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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Kidderminster Harriers  
0 - 3
 Mansfield Town
 Stevenson 56, Briscoe 78, Green 87.
Attendance: 3565 (674 from Mansfield)
Date: 28 April 2012


Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Simon Chamberlain at Aggborough

Mansfield Town finished the regular season with yet another victory, this time against play-off chasing Kidderminster, and despite making an incredible 7 changes from the side that beat Wrexham last weekend. After an even first half, Kidderminster were down to ten men after 48 minutes when Lee Vaughan elbowed Matt Rhead, and the Stags took the lead when Lee Stevenson scored his first Mansfield Town goal on 56 minutes. Louis Briscoe made it 2-0 with a close range header from a Stevenson cross to kill off the Harriers, who needed a win coupled with a Luton defeat to sneak into the play-offs. Matt Green came on as a late substitute and scored his 30th goal of the season within 4 minutes. He became the first Stags player to score 30 league and cup goals in a season since Ray Clarke in 1974-75. The day was marred by a bad injury to Kidderminster striker Anthony Malbon after 65 minutes following a challenge by Louis Briscoe. After the game, the ground had to be cleared to allow an air ambulance to land and take Malbon off to hospital. Briscoe tweeted after the game: “Apologies to any harm caused through my challenge, no intent was meant, hope the lad is ok”, and Kidderminster announced the good news on Saturday night that Malbon was being released from hospital.
Mansfield made 7 changes with Redmond, Thompson, Andrew, Worthington, Todd, Rhead and Roberts coming into the starting eleven. Redmond was in for his debut in goal, whereas Thompson and Todd were returning for the first starts in 2012. Martin Riley was named captain, a fitting reward for his outstanding performances since February.

Mansfield were roared on by a fantastic following of 674, despite the game being a dead rubber for the Stags. Lots of Mansfield fans were in fancy dress, as has become traditional for the last away game of the season.

In the first minute, a Kidderminster corner was headed just wide of the left post. On 3 minutes, Rhead deftly clipped a shot over the home keeper and the keeper somehow back-pedalled to clear it off the line. A terrific effort from Rhead. Moments later, Rhead received an elbow in the face, which was not spotted by the officials. On 6 minutes, Andrew’s free kick was scuffed into the wall. On 10 minutes, Stevenson’s long range shot was straight at the keeper. Then two minutes later, Roberts fed Stevenson whose shot was blocked. On 15 minutes, Lee Vaughan’s cross to Malbon whose volley was shanked at Redmond. On 17 minutes, Roberts set up Todd for a low shot straight at the keeper.

Mansfield were working very hard, indicative of the spirit in the club, despite so many changes and nothing riding on the game for the Stags.

On 23 minutes, Malbon volleyed over having been set up nicely. Kidderminster close on 24 minutes when a left wing corner was headed wide by Marshall at the near post, with Redmond nowhere. On the half hour, Rhead headed straight at the keeper from Briscoe’s cross. A double chance on 35 minutes, as Todd set up Stevenson, who possibly should have shot straight away, but eventually got in a shot that was saved, and it eventually was cleared to Rhead who sent a well struck half volley inches wide of the right hand post. Good control by Stevenson on 39 minutes and he found Briscoe who fired over.

Moments later Redmond tried to control a ball and was closed down by the centre forward. Redmond tried to dribble it round him, and then fell on the ball, protecting the ball with his body as he couldn’t pick it up. A melee ensued and it was pushed out for a corner. A horrendous moment by Redmond, and the home fans and players were incensed that no foul was given, but studying the DVD the referee appears to have called it correctly.

A great tackle by Thompson on 42 minutes to stop Rowe getting in on goal. A good header on by Rhead on 43 minutes just evaded Stevenson, with good keeping from Breedon.

An exciting first half, with chances at either end.

Half time 0-0

Kidderminster were down to ten men after 48 minutes when Lee Vaughan elbowed Matt Rhead, right in front of the dugouts. No complaints from the home bench. Paul Cox revealed afterwards that he thinks Vaughan is one of the best full-backs in the division and asked Vaughan why on earth he did it.

On 50 minutes, a good knock down from Rhead, and Stevenson got there a fraction ahead of the keeper but could only knock his shot against the keeper’s body.

The Stags took the lead on 56 minutes. Danny Andrew played a ball from just inside his own half, Rhead played a lovely dummy allowing the ball to run through for Lee Stevenson, who ran on to slot underneath the keeper from the left hand side for his first Mansfield Town goal.

