DREADFUL STAGS OUTPLAYED BY KIDDIE
Kidderminster Harriers 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
Barnes-Homer 13, Caines 47, McPhee 69. Duffy pen 86.
Attendance: 1378 (311 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Aggborough
Mansfield Town put in easily their worst display of the season, and were heavily beaten by Kidderminster Harriers tonight. The Stags arrived at Aggborough with ambitions of going top, against a side low on confidence, but after creating 22 chances at Grays on Saturday, the Stags were woeful tonight, and the manner of the defeat sends alarm bells ringing loudly around Field Mill. The Stags simply didn't turn up, and after the game, manager David Holdsworth said he felt completely let down by his team and he exonerated only keeper Alan Marriott from blame. Holdsworth's management skills will now be tested to see if the Stags can halt the three game non-winning sequence at home to Stevenage on Saturday.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Harriers poop Stags' party
IMPROVING Harriers produced their best performance of the season to stun Blue Square Premier title hopefuls Mansfield at Aggborough.
Mark Yates' side outplayed the Stags on a rainy night and confirmed that they are more than a match for anyone in the division when they are on their mettle.
Goals for Matthew Barnes-Homer, Gavin Caines and Chris McPhee saw Harriers pass their first big test of the campaign against one of the division's high-fliers.
The hosts could have won by a larger margin, if not for the heroics of Mansfield shot-stopper Alan Marriott, who save a Barnes-Homer penalty and denied the excellent Darryl Knights and McPhee.
Harriers were without the injured duo of Robbie Matthews (groin) and John Finnigan (ankle), while Kyle Hadley was relegated to the bench.
This meant that Knights and David McDermott were both handed rare starts against the Stags.
The home side looked up for the match and had the first shot on target when Brian Smikle fired in a low effort that was straight at Marriott.
Mansfield were also probing for an opener and Scott Garner headed wide at the far post from Ryan Williams' free-kick.
But the hosts opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Barnes-Homer unlocked Mansfield's offside trap, raced goalwards and slotted a fine shot past the keeper Alan Marriott.
Harriers could have gone 2-0 up in the 21st minute when Gavin Caines slid into meet Knights' whipped-in low free-kick but the big centreback was a fraction from connecting.
The away side were stunned by the goal but despite their efforts they failed to open up the home team in the first 20 minutes.
Midfielder Gary Mills charged down a corner and fired in a shot but saw Caines made a well-time sliding block.
At the other end, Mansfield's defence looked nervy and was giving Knights tons of space to weave his magic.
His link up play was driving the home side forward and he set Brian Smikle scampering down the left but as he raced to the byline his cross went out of the play.
Matthew Barnes-Homer then got underneath the ball from five yards out and headed over the bar in the 43rd minute.
The away side applied some pressure on Harriers and got their first shot on target in the first minute of injury time, when substitute Kyle Perry's low 30-yard free-kick burst through the wall but keeper Dean Coleman made a simple save.
But the hosts doubled their lead in the second minute of the second half. Caines rose imperiously at the far post to meet Knights' corner and thundered a super header beyond a helpless Alan Marriott.
Knights almost grabbed the goal he deserved in the 50th minute when he release Smikle down the left, got the ball back 20-yards out and flashed a fierce low drove just wide of the keeper's left-hand post.
Stags manager David Holdsworth decided to throw on substitute Louis Briscoe in an effort to out-muscle the home side.
Tempers flared in the 67th minute when Martin Riley lashed out at man-mountain Perry as he went down easily in the box at a corner. The centreback was shown a yellow card, as was Dean Bennett. Mansfield hitman Duffy and Mills were also booked by the match official.
Harriers made the points safe in the 69th minute when Smikle slipped the ball to McPhee and he coolly squeezed a neat sidefooted shot beyond the keeper.
The goal knocked the fight out of the Stags and Harriers looked to increase their advantage, with dangerman Knights stinging Marriott's palms with a firm low effort in the 79th minute.
They were presented with an ideal opportunity to extend their lead in the 82nd minute when Barnes-Homer's shot was handled by Scott Garner.
However, Marriott guessed the right way, dived to his right and blocked the resulting penalty from the striker.
