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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
3 - 3
 Kidderminster Harriers
Speight 18, 25, 44.
 Byrne 51, Knights 54, McPhee 74.
Attendance: 2734 (144 from Kidderminster)
Date: 24 April 2010


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Mansfield Town threw away a three goal lead provided by Jake Speight’s first half hat-trick, with an inept defensive second half display, as Kidderminster clawed their way back to claim a point. This 3-3 draw summed up Mansfield’s entire season of total inconsistency. At half time, we were even thinking that the Stags could claim back 8th place from AFC Wimbledon, as two further goals would have completed a 6 goal swing in the goal difference. But that all evaporated with a spectacular defensive collapse. It was a bitterly disappointing end to the season, which promised so much. At least Speight had reason to smile, as his hat-trick, the first in a first half since Iyseden Christie against Colchester, meant he overtook Rob Duffy as the club’s leading goalscorer with 17 goals (plus one further which was expunged against Chester).

Before the game, Alan Marriott received the player of the season awards from the SSA, the CHAD, and Ollerton Stags. The only surprise was he didn’t get a clean sweep as Gary Silk picked the Pleasley Stags award.

On a sunny afternoon, the Stags played in next season’s home kit of amber and blue stripes on the front and amber on the back of the shirts, with blue shorts and a return to the lucky amber socks. The kit looked terrific.The entire Stags 16 were all players under contract for next season, with the exception of Jake Speight for whom the club has an option on his contract for next season.

The Stags started well, and on 4 minutes Luke Foster fired just over from 20 yards. Then on 6 minutes, Somner headed straight at the Kidderminster keeper. A great turn from Speight on 12 minutes, as he shot just past the left post from a tight angle on the left.

But on 18 minutes, the Stags were ahead. Briscoe and Mills combined to thread a good ball forward into Speight who cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot which flew into the far right corner of the net.

In a Kidderminster break, Knights tried to thread Smikle through with a long ball catching the defence flat-footed, but Marriott was alert to the danger and ran well out of his box to clear over the Bishop Street stand.

Speight made it 2-0 on 25 minutes with another superb goal, this time an individual effort. He ran down the right wing, before cutting inside and firing under the keeper from a tight angle.

Kidderminster’s first good chance arrived on 28 minutes when a ball looked as though it was going for a Stags goalkick, but was kept in play by Byrne and his cross was put wide by Matthews, under pressure from Garner.

Straight to the other end and a Mills free kick was cleared to Williams whose cross found Briscoe whose shot was blocked, and Speight couldn’t quick pick up the rebound.

On 35 minutes, Burgess put in a good cross from the left, and Duffy got up well and sent a header wide of the left post.

On 44 minutes it was 3-0. A Marriott long ball forward was flicked on by Duffy, into the path of Speight who tried to stab the ball past the keeper, it came off the underside his right boot with little power, and somehow the keeper let it through and it rolled slowly over the line. A terrible mistake by the keeper.

As the half time whistle blew, Speight jumped onto Somner’s back in celebration, which would turn out to be premature.

At the break, we calculated that the Stags could claim 8th place from AFC Wimbledon, with a two further goals, as Wimbledon were losing 1-0 at Gateshead and this would have completed a 6 goal swing in the goal difference.

Half time 3-0

At the start of the second half, Kidderminster switched from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.

On 51 minutes, it was 3-1. Brian Smikle crossed well from the left and Byrne was totally unmarked, sneaking in behind Garner, to head home from five yards. Poor defending.

Three minutes later and it was 3-2, thanks to more sloppy defending. Knights was not closed down and he was allowed a free shot from the edge of the box into the bottom right corner of the net.

On 59 minutes, Briscoe crossed from the right for Duffy who headed just past the left post. It was Briscoe’s last contribution, and ironically his best, as he was replaced by Istead.

On 61 minutes, Mansfield’s dreadful defending continued as left back Baker moved forward and was allowed a free shot from 25 yards which was a yard wide of the left post. On 65, Williams crossed from the left and Duffy headed over the bar. On 70 minutes, Williams cut inside from the left and shot at the keeper who held onto it as Speight closed in.

A let-off for the Stags on 72 minutes as Baker crossed from the left to Knights who got in front of Burgess and shot straight at Marriott. Straight to the other end and Speight turned and cut inside before firing towards the corner of the net, where keeper Coleman dived full-length to his left to save with his finger tips. A great save.

It was 3-3 on 74 minutes. McPhee who had played at centre half in the first half, but gone up front in the second half, fired home a brilliant shot from 20 yards into the top left corner, giving Marriott no chance.

On 77 minutes, Istead crossed the right, and Williams fired a shot across goal, as he was caught in two minds whether to shoot or cross and it really ended up as neither.

A minute later, Kiddie sub Kerry fired straight at Marriott from 20 yards, with men over for the visitors.

On 82 minutes, Istead led a three-on-two break for the Stags, and he fed the ball to Speight on the right, and his shot was tipped round for a corner by the keeper. Momemts later, Williams’ cross from the right was headed goalwards by Somner and the keeper made a great save to tip it away.

Shaw replaced Duffy on 85, and Perry replaced Speight in stoppage time but there were no further chances. At the end of the game there was a small, good natured pitch invasion and the fans left in quiet, resigned, fashion.

Man of the match: Jake Speight

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 No chance with the goals. Good save charging outside his box in the first half. Several saves in the second half, mostly straight at him.
Silk 6 Did well going forward, but part of a shocking second half defensive display.
Foster 5 Very poor second half.
Garner 5 Poor.
Burgess 5 Did his best but simply is not a left back. At fault for one of the goals.
Briscoe 5 Kept running into dead ends. Ironically his only decent cross of the afternoon was immediately before he was substituted.
Mills 5 Free kicks continue to disappoint. Why does he take them?
Somner 6 The pick of the midfield.
Williams 6 Created some dangerous situations in the second half.
Duffy 6 Won some good headers.
Speight 9 Excellent first two goals. Lucky third goal. Could have had more goals. Needs to be offered a contract this evening.
Sub Line Up:
Istead (for Briscoe, 59) 6 Pushed forward well.
Shaw (for Duffy, 85) -
Perry (for Speight, 90+3) - Appearance allowed Speight to milk the applause.
Subs not used: Collett, Nix.
Opposition Line Up:
Coleman, Courtney, Sharpe, McPhee, Baker, Finnigan (Kerry 70), Bennett (Goodfellow 85), Byrne, Knights, Matthews (Riley 46), Smikle. Subs Not Used: Singh, Lawrie.
Peter Wright of Southport 7 Didn’t notice him, which is great.

Season 0910 Reports