STAGS BEATEN AFTER THE LORD MAYOR`S SHOW
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 0 - 2 Kidderminster Harriers
Demetriou 21, Vaughan 24.
Attendance: 2405 (208 from Kidderminster)
Date: 12 January 2013
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town slumped to a disappointing defeat to in-form Kidderminster at Field Mill, six days after a magnificent display against Liverpool. Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half were enough to earn to the three points for the visitors who have now won 9 games out of ten. Mansfield hit the woodwork three times in the first half, with Green smashing a great shot against the outside of the post, and smashing another piledriver against the underside of the bar, while Dempster had a header turned onto the bar by the keeper. Kidderminster also hit the post in that first half with a header, and it could have been 3-3 at half time. The Stags were booed off at half time. The Stags had plenty of pressure in the second half but even though Kidderminster were reduced to ten men when Clancy was sent off on 74 minutes, the Stags couldn't break through as Kidderminster packed the defence and held on for a 2-0 win. It was an impressive away performance by the Harriers, but not good enough from Mansfield.
Man of the match: Matt Green
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Saturday, 12th January 2013: Mansfield Town 0, Kidderminster Harriers 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town manager Paul Cox was left seething tonight after his side produced exactly the sort of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' display he had spent all week warning them against as they flopped 2-0 at home against in-form Kidderminster Harriers today.
Cox slammed his side for still having their heads in the clouds after all the bright lights of their superb FA Cup showing against Liverpool six days before.
Last Sunday they were cheered off by the home fans, but today they were booed from the field after a below-par first half saw the excellent Harriers dominate and open a 2-0 lead inside four decisive first half minutes.
Stags did play much better after the break and, when Sean Clancy was sent-off on 74 minutes for his lunge at Lee Beevers just three minutes after coming on as a sub, the visitors did offer Mansfield some hope.
But, try as they might, Stags could not find a way past the superb Harriers rearguard with keeper Danny Lewis and defender Mickey Demetriou simply outstanding.
Matt Green ended the afternoon without a goal to his name, yet he hit the bar and post and twice had efforts saved by Lewis on an afternoon of high frustration.
After the game Cox hinted that the display had made up his mind about one or two of the players and, with the January transfer window open, he needed to go out and bring in some fresh faces who could show more mental toughness than some of his current squad in the second half of the season.
This was the fourth year in a row that Mansfield have failed to beat Kidderminster at home. But it was no great surprise as this game represented a ninth win in 10 for the West Midlanders, who have soared from the foot of the table, without a win in their first 10 games, to go into fifth place and the play-off places with this win today.
Unsurprisingly Mansfield were unchanged from the previous weekend's heroics against Liverpool for the game that marked the halfway point of the campaign for Cox's men.
In a highly entertaining first half, Harriers were straight onto the attack down the left, Beevers in well to prevent Gittings getting on the end of a low cross on the edge of the six yard box.
Stags also had to clear a Kidderminster corner before almost snatching the lead at the other end on six minutes as Green launched a low 20-yard shot that clipped the outside of the right post.
Geohaghon, booed by the away fans after his brief spell with the Harriers earlier this season, got in a good block as Rowe swivelled for a shot to concede a second corner as Harriers played with the confidence and purpose you would expect from their recent run of form.
The visitors then won a central free kick just outside the box which was cued up for Demetriou to fire a rising shot over the bar.
But Harriers should have scored on 12 minutes after a poor defensive header from Geohaghon. That saw Vincent draw Marriott and square for Malbon, who only had to find the gaping goal from eight yards but somehow fired over.
Stags replied with two corners, Lewis easily blocking Meikle's hopeful 25-yard shot when the second was cleared to him.
Demetriou made a good block on a low Howell cross to concede another flag kick which again the visitors cleared.
A good break, instigated by Clements' disguised pass and Meikle's strong run, then saw Briscoe on target from 20 yards out on the right, but the save was easy again for Lewis.
Marriott had his first save to make on 20 minutes, in the way of a rasping Rowe shot after Harriers had got down the right.
But Kidderminster were ahead on 21 minutes from a free kick conceded by Beevers 20 yards from goal in a central position which saw Demetriou step up to fizz an unstoppable finish past Marriott.
Meikle was wide on Mansfield's next raid with a rising near post effort.
It was almost 2-0 on 24 minutes when a through ball found Malbon who saw Marriott brilliantly tip away his finish.
But the visitors did double their lead a minute later as Vaughan superbly sidestepped a lunging tackle from Beevers in the box and, from not the best of angles, smashed a finish across Marriott and inside the far post.
On 28 minutes Stags came desperately close to pulling one back as Dempster headed a Clements corner on target and Lewis reached up to block and was relieved to see a defender hook clear as it dropped onto the line with Green lurking to try to edge it over.