McPhee almost added a fourth moments later when his strong effort was blocked by the alert Marriott.
The away side were handed a lifeline in the 88th minute when Rob Duffy scored from the penalty spot, after Lee Baker was harshly adjudged to have handed Briscoe's cross.
But the hosts still searched to restore their three-goal advantage and Knights saw a fierce effort tipped over by the alert Marriott.
In the end, Harriers survived four minutes of time added on and record a richly deserved victory.
Harriers: Coleman 7; Baker 7; Courtney 7; Caines 8; Riley 6; Smikle 7 (Dolman, 93); Bennett 6; McDermott 7; McPhee 7; Knights 9; Barnes-Homer 7.
Unused substitutes: Farrell; Hadley; Sharpe; Hayward.
Mansfield: Marriott; Gardner; Mills; Garner; Jones; Duffy; Clare (Perry, 40); Williams (Sturrock, 70); Silk; Speight (Briscoe, 58); Nix.
Unused substitutes: Somner; Graham.
Referee: Rob Lewis (Shrophshire). Attendance: 1,378 (311)
Harriers 3 Mansfield Town 1
Date: 08-09-09 Venue: Aggborough att: 1378 away fans: 311
Harriers bring the Stags to ground
Report by Morgan Nock
A superb win for Kidderminster Harriers saw them move up to 12th in the league. Goals from Matthew Barnes-Homer, a first Harriers goal for Gavin Caines, and Chris McPhee wrapped up a victory but a late penalty from Duffy denied the home side a clean sheet. Barnes-Homer also missed a penalty.
The first half got off to a scrappy start and it ended that way too! Both sides showed shades of individual brilliance, and scrappy rubbish football. Mansfield had their fair share of half chances and their fans made a few murmurs as they pushed to open the scoring.
Despite the decrease in home support the atmosphere was somewhat improved and this reflected on the pitch as Harriers got a few lucky bounces and just fifteen minutes in Brian Smikle played a through ball and Matt Barnes-Homer wasn't going to miss in the one-on-one and he slotted the ball past Andy Marriott in the Mansfield goal.
HT: 1 - 0
Second half and Kidderminster took the initiative after anticipating a fightback from the high flying Stags.
Two minutes in and Harriers won a corner which Darryl Knights whipped in, in the absence of infamous corner specialist Kyle Hadley. The corner flew through the melee of players and was met by Gavin Caines at the back post who powered a fantastic header across the goal and into the net.
Building on this good start to the second half the Harriers continued into a long period of dominance which stretched the length of the half. Eventually the third goal arrived and Brian Smikle was again the provider. This time for Chris McPhee who smashed the ball past a hopelessly, flailing Marriott.
Eight Minutes before the end the former Harrier Luke Jones handled in the area and the referee pointed correctly to the spot. Chris McPhee picked up the ball but an inspired looking Barnes-Homer demanded the ball and placed it on the spot. A positive aspect of what followed is that Barnesy certainly won't be taking another penalty after he side-footed the ball straight into the arms of 'keeper Marriott.
Fortunately though we were 3-0 up and it wasn't so important.
Right at the death Lee Baker handled in the box and Rob Duffy hit the penalty past Coleman but it was far too little and far too late and Mansfield's faithful trudged away from Aggborough disappointed.
Histon next on Saturday, Come on you reds!
FT: 3 - 1
Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers got the season back on track following a run of defeats against lower opposition when they banged three goals past Mansfield Town. A late and disputable penalty gave the visitors a consolation goal but to be honest it was far more than they deserved.
Mansfield were hoping that by winning this game and for Luton Town to do them a favour at Oxford that they would then gain top place in the table. As it was Oxford beat Luton and we never gave them a chance to beat us. In fact the BBC gave us a possession difference of some 38% to the Stags and 62% to us.
From the off we took the game to our opponents with David McDermott and Darryl Knights spraying the passes around and generally worrying Mansfield into numerous mistakes. That both players started the game came as something of a surprise seeing as they both seemed to be going out of the thoughts of Mark Yates in recent weeks.
It didn't take long for the opening goal to arrive. Brian Smikle sent a ball over the top of the Mansfield defenders heads to a waiting Matthew Barnes-Homer on the edge of the area who then took the ball nearer to the goal and then rifled the ball home beyond the grasp of Alan Marriott.
