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Archived News from August 2004

22nd August 2004 18:27

photo of Larkin's first goal:
Football First match report:
By John Lomas

transcribed by carole

Larkin helps to clear the clouds

MANSFIELD TOWN look to have shaken off their play-off final hangover and are starting to hit form again.

Defeat at Cardiff last season and two defeats to start off the new season had seen the clouds beginning to gather over Field Mill.

But this victory was their second in succession and was achieved after overcoming the blow of going behind with just 36 seconds on the watch as Kidderminster debut-maker Stuart Roberts netted with his first touch of the ball.

It was Kidderminster old boy Colin Larkin who turned this game around with a brace of goals, and in the end the visitors were fortunate to escape further punishment with keeper John Danby in outstanding form.

It was a big clearance from Danby that set up Roberts to lob over the advancing Kevin Pilkington as many supporters were still taking their seats.

But Larkin exchanged passes with Joe O'Neill to equalise on 16 minutes and his superb overhead kick on 48 minutes from O'Neill's nod-down edged Mansfield in front.

Frederic Advice-Desruisseaux had penalty appeals waved away for the visitors after going down while trying to get past young defender Alex Jean-Baptiste. But most of the second-half action was at the other end as Danby pulled off a string of saves and was beaten finally in the last minute by a Larkin header which came back off the post to deny the Stags striker a hat-trick.

Mansfield manager Keith Curle said: “All credit to Kidderminster, they caused us a few problems. But we had so many chances we didn't put away in the second half that you always worry you will leave the door open at the other end. But I thought our defence held their line well.

“It wasn't an ideal start. I told the players before the game that Kidderminster's keeper had a great kick on him.

“Then we were surprised by a long ball from their keeper. Maybe I should tell them what size boot the keeper is wearing as well!

“It was a smack on the nose but we showed our spirit to hit back. It took us 15 minutes to settle down and start causing them problems and we scored our goals at the right times.

“I told them to up the tempo at half time which they did and I thought their keeper was outstanding.”

Kidderminster manager Jan Molby, watching his side lose their unbeaten record and concede their first goals of the campaign, said: “I am disappointed but Mansfield did play very well.

“We got the early goal and the first half was very even. But they got a second goal early in the second half and we had to push forward.

“They created a few chances but so did we and I thought we should have had a penalty.

“I thought it was a clear penalty as did most people in the ground. The referee has not done his job as if he thought the player dived then he should have booked him.”

Mansfield Town………Kidderminster H
54-----------Possession %---- 46
2------------Yellow Cards------3
0------------Red Cards----------0
9------------Shots on Target---4
6------------Shots off Target---1
1------------Hit Woodwork-----0
St@tto's Kidderminster Harriers site: http://www.kidderminsterharriers.com


1 Stuart Roberts Raced onto a ball through the inside right channel and lobbed it over the advancing Pilkington.

16 Colin Larkin A low cross from the right caught out the defence and found an unmarked Larkin who slotted it through Danby's legs.

48 Colin Larkin A failed Harriers free kick found its way to Pilkington who launched a long kick straight down the field to Larkin wo hit a volley on the turn over the head of Danby.

Two goals from former Harrier Colin Larkin were enough to end Harriers' unbeaten start to the season after a goal from debutant Stuart Roberts had put the visitors ahead.

With Simon Brown serving a suspension for his sending-off in the previous game Roberts was brought in as emergency cover, signing on a non-contract basis just in time to play in the game. There was a recall to the starting line-up for Jesper Christiansen, in for the injured Youssou Diop. Roberts had a dream start, scoring Harriers' fastest Football League goal after just 35 seconds, chasing a long ball through the inside-right channel and beating the goalkeeper to it lobbing it over Kevin Pilkington's head as he rushed out.

Mansfield did not look as good a side as the one that visited Aggborough on Opening Day of last season and had a number of new faces that have yet to gel and although they were probably the better side over the ninety minutes they didn't really look as though they were going to take the game by the scruff of the neck and put it out of Harriers' reach. The opening exchanges were scrappy with little pattern to them from either side and Mansfield's equaliser was a sloppy one from a Harriers point of view; the ball was played in low from the right, after Micky Mellon had missed a tackle in midfield, and got in behind the Harriers defence to Larkin who was unmarked and slotted it through John Danby's legs to end the keeper's run without conceding at 425 minutes.

