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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Kidderminster Harriers  
2 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Byrne 6, Johnson 52.
 Green 45, Meikle 59, 78.
Attendance: 1770 (400 from Mansfield)
Date: 18 August 2012


Martin Shaw, Simon Chamberlain and Tim Wallace at Aggborough

Mansfield Town showed tremendous bottle to come from behind twice, and record the first win of the season at Kidderminster this afternoon. Mansfield’s defensive frailties were again exposed on just 7 minutes as Kidderminster scored their first of the season, heading home from a corner, unchallenged. Mansfield gradually got into the game and deservedly equalised on the stroke of half time when Matt Rhead knocked down a Gary Roberts free kick to enable Matt Green to score a sitter. Kidderminster were back in front on 52 minutes with a lucky goal as Johnson’s shot from the corner of the box deflected off Dempster and looped over the stranded Marriott into the net. But Lindon Meikle equalised with a calm and composed finish after clever play from Matt Green to set him up. Then Meikle scored the winner on 78 minutes running on to his own ball forward and rounding the keeper before smashing the ball into the net in front of the joyous Mansfield fans. After that, Kidderminster never looked like equalising. So the Stags are off and running, and now need to capitalise with a home game against Hyde, though Hyde cannot be taken lightly having played very well against Luton on TV last night.

Manager Cox made four changes from the debacle at Gateshead with Sutton in for Beevers at right back, Dempster for Pilkington at centre half, Todd came in for Tolley in midfield and played on the right, and Rhead came in up front, with Owens dropping out. Daniel played at left back. Jones and Howell kept their places. Jones took over as captain from Pilkington. No keeper on the bench again for the Stags, which is risky, for the third game running. Only three players remained in the starting eleven from the side that played in the corresponding game here in April: Roberts, Todd, and Rhead. Exodus Geohaghon was in the Kidderminster side, as captain. Both sides came into the game with no points from two games, a surprise given their positions last season.

In the first minute, Meikle played a nice ball forward to Green, who got past the keeper on the left, but had to go too wide. Green eventually crossed but it was cleared.

On 6 minutes, Vincent shot from the edge of the box and Marriott made a great save, tipping it behind for a corner. From the corner, taken from the left, Kidderminster took the lead. The Stags defenders were again rooted to the spot allowing Jack Byrne to power the header in from close range, and Marriott got a touch on it but it was too powerful. Another goal conceded from a set piece.

Roberts was booked on 10 minutes for a late tackle. Meanwhile Howell had started badly having lost the ball twice.

On 17 minutes, Todd played a good ball forward for Green who clipped it over the keeper but wide.
Another chance for Green on 23 minutes as he ran on to a ball over the top, and tried to chip the keeper, but only lobbed it into the keeper’s arms. It was a good chance missed.

On 26 minutes, a fine free kick from Roberts was headed well wide by Jones. Then on 28 minutes, Sutton crossed from the right, Rhead headed it back and Howell headed straight at the keeper.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 32 minutes. Green was penalised for a foul and the whistle had gone long before Meikle put the ball into the net, and the defenders had stopped playing.

A great chance for Mansfield on 38 minutes as Daniel stood up a nice cross from the left and Rhead attacked the ball, heading it down and wide of the left post. Rhead looked up to the skies in anguish.

The Stags were level on 45 minutes and a great time to score. Roberts chipped a lovely free kick from the left to the far post where Rhead headed down, the keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Green who was unmarked and stabbed into the empty net from close range.

Half time 1-1

On 46 minutes, a Kidderminster free kick was flicked just past the Mansfield post. Two minutes later, Howell was booked for a heavy challenge, having been warned by the ref earlier. Moments later, Howell was to get a final warning for a another foul.

Kidderminster were in front again on 52 minutes, with a fortunate goal. Johnson shot from just outside the box, Dempster threw himself at it to try to block it, it hit Dempster, bounced into the ground and looped over the stranded Marriott into the net.