Marriott was down at his near post again to block a low shot from Johnson after he had left Beevers on the floor with his tricky footwork on the right.
Green fired straight at Lewis from a 20 yard free kick on 35 minutes as Mansfield struggled to find a way back into the game.
Meikle then got a good nod-down onto a far post Briscoe cross, but Gowling got a leg in the way of Green's finish.
On 37 minutes Harriers attacked down the right with Johnson's cross inviting a powerful stooping header from Demetriou which hit the base of the post, Harriers' players then claiming the ball hit a home hand in the box in the ensuing scramble.
Thompson's late challenge on 41 minutes saw him cautioned.
Meikle had a fleeting chance as Harriers headed a long Geohaghon throw towards him, but his 20-yard snapshot was well over the bar.
Green came so close to a goal in the first minute of stoppage time as, given room just outside the box, he saw his powerful shot come back off the bar and then bundled the follow-up wide.
Manager Cox made a double change down his right side at half-time, withdrawing Thompson and Briscoe and sending on Daniel and Sutton, Meikle switching wings.
Within seconds of the restart, Johnson had curled a shot well wide of the far post as Harriers sounded out a warning that they were not about to sit back on their two-goal advantage.
Sub Daniel enjoyed his first run on 51 minutes, racing powerfully down the centre before pulling a low shot wide.
Dempster looked hopefully at the referee as he went down from Dunkley's challenge from the home side's first corner of the half, but referee Mr Ford was unmoved.
Then Sutton blocked a low Rowe shot as play passed swiftly from end to end.
Meikle did well to dribble his way into the Harriers box soon after only to shoot wide of the near post with other options to his left.
Meikle then cut in from the right to drill a low ball into the box which Green reached with an outstretched leg to force another good save by Lewis to his right.
Lewis also easily caught a far post header from Geohaghon from a Daniel cross.
Dunkley was booked on 63 minutes for hauling back Green as he tried to go clear.
Home fans wanted a red card, but Green was 40 yards from goal with other defenders around him too and it was always going to be a yellow only.
With 19 minutes to go, Harriers freshened things up with a double change, Clancy and Blissett coming on for Johnson and Rowe.
Then we had a flurry of cards with Malbon booked for a foul, Green booked for arguing an offside decision, and then Harriers had Clancy red-carded within three minutes of coming on for showing his studs in a needless lunging tackle on Beevers.
Beevers tried to carry on after treatment but was unable, so Stags threw on Rhead for the last 12 minutes, who at lest won everything in the air and caused problems.
Gittings found himself in space running at the ball 20 yards out but fired over with Marriott at his mercy as the game became ever more stretched.
From another Stags corner on 84 minutes, Murray acrobatically hooked a good effort on target which Lewis blocked before he was fouled in the follow-up melee.
With a minute to go Lewis turned away a close range header from Rhead from a Geohaghon long throw as Mansfield began to realise it wasn't going to be their day.
Meikle was just wide in stoppage time from a fierce Clements near post cross, though it came at him so fast it hit his shins and he was unable to place it.
But the final whistle brought the inevitable boos from a crowd boosted by the previous week's showing against Liverpool.
How many of them come back for the visit of Nuneaton on 22nd January is another matter with two tough away games to go before then. It really is crunch time for Paul Cox and it seems almost inevitable there will be movement in the transfer market this week.
STAGS: Marriott; Thompson (Sutton H/T), Geohaghon, Dempster, Beevers (Rhead 78); Howell, Murray, Clements; Briscoe (Daniel H/T), Green, Meikle. Subs not used: Wright, Stevenson.
KIDDERMINSTER: Lewis; L. Vaughan, Dunkley, Gowling, Demetriou; Storer, Malbon (Shakes 88), Gittings; Vincent, Rowe (Blissett 71), Johnson (Clancy 71). Subs not used: Williams, N. Vaughan.
REFEREE: Declan Ford of Lincoln.
ATTENDANCE: 2,405 (208 away).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Green
Liverpool hangover for Mansfield Town - captain threatens to "clock" the next person who mentions the match
Nottingham Post REPORT by Stevie Roden
LIVERPOOL had been the word on the lips of everybody around Mansfield.
Now, the mere mention of the Premier League side is starting to eat away at the management. Captain and assistant manager, Adam Murray, said if he heard it mentioned one more time, he was likely to clock someone.
And there was no surprise at such post-match reaction as they tried to explain a dire first-half performance that ultimately saw them crash to a 2-0 defeat to in-form Kidderminster on their return to Blue Square Bet Premier action.
Just six days earlier, Brendan Rodgers had brought his side to the sold-out One Call Stadium in front of the cameras for a classic and controversial FA Cup tie, which the Stags lost 2-1.