Mellon had a chance to atone for his mistake shortly afterwards; Frédéric Advice-Desruisseaux found Roberts on the right who beat Jake Buxton and pulled the ball bak to Mellon on the edge of the penalty area but his shot went wide of the far post. In the last minute of the half Mellon played a pass that split The Stags' defence wide open, Christiansen chased it and pulled it back to Ian Foster whose snap-shot from the edge of the penalty area was straight at Pilkington.

Mansfield had as good a start to the second half as Harriers had had in the first; a Harriers free-kick was played forward rather aimlessly by Adrian Viveash and Mansfield regained possession, the ball was knocked back to Pilkington who launched a massive kick straight down the field that deceived Viveash and dropped invitingly for Larkin who hit a volley on the turn over the head of Danby. Not long afterwards another former Harrier, Adam Murray, had a shot that took a wicked deflection and Danby got down well to push it round the post for a corner.

Harriers felt that they should have had a penalty just before the hour mark; good work by Christiansen created space for himself and his crossfield pass sent Advice-Desruisseaux scurrying away on the right, the Frenchman cut into the penalty area and went down under the challenge of Alex John-Baptiste but the referee was not interested and waved play on. A heavy challenge by Murray on Ian Foster lead to bookings for both players after a brief scuffle in which Foster's reaction could have had him sent off, the Harriers man was substituted moments later by Scott Rickards.

Mansfield continued to strike the ball around well and look good in attack, Derek Asamoah cut the ball back for the third ex-Harrier in the side, Neil MacKenzie, who saw his shot well saved by Danby. At the other end Rickards set up Roberts for a low shot that was saved at the foot of the post by Pilkington. Danby was being called upon more and more as the game wore on to keep Harriers in the game; he made a good double save to beat away Asamoah's shot and then MacKenzie's follow up with ten minutes left on the clock.

Harriers mustered another chance in teh dying moments that almost saved a point, Christiansen won a challenge on the left after chasing a long ball out of defence and crossed to the far post, it was too high for any Harriers players but was only half cleared and fell to Advice-Desruisseaux whose shot from 25 yards was saved at the foot of the post by Pilkington who almost fumbled it over the line. At the other end MacKenzie hit a shot that came back off the post and Danby did well to save from Asamoah who followed up to reach the rebound. Harriers can have no complaints about the result and they will need to find mot of a cutting edge in attack if they are to ensure that they don't get too many more like it.
Harriers Lose To Stags
harriersnet.com , By Andy J

Stuart Roberts signed a month-to-month deal and went on to make a dream start by putting Harriers in front with barely a minute on the clock. Sadly, it didn't last.

Roberts wasted no time in getting Molby's makeshift side into the lead when he got on the end of a long free kick and lobbed the ball over Pilkington in the Stags goal.
The lead may well have been taken too early and the equaliser came from Colin Larkin just 15 minutes later when Joe O'Neil set him up and the ex-Harrier slot the ball past Danby to become the first person to score against Harriers this season.

Danby was again in fine form, he made a couple of great saves when he first blocked Adam Murray's 20 yard shot and then had to beat Derek Asamoah from getting to the ball.

After the beak Harriers fell behind to a second Larkin goal, this time it was a hoof from Pilkington that caused the problem. Viviash lost his bearings under pressure and Larkin acrobatically fired the ball home for 2-1.

Larkin and Asamoah continued to keep Harriers under pressure as they looked for the goal which would kill he game off, but Danby held firm making another couple of good saves to keep the Stags at bay.

Jan Molby was an angry man when the referee refused Harriers a penalty after Advice Desrusseaux was grassed in the area. Referee Boyeson saw noting wrong and waved play-on.

There was just one more heart stopping moment as the game drew to a close when Larkin thumped a header against the post.