On 56 minutes, a Kidderminster corner from the left was headed by Geohaghon and well saved by Marriott low down.

The Stags were level on 59 minutes. A ball was played forward for Green, who went down the left, unable to head straight for goal. Green intelligently cut back inside and squared for Meikle, who showed great composure to beat two men before firing a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net. A great piece of finishing from Meikle who showed a composure that perhaps hasn’t been in evidence before and shows an increasing maturity.

The Stags had a great opportunity for a break on 65 minutes as Todd found Roberts. Roberts moved forward down the right, and with Meikle in 20 yards of space, Roberts was unable to find him with his cross blocked. Then a minute later, a shot from Rhead from a tight angle was parried by the keeper. A minute after that, a shot from Todd that looked on target was deflected wide for a corner. From the resulting corner, taken by Roberts, Rhead headed wide. Then on 69 minutes, with the Stags in total command, a chance for Green and the ball eventually fell to Howell with the keeper grounded and only Geohaghon on the line, but Howell’s shot didn’t have enough power or accuracy and Geohaghon was able to clear. (Another chance, check DVD when get it).

On 71 minutes, a shot from Meikle was parried by the keeper and just didn’t fall for a Stags player.

On 72 minutes, Green was replaced by Nick Wright to chants from Mansfield fans of ”you don’t know what you’re doing”.

Todd was booked on 73 minutes for a culmination of fouls.

The winner came on 78 minutes. Meikle played the ball the forward for himself and ran on to it. Wright was in an offside position and if he had touched the ball would be offisde, but Meikle screamed to leave it. Meikle ran on to it, rounded the keeper and smashed it into the empty net.

On 81 minutes, the dangerous Johnson shot low but straight at Marriott.

On 82, Meikle sensed a hat-trick and cut inside from the left but fired wide of the left post.

Hearts were in mouths a minute into stoppage time when Kidderminster got a throw halfway inside the Manfsield half, and Geohaghon took it, surprisingly only his second long throw of the game. It was headed backwards by a Mansfield player and Marriott claimed it under his own bar.

That was last meaningful action as the Stags deservedly held on and claimed the first win of the campaign.

After the game, I asked Adam Murray when he would be fit. He said it is a matter of getting match fitness now, and he is no longer injured. Jamie Hand will be available after suspension for the next game.

Man of the match: Lindon Meikle

Report by: Martin Shaw, Simon Chamberlain and Tim Wallace at Aggborough

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Recovered from Gateshead, a couple of good saves, solid from crosses, and no chance with the goals.
Sutton 7 Very solid. Looked comfortable.
Jones 6 Much improved.
Dempster 6 Did the job and shored up the defence, no frills.
Daniel 7 Good game at left back.
Todd 7 Good, has a good footballing brain. Worked hard. Worth keeping his place in the side.
Roberts 7 Fought tigerishly. Did the work of two men as Howell was ineffectual.
Howell 4 Another very poor performance. Was booked and then warned - should have been subbed at that point.
Meikle 8 Two superbly taken goals to turn the game around.
Rhead 7 Did what it said on the tin. Good header for Green’s goal and won most of his other headers too.
Green 7 Looked sharp. Lovely build-up for Meikle’s first goal. Scored one himself. Inexplicably substituted. In our opinion you don’t take your best goalscorer off unless he’s running out of steam.
Sub Line Up:
Wright (for Green, 72) - Left the ball for Meikle to run on to for the third goal otherwise would have been offside.
Subs not used: Thompson, Clements, Briscoe, Speight.
Opposition Line Up:
Lewis, Briggs, Geohaghon, Williams, Byrne, Storer (Shakes 69 mins), Vincent, Rowe (Blissett 69 mins), Malbon, Johnson (Pilkington 85 mins), Austin, Subs not used: Demetriou, Vaughan.
Ross Joyce (Teeside) 7 Handled the game well.

Season 12/13 Reports