Redmond made a good save with his feet on 57 minutes from Johnson’s shot from a tight angle.

On 59 minutes, Kidderminster sub Jack Byrne had a shot which drifted wide. Then Johnson sent a snap shot just over the bar. Good play from Briscoe on 62 minutes, to feed Roberts, who in turn set up Rhead whose low shot was straight at the keeper.

On 65 minutes, Louis Briscoe clattered into Anthony Malbon, barging him into touch. Malbon stayed down, and soon was having a stretcher and oxygen mask. He was stretchered off after a 4 minute stoppage. Briscoe was booked for the challenge.

From the resulting free kick, Johnson’s shot was curled to the near post where Redmond did well to tip it away.

Sutton came on for O'Neill on 73 to give O’Neill a rest. Sutton slotted in at right back. On 76 minutes, Roberts flicked a ball into Todd and Todd had his shot blocked. Roberts was clattered as he played the pass, but was soon back on his feet.

On 78 minutes, Louis Briscoe made it 2-0. Stevenson crossed superbly from the right with the outside of his left boot, and Briscoe was unmarked in the middle to score with a close range header.

Hutchinson replaced Briscoe on 79. Kidderminster should have scored on 80 minutes as Wright nutmegged Riley on the right, and Sutton met the low cross with an air kick on the edge of the six-yard box, allowing Rowe a free sight of goal from 5 yards on the left, but somehow he fired wide of the left post.

Matt Green came on for Andrew on, 83 minutes. Then on 85 minutes, Rowe’s low shot deflected off Sutton and Redmond saved well, diving to his right. Moments later, Redmond saved again, this time one handed, from another Rowe shot, this time from a tight angle.

On 87 minutes, and just 4 minutes after coming on, Green made it 3-0. Rhead’s quick throw, found Roberts in the box, and Roberts chipped a little ball back to Green 8 yards from goal. Green took a couple of touches before firing goalwards with his left foot. It took a couple of deflections before looping goalwards, and was hooked away by a defender, but the linesman immediately signalled that the ball had crossed the line. It was Green’s 30th goal of a momentous season.

A great tackle by John Worthington on 90+1 minutes, and then a great block by Riley two minutes later. Stevenson sent a wild shot over the bar on 90+4, and on 90+6 Byrne shot over for the hosts. The fourth official immediately called over the referee, and the referee ended the game, three minutes before the allotted 9 minutes of stoppage time had been played, to allow the ground to be cleared for the air ambulance.

And so the Stags finished the regular season with a remarkable 16 wins from 20 games since the double header against York over Christmas. And now its York in another double header, this time the play-off semi-final. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Lee Stevenson

Report by: Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Simon Chamberlain at Aggborough

Line Up:
Redmond 6 Started nervously and a horrendous moment when he failed to dribble the ball past an attacker, but had a good second half with some fine saves.
O'Neill 7 Good game.
Riley 8 Very good game, with some fine challenges and blocks.
Thompson 8 Didn’t put a foot wrong and looked like he’d never been out of the side.
Andrew 7 Good game. Caught in possession occasionally when going forward.
Briscoe 6 Scored his 11th goal of the season; put in a couple of decent crosses. Taken off to prevent him getting a second yellow.
Worthington 7 Good return to the side. Some super challenges and one terrific tackle near the end in his own penalty area.
Roberts 8 Very good, some terrific passing, and a real terrier. Terrific appetite for getting the ball.
Todd 8 Great pace and great fitness to keep going throughout. Looked very sharp.
Stevenson 8 Took his goal well, and put in a good shift. Staked a claim for a place in the side for the play-offs.
Rhead 7 Took a lot of stick. Came close to scoring on several occasions and nice dummy for Stevenson’s goal.
Sub Line Up:
Sutton (for O'Neill, 73) - Looked solid, slotting at right back.
Hutchinson (for Briscoe, 79) -
Green (for Andrew, 83) - Scored his 30th goal of the season just 4 minutes after coming on.
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Meikle.
Opposition Line Up:
Breeden; Williams; Jones; Marshall; Hankin (Byrne, 51); Vincent; Rowe; Storer (Bradley, 62); Malbon (Wright, 69); Johnson. Unused subs: Guinan; Lyness; Bradley.
Jez Simpson (Lancaster) 7 Got most decisions right.

Season 11/12 Reports