22 Goal attempts 6
15 On Target 4
7 Off Target 2
1 Hit Woodwork 0
6 Corners 3
11 Fouls 15
2 Goals 1
Larkin double as Stags hit back to win
CHAD website
MANSFIELD Town made it two wins on the bounce after coming back superbly from conceding a goal in 36 seconds to beat Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 at Field Mill this afternoon.
Harriers were unbeaten and hadn't conceded a goal in their first three games.
And it all looked grim when Stuart Roberts marked his Kiderminster debut with a goal from his first touch.
But Stags hit back with two goals from Colin Larkin on 16 minutes and 48 minutes to add to the one he netted at Chester last weekend
And in the end it was only a superb string of saves from visiting keeper John Danby that kept the visitors' hopes alive.
Larkin might have had a hat-trick but hit the post in stoppage time.
"It wasn't an ideal start," said Stags boss Keith Curle.
"I told the players before the game that their keeper has a great kick on him. Then we were surprised by a long ball from their keeper! Maybe I should tell them what size boots the keeper is wearing as well.
"It was a smack on the nose but we showed our spirit to hit back. It took us 15 minutes to settle down and start causing them problems and Colin Larkin scored a goal at the right time.
"I told them to up the tempo at half time and I thought their keeper was outstanding.
"Credit to Kidderminster. They caused us a few problems but we had so many chances we didn't put away that you always worry you will leave the door open at the other end. But our defence held their line well."
Stags were unchanged from the side which won 3-0 at Chester last weekend.
Neil and Williamson were on the bench in place of Dimech and keeper White.
Kidderminster made two changes with new signing Roberts and Christansen in for the injured Diop and suspended Brown.
And the visitors caught Stags cold with a dramatic goal after only 36 seconds.
Keeper Danby sent a long free kick forward and the ball bounced on the edge of the Stags box where debutant Roberts lobbed the ball over the advancing Pilkington and into the empty net.
But Stags hit back with a 16th minute equaliser. Larkin exchanged passes with O'Neill to open up the visitors' defence before Larkin slotted home a neat low finish from 12 yards.
It was the first goal the Harriers had conceded this season after starting with three clean sheets.
Roberts taunted the home defence on the right before laying the ball square to Mellon whose sweetly struck shot from 20 yards was only just wide of Plkington's right hand post.
Three minutes later Mansfield forced a scramble at the other end which ended with Murray forcing Danby into a save with a vicious shot the keeper could only grasp at the second attempt.
In Stags' next raid Larkin was forced wide by Burton in the box and when he crossed low across goal, no one was there.
Christiansen saw the afternoon's first yellow card on the half-hour for a foul shortly after being warned.
A long ball in from the left by Curtis found O'Neil who swivelled to hook a finish well over on 32 minutes.
Murray was also given a lecture after a late tackle on Keates.
Kidderminster almost opened Stags up a minute from the break. A mistake from Buxton near halfway allowed Mellon to send Christiansen through. Forced wide, he backheeled to Foster who shot straight at Pilkington on his near post.
Keates then sent an ambitious shot horribly wide from distance in stoppage time as the half ended all-square.
Mansfield began the second half as Harriers did the first by netting an early goal.
Pilkington launched the ball forward on 48 minutes, O'Neill out jumped Viveash to nod on and, as Danby came off his line, Larkin beat him with an acrobatic overhead kick that flew over Danby's fingertips and found the net.
Four minutes later Larkin tried a shot from 20 yards which took a deflection and Danby just managed to turn it round his post.
Both goalmouths survived scrambles as the game began to hot up.
Stags produced a superb move on 55 minutes as O'Neill controlled Artell's clearance and sent Larkin down the right. He played the ball back inside to Asamoah who beat one man before blazing just over from 18 yards.
Stags won a free kick 30 yards from goal which Murray touched to MacKenzie who was well off target.
Harriers were screaming for a penalty on 59 minutes as Advice-Desruisseaux stumbled over the heels of John-Baptiste, but the referee was unimpressed.
Tempers began to flare and a midfield dust-up which began with Murray and Foster saw several players steaming in. Murray and Foster were eventually cautioned.
Harriers boss Jan Molby immediately replaced Foster with Rickards.
Stags almost caught the visitors out with a quick break down the right. Asamoah might have gone on himself but chose to square to MacKenzie whose first time effort brought a good save from Danby.
Harriers struggled to clear Mansfield's fifth corner, Danby eventually having to clutch a firm goal-bound header from Asamoah.
O'Neill poked another half chance just wide while MacKenzie fired into the side netting from Asamoah's pass as Mansfield continued to dominate.
Good work from Larkin set up O'Neill. But his shot and MacKenzie's follow-up were both blocked.
Corden and Williamson replaced Murray and O'Neill for the last 18 minutes.
A rare Kidderminster attack on 75 minutes saw Roberts allowed to run and get in a low shot which Pilkington saved.
And two minutes later Hatswell just failed to get a head onto Burton's free kick at the far post.
Stags desperately needed a killer third goal. And they should have got it on 79 minutes.
Asamoah turned superbly to power a shot which Danby saved. The ball ran loose and Danby recovered well to save MacKenzie's follow-up before MacKenzie finally drilled the ball wide of the far post.
In the 90th minute Stags wasted another chance to seal victory as a superb cross by Corden was headed against the far post by Larkin with the over-worked Danby then saving Asamoah's follow-up.
In stoppage time Asamoah ran at the defence, beat one man to go clear and the saw Danby get a hand to his low finish.
After the game, Harriers boss Jan Molby said: "I am disappointed but Mansfield did play very well.
"We got the early goal and the first half was very even. But they got a second goal early in the second half and we had to push forward.
"They created a few chances and so did we. I thought we should have been given a penalty. I thought it was a clear penalty as did most people in the ground. The referee has not done his job as if he thought he dived then he should have booked him.
"I thought we were a bit naïve with their equaliser. And then with their winner it was a catalogue of mistakes which began with a our own free kick in our own half."
Colin Larkin scores twice as Mansfield come from behind against Kidderminster.
Stuart Roberts gave Kidderminster the lead in the opening minute, lobbing Kevin Pilkington after latching on to a long free-kick.