But, on Saturday, it was back to reality as little over 2,000 Mansfield supporters made their way into the not even third-full ground as Paul Cox's side looked to ignite a play-off push.
Buoyed by their performance in the third round of the cup, the hope was they could close the seven-point gap to the play-offs with victory and then go about their five games in hand on some – which could ultimately catapult them among the front-runners.
Murray said afterwards the hope had been to roll with the momentum, make Kidderminster not know what had hit them.
Instead, the same starting 11 from six days earlier came out with a whimper, looked fragile and the full-backs in particular had a torrid opening 45 minutes as goals from Mickey Demetriou and Lee Vaughan in the middle of the first-half secured a two-goal cushion that Stags could never eat into, despite a much-improved second-half performance.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the Harriers blitzed Stags with three goals inside the first 23 minutes and ten minutes later, Cox made a double substitution – but the game still finished 3-0.
This time, it was a two-goal blitz and the double substitution did not come until the break but, even so, for its own reasons, the opening half was painful viewing for everyone of a Stags disposition.
Striker Matt Green smashed a 20-yard effort against the post early on before Demetriou gave the hosts a scare as he drilled a rising free-kick from the edge of the box just an inch over the bar.
But Mansfield's lacklustre side started to show on 12 minutes when the visitors should have taken the lead. Exodus Geohaghon was wrestled off the ball on the edge of his own box, and then John Thompson's poke back to Alan Marriott was weak, allowing Anthony Malbon to nip in, and with the goalkeeper drawn out of position, pull back to the on-rushing Jamie Vincent but the midfielder, with the goal gaping, failed to hit the target.
The goal did come on 21 minutes. Down Kidderminster's left flank, they too easily got into a dangerous position as Thompson struggled and it led to a free-kick being won in a central position on the edge of the box, as Lee Beevers was adjudged to have fouled a Kidderminster player. And, this time, Demetriou found the back of the net from his 18-yard low drive, fizzing too easily through everybody and in.
On 25 minutes, it was 2-0 as right-back Lee Vaughan sidestepped Beevers, after the defender had taken too long to clear, before drilling a rising shot into the far corner.
Stags were all over the place and it could have been three when Marvin Johnson fired in a cross from the right to the back post where, unmarked, Demetriou ghosted in and headed against the post.
The only real threat from Mansfield came from Green, cutting a solitary figure up top, who drilled a powerful shot too close to Lewis before almost getting the Stags back in the game on the stroke of half-time, once again turning away from his marker before rifling a 20-yard shot that beat the goalkeeper only to crash back down off the underside of the bar.
Cue the boos at the break before Ritchie Sutton and Colin Daniel replaced Thompson and Briscoe for the second half.
Daniel showed his intent, looking to get on the ball and make things happen, while Lindon Meikle got into a few good positions but his finishing let him down. Green and Geohaghon also had shot saves.
On 74 minutes, three minutes after coming on, Kidderminster's Sean Clancy caught Beevers late as he went to clear and was shown a red card. But, despite the man advantage, Mansfield could not make it count.
Unlike the buzz of the FA Cup, with the stadium rocking, the boos and groans were back to meet the final whistle and it was understandable, given the performance level witnessed.
The Stags have slipped to nine points off the play-offs and are now halfway through their season.
There is a clear need for more leaders in the dressing room, a couple of no-nonsense, no-frills players to demand more on and off the pitch.
The cameras and razzmatazz has long gone, the hangover from the cup cannot linger forever. That was a one-off and now it is back to the less glamorous surroundings of non-league football.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, they head to Stockport. But it is not about a positive reaction for one game, it is about character and attitude to be shown consistently otherwise a winning run, like Kidderminster are on with nine wins from their last ten league games, will never materialise.
Liverpool is suddenly a dirty word in the camp. But the only way to stop people referring to that occasion is by giving them something else to turn their attention to, like winning games and mounting a serious challenge for promotion.
Before that can happen, Stags need to man-up, show some steel. And, on Saturday's evidence, maybe Cox has to dip into the transfer market to add some of those qualities
Defenders double wins it for the Harriers
report by Philip Lench
The Harriers hit Mansfield on the rebound today with two fine first half goals at the One Call Stadium today. Last week our hosts had been entertaining the illustrious Liverpool but lost with bravery in their hearts.
Today they crumbled and withered against the illustrious Harriers.
With Jamille Matt no longer with us it was a return to the 4-3-3 that we stuck with to no avail earlier in the season. Ryan Rowe and Anthony Malbon started the game as our lone strikers but it was two players from the other end of the pitch that grabbed the points for us.
The home side had already come close to opening the scoring when Matt Greens superb strike veered away from Danny Lewis and struck the outside of the post. Harriers fans sat in the stand behind the goal began to expect the worst but once through the early storm we managed to get a grip on the game.
