutes gifted Callum Gittings a sight off goal, fortunately for Stags he missed the target.
Late on Meikle blazed over following a Clements corner before Matt Rhead saw an effort palmed away by the keeper, Adam Murray also prodded wide in the dying seconds but in truth the match was already over and done with, it had been since the opening goal.
FULL TIME: Stags 0-2 Kidderminster
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