But the home team pulled level after a neat pass from Joe O'Neill and Larkin put the Stags in the lead with a spectacular overhead kick.

Larkin hit the post later in the match and John Danby was on hand to save Derek Asamoah's follow up.
A GOAL in each half from former Harriers striker Colin Larkin was enough to condemn Jan Molby's men to their first defeat of the season at Mansfield Town.

Harriers, without the services of SIX of the first team squad, were forced to name all 16 fit players to face Keith Curle's side. Harriers included former Swansea and Wycombe Stuart Roberts in their line-up after he signed non-contract terms with the club on Friday.

Harriers got off to the best possible start when they took the lead after just 38 seconds. A long ball from Steve Burton cleared the Mansfield defensive back line and, with the Stags' players appearing to hesitate, Roberts (right) raced onto the loose ball before looping the ball over Kevin Pilkington in the home goal and into the back of the empty net.

Mansfield didn't have to wait too long for the equaliser. On 16 minutes some neat play between Joe O'Neil and Colin Larkin resulted in Larkin racing past a static Harriers defence. Larkin composed himself before neatly firing the ball past Danby to record his second goal of the season.

With Harriers' back four standing firm, Harriers looked dangerous on the counter attack. Some skilful play from Roberts set Micky Mellon up 25-yards from goal. However his blistering drive flew just wide of the target.

Soon after former Harriers midfielder Adam Murray forced Danby to make a double save. Danby could only spill Murray's 25-yard effort but fortunately regained his composure to dive back on top of the ball with Derek Asamoah ready to pounce.

Half-time: Mansfield 1 - 1 Harriers

Within two minutes of the re-start Harriers found themselves behind for the first time this season. A long punt from Pilkington saw Adrian Viveash mis-time his header under pressure from Asamoah. As the ball bounced towards Harriers' goal Larkin leapt superbly to fire an overhead kick past the on-rushing Danby and into the net.

Mansfield suddenly went for the jugular with Larkin and Asamoah wreaking havoc in the Harriers defence.

However at the other end of the pitch Harriers were denied what appeared to be a clear-cut penalty when Scot McNiven appeared to trip Frederic Advice-Desruisseaux. Match referee Carl Boyseon waved away the appeals, much to the annoyance of Jan Molby.

Mansfield continued to create the better of the goalscoring chances with former Harriers Neil Mackenzie and Asamoah both forcing good saves from Danby (right).

In the dying moments Larkin was denied a deserved hat-trick when his header rebounded back of the foot of the post.

Full-time: Mansfield 2 - 1 Harriers

Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven, Buxton, MacKenzie, O'Neill (Corden 72), Curtis, Baptiste, Murray (Williamson 72), Larkin, Artell, Asamoah.
Subs Not Used: Day, Tate, Neil.

Kidderminster: Danby, Jenkins, Viveash, Advice-Desruisseaux, Burton, Christiansen, Foster (Rickards 62), Mellon, Keates (Appleby 71), Hatswell, Roberts.

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Gleeson, Russell.

Att: 3,859 (255 away fans)

Ref: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).


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