With Mansfield taken aback by this turn of events we started to open up their defence even more. Knights, with the freedom to do what he does best, was opening up spaces and playing balls into areas for our forwards to run into. We came close to gaining a second goal via this route when Dazzler played the ball into the area and across the face of the goal with Gavin Caines just failing to get a touch on it.
Both our terrier type players were doing well and McDermott showed that he was going to make an impression too when he ran back from the half way line to dispossess a Town player of the ball near to the touchline.
Up front for Mansfield were two controversial players in Rob Duffy and Darryl Clare. Neither of them were getting much change from us and in the end, just before half time, Clare went off to be replaced by Kyle Perry. Perry was a giant of a man who had no real intention of playing football for his side but just to make a nuisance of himself and go crying to the referee.
The half ended with us in a narrow but commanding lead that could have been extended had MBH connected more cleanly with a Chris McPhee chip that he somehow managed to steer over the bar of Marriott's goal.
HT: 1 - 0
The second half was only a minute old when we broke the hearts of the visitors with a superbly taken goal from the much maligned Gavin Caines. Knights whipped a corner over to the other side of the area to find Caines unmarked and ready to head the ball over the reach of Marriott as he spotted him off his line. From then on the game was ours and we looked un-beatable.
The Mansfield manager made another change by bringing on Briscoe for Speight in a like for like change but it didn't really deter us at all. We just carried on taking the game to them.
Midway through the half Town started to get back into the game slightly with the introduction of the former Harrier Blair Sturrock. Kyle Perry should have done better with a good chance that he unwisely headed down into the ground instead of straight at Dean Coleman's goal and the ball bounced back up into the air and over the bar.
Duffy and Perry weren't really helping their teams cause by continually fouling and then running to the referee complaining. It was this leniency from Mr Lewis that lead to a succession of fracas' and the throwing of objects onto the pitch from the disgruntled Mansfield followers.
In one incident Dean Bennett went up for a fifty-fifty ball with Perry and without any real contact Perry dropped to the ground clutching his back. The referee waved away Perry's claims that he had been fouled by Deano but then handbags came out and it ended up with four players, including Bennett but not the perpetrator, getting booked.
Soon after the game was well and truly put out of Mansfield's reach when our third goal of the night went in.
The industrious Brian Smikle again evaded a challenges from Towns defenders to slip a ball through for Chris McPhee to run onto and fire beyond the reach of Marriott once more. It was at this point that quite a few of Mansfield's 311 fans left the ground in disgust at their sides poor showing. It was a shame they missed two penalties then.
The first one, for us, was down to a handball from another former Harrier, Luke Jones, in the area. Barnes-Homer stepped up to take it but there was no venom in his kick and the ball went straight to the keeper. A few minutes later and Mansfield were awarded a penalty for another handball but this one was un-avoidable.
Gary Mills ran onto the ball on the edge of the area and, as Lee Baker came in to close him down, Mills fired the ball straight at him from close range. With the ball flying towards his face Baker instinctively put his hands up for protection and referee awarded Mansfield a penalty. A very poor decision.
Rob Duffy stepped up to take it and showed MBH just how to take a penalty and score.
It was all too late for Mansfield though and to be honest the penalty was more than they deserved. For the Harriers it was a great result against a team in form and hoping to go higher in the table.
It also turned our recent form on its head.
FT: 3 - 1
Goals for Harriers: Barnes-Homer 14, Caines 47, McPhee 69
Goal for Mansfield: Duffy 88 (pen)
The Harriers Online MotM is:
Kidderminster 3 Mansfield Town 1
Evening Post, Tuesday, September 08, 2009
AGGBOROUGH is fast-becoming a disaster zone for Mansfield Town – no matter who their manager may be.
Last season Billy McEwan lost his job after a lacklustre display and subsequent 2-0 defeat for the Stags in the West Midlands.
And although the Yellows have got off to an excellent start this season, successor David Holdsworth fared no better.
After a string of encouraging performances, there was always the danger of Mansfield having a bad day at the office.
The Stags may have been unlucky not to pick up three points at Grays last Saturday, but they got exactly what they deserved against Harriers – nothing.
