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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Kidderminster Harriers  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Lowe 73, Richards 85.
Attendance: 1266 (78 (seventy eight) from Mansfield)
Date: 9 December 2008

By Nick Moorehouse, aka Birminghamstag10

The Stags’ 12th away game of this Blue Square Premier campaign saw them travel to the West Midlands tonight, to meet high flying Kidderminster Harriers at the Aggborough Stadium. Mansfield were to come away empty handed as they put in yet another lacklustre performance, created very little throughout and gave away two goals in the last 17 minutes of the match. Harriers started the night as clear favourites having lost once at home all season. In contrast, the struggling Stags started the night with only one scalp to their credit whilst on their travels this season. The final result would send Harriers up to third with the Stags slipping to 20th and only one point from the drop zone.

Mansfield made two changes from the 11 who put in another disappointing performance during Thursday’s home loss to Oxford, continuing with a 4-3-3 formation. Gavin Hurren came into replace Matt Somner in midfield to play against his former club, and emergency loanee Jamie Annerson from Sheffield United came in to replace Paddy Gamble in goal who was not available for selection. Annerson’s start was his 2nd for the Stags – he played in the preseason 0-3 away loss to Boston United.

The match started even and bright. Kidderminster’s Richards had two early efforts on the Mansfield goal; firstly blazing wildly wide, and secondly the big forward headed wide from a Baker cross. On 22 minutes, the Stags were forced to lose their captain with Adie Moses having to go off due to an injury he picked up whilst making a decent challenge on the lively Richards moments before. Moses was replaced by Matt Somner, with Gavin Hurren moving to the centre back position and Alan O’Hare taking the captain’s armband. Kidderminster marginally had the better of the 1st half, looking more dangerous in and around the Stags’ 18 yard box without creating too much. For what midfield possession Mansfield did have, the ball was too easily squandered and the Stags struggled to get any sort of grip on the game, despite lively play from Ahmed and Nathan Arnold in midfield. The best chance of the game came on 33 minutes when Russell Penn was allowed to burst through the Stags’ defence and have a clear sight on goal from the D area of the box. Thankfully his powerful effort sailed well over Annerson’s bar. Eight minutes later saw arguably Mansfield’s best move of the game – D’Laryea burst quickly from defence spreading a good ball out wide on the left to Jeannin, and the Frenchman put in a decent cross for the run of Ahmed, who was adjudged to have handled when he took control of the ball in the Harriers’ box.

Half time – 0-0

Stags looked like they were still enjoying the half time warmth of the dressing room when Kidderminster had the best clear cut chance to take the lead on 46 minutes. A headed error by Stags’ stand-in captain Alan O’Hare allowed Richards to go through one on one with Jamie Annerson to the right of goal. Richards let fly with a powerful effort which beat Annerson, only to see his effort heroically cleared off the line by the Stags defence. That incident clearly woke Mansfield up and the Stags had good moments of possession over the next 5 minutes. Kidderminster pressed the Mansfield goal again on 51 minutes, this time Penn saw his low drive fly wide of the Mansfield goal. Kidderminster continued their pressure, with Mansfield offering little in reply, and Richards was nearly let in again from an O’Hare error at the back. The second half settled and again Mansfield let go of possession too easily, with Kidderminster having the better of the attacking play. Mansfield’s only real effort on goal came on 64 minutes when a long punt downfield from Annerson was flicked left by Jason Lee into the path of Adnan Ahmed. Ahmed took the chance first time on the half volley from the edge of the box and was unlucky to see his well crafted left-footed effort tipped over the bar by the fingertips of the Harriers’ keeper. A minute later Mansfield made their second change of the evening, Arnold was replaced by O’Connor in a like for like swap. The change was greeted by jeering from the army of 78 travelling Stags fans as Arnold had quite clearly been one of the better performers for the Stags on the night. Kidderminster’s pursuit of the opening goal continued and on 72 minutes a decent cross from the right was met firmly by the head of Barnes-Homer on the 6 yard line. Annerson produced a superb diving save to parry the ball out for a corner. However from the resulting corner kick the Stags would fall behind. A high, deep corner from the right to the far post was met by right back Keith Lowe, who out-jumped everyone to head home from close range. The goal was probably a fair reward for the Harriers’ superior attacking play during the game. Mansfield replied by moving the ball forward with O’Connor from the kick-off but his good cross could only be headed over by Matt Somner in the six yard box. Harriers nearly made it two on 77 minutes, defender Creighton seeing his drive cleared off the goal line by Ahmed. The first yellow card of the match came two minutes later when the Mansfield left back Alex Jeannin put in a poor late challenge on Brittain. Kidderminster made a change on 84 minutes with former Stags player Chris Beardsley coming on to replace the impressive Barnes-Homer. A minute later, Kidderminster did double their lead and put the match firmly out of Mansfield’s reach. Ferrell made a good run from the right into the Mansfield box, got to the touch-line and then pulled the ball back for Richards to get a deserved goal by driving low through the Mansfield defence and under Annerson, from just inside the box. Towards the end Kidderminster could have further extended their lead as the ball was cleared off the line for the third time of the night, and another Richards effort was blocked by O’Hare and forced out of play for a corner.

The game finished 2-0 and Mansfield fell to their eighth away loss and are now very much in a relegation battle. Mansfield never really created anything of significance and despite having some midfield possession, there was neither the creativity or the support in the final third that would allow Mansfield to surmount any sort of attack. Another poor display from Mansfield. Something clearly has to change.

Full time – 2-0

Stags Man of the Match – For doing a solid job and very little wrong, Gary Silk

Report by: Nick Moorehouse, aka Birminghamstag10

Line Up:
Annerson – 6. Took a few high balls well and commanded the back line well. Could have made more of a presence on the cross for the first goal but may well have been unsighted for the 2nd goal. Saved well just before the Harriers’ first goal.
Silk – 7. Did another solid job making some good tackles and kept the lively Smikle at bay.
O’Hare – 5. Made some silly errors which nearly led to goals.
Moses – 6. Made a few decent challenges in the 20 minutes he played, especially the one that caused his injury and substitution.
Jeannin – 4. Average first half but made too many wrong decisions in the 2nd half and deserved his booking. Most of Harriers’ attacking play came down Jeannin’s side of the pitch.
D’Laryea – 4. Never got hold of the ball and looked off the pace.
Hurren – 6. Did well when asked to move to centre back, and made some good challenges when in midfield.
Ahmed – 6. Lively and looked to create when he was on the ball. Sadly never got the support he needed. Had Stags’ best effort on goal.
Sinclair – 4. Looked disinterested and when on the ball, he seemed to constantly run into trouble.
Lee – 4. Nothing doing all night for the big forward.
Arnold – 6. Lively first half but playing up front in a 4-3-3 made him isolated. Unlucky to come off.
Sub Line Up:
Somner (for Moses, 23) – 5. Little impact.
O'Connor (for Arnold, 66) – 5. Did very little apart from one decent cross for Somner.
Subs Not Used: Kay, Wood, McGhee.
Opposition Line Up:
Bartlett, Lowe, Reilly, Creighton, Baker, Brittain, Penn, Bennett (Ferrell 44), Smikle (McDermott 67), Barnes-Homer (Beardsley 84), Richards. Subs Not Used: Moore, Jones.
R Merchant (Staffordshire) 6 – Didn’t have much to do, quite rightly booked Jeannin.

Season 08/09 Reports