We gained a free kick that lead to our usual, unwanted, four man charade of each taking turns to run over the ball before being struck goalwards. This time by Mickey Demetriou and this time it wasn't too far off the target. That was just a practice run though.
Malbon should really have opened the scoring for the Harriers soon after when he was selflessly played in by James Vincent after the Mansfield keeper, Alan Marriott had gone walkabout Breeden fashion, but his side footed attempt in front of an open goal ballooned over the top.
The atmosphere was starting to rise now that we could see that Mansfield were not going to be the tough opponent that they should have been. Much of that atmosphere was being directed at Exodus Geohaghon in telling him what the Harriers thought of him or his deceit when he was with us for that short period of time at the start of the season.
Midway through the half and we were handed another free kick. Again, as in our first free kick, it was Lee Beevers that upended a player on the edge of the area but this time there was no messing about with half the team lining up to give the ball a tap. Up stepped Mickey D to blast the ball goalwards and fizzing to the right of Marriott and into the net.
And now we know that he must be our penalty taker.
It was to get even better a few minutes later. First Malbon came so close to getting back onto the score sheet when he made a great run to find space and then sent in a dipping shot that the Stags keeper only just managed to tip over the bar and then Lee Vaughan struck.
He deftly stepped over a red card worthy lunge from Beevers and then, closing in on goal from the narrowest of angles, sent in a shot that literally flew across the face of the goal to nestle in the far corner.
The Harriers had their commanding lead and now they needed to hold on to it.
Mansfield stepped their game up and should have pulled a goal back soon after but Danny Lewis was beginning to show his worth in the Harriers goal. John Dempster, once a target signing for Steve Burr, headed goalwards from a corner but Danny was quick to react and pushed it onto the underside of the bar. From the rebound Matt Green should have buried the ball but thankfully Josh Gowling cleared the ball to safety in the nick of time.
With the halftime whistle seemingly never going to happen, for reasons known only to the referee, we had a chance to increase our lead further when Demetriou hit the foot of the post following a lengthy run into the goal area by Marvin Johnson. It was Mansfield that was to end the half the strongest though when a long throw from Geohaghon was headed backwards by a Harriers defender into the path of Lindon Meikle and his snapshot went narrowly over the bar.
Then in almost the final minute they had their best chance of the game when Green picked up the ball on the edge of the area to send a tremendous, powerful shot in that bent the bar as it came back off it. The ball was cleared to safety by Chey Dunkley but it really had goal written all over it.
HT: 0 - 2
The second period started with a double substitution by the Mansfield manager, Paul Cox, in an effort to rescue the game. On came Colin Daniel and Richie Sutton for John Thompson and Louis Briscoe and straight away Daniel had the first chance of the half when he sent his low shot wide of the Harriers goal.
Harriers fans celebrate after the 2-0 win at Mansfield The change in personnel seemed to work, to a degree, for the home side because most of the second half play was in our half of the field. Rarely did the away fans see an action up our end of the pitch.
Matt Green, Mansfields best player by far, tried his luck again but again Lewis was equal to him and palmed his effort from an outstretched leg cleanly away. Danny also easily coped with a header from Geohaghon soon after but the traitor was having a typically bad performance and, frankly, we did the right thing getting shut of him.
The Harriers management could see that we were struggling to cope with the home teams pressure on our goal and made a double substitution in an effort to counteract that. On came Nathan Blissett for Ryan Rowe while Marvin Johnson made way for Sean Clancy but Clancy was to last just four minutes before making his way back to the dressing room.
Frustration was starting to set in from Mansfield as the began to lose faith in their ability to score. Malbon was getting a hard time from niggly tackles and shirt pulling but when he took retribution out on Dempster he got booked. Matt Green also got booked for arguing with the referee and then came the stupid challenge on Lee Beevers by Clancy.
What looked to be a routine challenge on the touchline left Beevers rolling around like a 'good un'. Play had continued but the linesman called the referees attention to it and while Beevers was being treated with an invisible spray and a pretend sticking plaster the ref pulled a red card out and sent Clancy off.
Beevers got to his feet and limped around for a bit before asking to come off. Job done.
The Harriers consolidated following that incident and continued to get more out of the game. We could have increased our lead further when Blissett managed to trick his way past some Mansfield defenders to run into the area and lay the ball off to Callum Gittings but his shot at an almost open goal went flying over the bar.
At the other end Danny made a great save from Adam Murray but, with the ball safely in his arms, he was bundled over the line by Matt Rhead. The referee didn't think the clear and dangerous foul was worthy of a caution.
The end of the game finally arrived just before 5.00pm and the Harriers fans rushed to the front to celebrate another fine win away from home. We must do it all again at Macclesfield next week.
Good idea :)
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