They were outplayed for long periods of the game and gave away three very sloppy goals to end their six-game unbeaten run.
To say the wheels are starting to come off the Mansfield wagon after two draws and a defeat would be unfair. In every other game they have enjoyed decent spells, or dominated, and created goalscoring opportunities, even if they have not always been taken.
But they do have to eradicate nights like this if they are to be play-off contenders, let alone challenge for the title.
Just as at Grays on Saturday, Holdsworth chose to ring the changes. With Craig Armstrong still not fit, Scott Gardner came in at left-back for Luke Graham while Kyle Nix and Ryan Williams replaced Matt Somner and Kyle Perry in midfield as Mansfield went back to 4-4-2.
But the early signs were not good as Kidderminster started brightly. The lively Brian Smikle failed to test Alan Marriott with a weak shot from the edge of the box in what was an indicator of what was to come.
Things may have been different had the visitors gone in front in the 10th minute when Kyle Nix whipped a free-kick in from the left only for Scott Garner to head over at the far post when well placed.
Instead, Harriers took control in the 14th minute as Matthew Barnes-Homer was sent clear through the inside right channel and he raced away before planting a crisp finish beyond Marriott.
The striker was almost in again soon after as the hosts broke quickly from a Mansfield corner but Scott Gardner and Marriott combined to snuff out the danger.
The Stags were bemused when a 21st minute free-kick was awarded against them and Kidderminster almost made it two as Gavin Caines was inches from connecting with Lee Baker's ball into the box.
With the ball failing to stick up front, Holdsworth wasted no time in making a substitution five minutes before the break with Perry adding height and strength to the front line as Daryl Clare made way.
But Harriers continued to be in the ascendancy and they might have doubled their lead when Barnes-Homer headed over after Chris McPhee had flicked on Duane Courtney's throw.
Just before half-time Luke Jones tried an ambitious effort from a 35-yard free-kick but former team-mate Dean Coleman held the ball easily, despite a slight deflection.
You sensed that Holdsworth could not wait to get among his players at half-time but it did not have the desired effect as Harriers took a 2-0 lead within a minute-and-a-half of the restart.
Daryl Knights' left-wing corner found Gavin Caines unmarked ten yards from goal and he headed powerfully into the left corner.
With the Stags rocking, Kidderminster went for the jugular and Knights was not too far wide with a 20-yard drive after being teed up by Smikle.
As the hour mark approached, Mansfield had strong appeals for a penalty turned down when the ball struck Dean Bennett from Rob Duffy's flick-on.
A decent chance came and went for the Stags when Jones' header bounced into the turf and over the top from Mills' pinpoint right-wing corner.
Harriers made it 3-0 on 69 minutes when Smikle's square pass was neatly tucked away first time by McPhee from 12 yards.
Kidderminster had the chance to get a fourth in the 82nd minute when they were awarded a penalty for handball against Gardner.
But while Barnes-Homer struck his kick well towards the right corner, Marriott pulled off a terrific diving stop and held the ball at the second attempt.
Mansfield were awarded a spot kick of their own with three minutes left when Baker was harshly adjudged to have handballed Louis Briscoe's cross and Duffy converted easily.
It was the one bright moment for the Stags of an otherwise miserable night.
Kidderminster Harriers 3 Mansfield Town 1, Tuesday 8th September
CHAD.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS turned in another Aggborough horror show on Tuesday night as they were easily beaten 3-0 by an on-form Kidderminster side.
A 13th minute rocket from Barnes-Homer, along with goals from Gavin Caines and Chris McPhee, downed mis-firing Mansfield to end their six-game unbeaten streak and hopes of topping the table.
The woeful display also brought back bitter memories for the 311 strong travelling Stags army of last year's tame 2-0 collapse against Kidderminster, which brought an end to the managership of Billy McEwan.
The normally tight Mansfield defensive ship sunk under the constant pressure of the free-flowing and pacey Kidderminster attack, while the well-marshalled strike-force failed to have any impact.
In a lacklustre display Stags failed to get a grip of the game with Kidderminster bossing the midfield and enjoying long spells of concerted pressure.
The only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing show was the wonderful penalty save by Alan Marriott seven minutes from time from the lively Barnes-Homer.
Stags pulled a consolation goal back three minutes from time through Rob Duffy after winning a highly doubtful penalty when Lee Baker was harshly judged to have handled from point blank range.
But despite the poor defeat Stags remain inside the play off zone and in good shape as they look to get back to winning ways against Stevenage on Saturday.
Boss David Holdsworth had made three changes to the Stags line-up. Winger Ryan Williams was recalled to the side along with midfielder Kyle Nix and Scott Gardner.
Jake Speight was also rewarded with another start after his four-goal burst to start the season, while Kyle Perry dropped to the bench - which was without a keeper.
Stags go into the game on a six-game unbeaten streak knowing victory, coupled with a loss for Oxford United, will see them top the table.
After a cagey start to the game Kidderminster began to turn up the pressure with Smikle testing Marriott with a tame drive along the turf after six minutes.
Stags then had a glorious chance to open the scoring two minutes later when Garner rose well at the back post to connect with an in-swinging Kyle Nix cross.
But with the goal at his mercy he sent a bullet header just over the ball from close range when he should have scored.
The Stags defence were left saying 'd'oh' on 13 minutes when Matthew Barnes-Homer broke the offside trap and burst through on game.
He composed himself well before firing a bullet half-volley into the net past the helpless Marriott.
The goal gave Kiddy a visible lift as they began to boss the midfield with some slick incisive passing to put Stags under concentrated pressure.
Kidderminster continued to boss the first half without carving out any further clear cut chances as Stags began to regroup.
But Mansfield continued to find it tough going as an attacking unit with the front players unable to make the ball stick and the wingers all too often isolated on the fringes.
And five minutes before half-time Holdsworth introduced big Kyle Perry for Daryl Clare as the visitors looked to get a foothold in the game.
Moments before the break an under-pressure Barnes-Homer once again went close as he headed over from six yards after connecting with a near-post flick on by captain Chris McPhee.
As the rain began to tumble down in the West Midlands Stags had a long over-due sniff at goal as Luke Jones tried his luck from all of 35 yards.
But the ball trickled off a couple of defenders to take the pace of the strike and land in the hands of Coleman in the Kidderminster goal.
It got much worse for hapless Stags just two minutes after the restart when they failed to defend a deep corner by Darryl Knight.
Gain Caines pulled off well at the back post to power a head back across goal and into the top corner.
And it could have been three on 51 minutes when Darryl Knights found himself in a good position 25 yards out as Kidderminster once again passed the ball beautifully.
But Knights was unable to cap the free-flowing move as he scuffed his shot wide to the relief of the Stags rearguard.
Stags nearly found a route back into the game just after the hour mark when Jones latched on to a Mills corner.
But he got too much on his header as it bounced into the turf and over the bar.
On-song Harriers killed off all hope of a comeback on 69 minutess when Chris McPhee ghosted in between the Stags defence to rifle home a sweet right foot finish past the diving Marriott.
It was nothing more than Kidderminster deserved as they continued to put Stags to the sword on the counter-attack.
It could have been much worse for Stags after Kidderminster were awarded a spot-kick after referee Rob Lewis ruled he had handled a fierce shot in the box.
But Alan Marriott helped keep the score down as he leapt well to his left to turn away a Barnes-Homer penalty and gather at the second attempt on 82 minutes.
Stags pulled a consolation goal back through Rob Duffy when Lee Baker was harshly judged to have handled a Louis Briscoe cross.
He cooly tucked the ball away after sending the keeper the wrong way, but it was too little too late to cheer the away fans on a wet and cold West Midlands night.
STAGS: Marriott, Silk, Garner, Jones, Gardner, Speight (Briscoe 57mins), Nixs, Mills, Williams (Sturrock 70mins), Duffy, Clare (Perry 40mins). Subs: Somner, Graham.
KIDDERMINSTER: Coleman, Courtney, Caines, Riley, Baker, Smikle, Bennett, McDermott, Knights, Barnes-Homer, McPhee. Subs: Dolman, Hadley, Sharpe, Farrell, Hayward
REFEREE: Rob Lewis, Shropshire.
ATTENDANCE: ATT: 1378 (311)
Latest | September 2009