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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Kidderminster Harriers  
1 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Shaw pen 7.
 Medley 53, Connor 55, Duffy 89.
Attendance: 1487 (295 from Mansfield)
Date: 21 August 2010


Martin Shaw at Aggborough Stadium

Mansfield Town came back from 1-0 down at half-time to win 3-1 at Kidderminster this afternoon thanks to inspired displays from substitute Luke Medley, the outstanding Paul Connor, and a terrific display from Louis Briscoe who continued his fine run of form. The Stags were very unlucky to be behind at the interval after the home side were given a ridiculous penalty on 7 minutes, converted by former Stag Tom Shaw. Indeed the Stags dominated much of the first half, but came roaring back in the second half as substitute Luke Medley belted home from close range after a precise nod down from Briscoe from Adam Smith’s cross on 53 minutes. Then 2 minutes later Paul Connor rounded the home keeper to score. Medley missed chances for a hat-trick, before he superbly set up another substitute, Rob Duffy, who scored from close range, to send the Stags fans delirious behind the goal. A terrific performance from the Stags, who blew Kidderminster away with some devastating attacking.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that lost 3-0 at Fleetwood, manager Holdsworth giving a chance to his central defensive pairing of Foster and Chris Smith to recover from horrendous mistakes that gifted the game away. Rob Duffy was a welcome addition to the bench, on his road to recovery from injury. Kidderminster included Tom Shaw at right back. Shaw had played for the Stags under Billy McEwan and played against the Stags for Tamworth last season, but always as a midfielder. Keith Briggs was another former Stags player in the Kidderminster side.

There was a deluge of rain about 90 minutes before play, but the sun was out for most of the game, which was played on an excellent surface. Hopefully rain will stay away from Field Mill this evening for the Westlife concert, or we might not be seeing an excellent surface at home for a while.

Connor was soon in the action for the Stags winning a ball in the Harriers half but it came to nothing. Then on 7 minutes, an outrageous decision as the home side were awarded a penalty. Chris Smith clashed with McPhee in the box. The referee was only about 5 yards away and correctly waved play on, but the linesman, positioned right in front of us in the press box, raised his flag and put it across his chest to signify a penalty. The referee should have ignored the call as the linesman was much further away, but instead went with his assistant’s call, and pointed to the spot. The Mansfield protests were in disbelief more than anything, but Tom Shaw stepped up and sent Marriott the wrong way as his slightly mis-hit shot was perfectly placed just inside the left post. The linesman was to go on to have an appalling game, in fact when he got one decision right, I felt compelled to mention it during the radio commentary.

The Stags first chance came on 13 minutes when Silk’s throw-in was played back to Adam Smith by Connor, and Smith hit a first time shot 2 yards wide of the left post. On 16 minutes, Parker crossed from the left towards Briscoe who slid in but scuffed his shot at the keeper. On 21 minutes, Thompson shot left footed and low but it was straight at the keeper. Then on 23 minutes, Adam Smith crossed from the left and it was headed back by Briscoe but punched clear by the keeper. On 27 minutes, a Mills free kick forward to Connor was headed down and across goal but no-one gambled on it at the far post. This was where we’d like to see Parker getting on the end of knock-downs. A minute later Briscoe ran down the right from Marriott's bowl-out, and his cross was perfect for Connor whose powerful header was on target but parried away by the keeper. And a minute after that, Mills’ dinked free kick was flicked on by Connor but again no-one was on the end of it as it ran through to the keeper. On 32 minutes Connor headed goalwards from close range and the keeper somehow parried the ball up in the air, and it was cleared before Parker could poke the loose ball home. Seconds later Adam Smith shot just wide of the left post.

It had been a purple patch for the Stags who were simply all over the Harriers but couldn’t score.

On 37 minutes, a rare chance for Kidderminster as Byrne fired in a great shot which Marriott superbly tipped wide for a corner to his right. From the corner, a great block by Foster from Albrighton’s shot. A bad mistake by Thompson on 40 minutes as he tried to play the ball out of defence in his own half and gave the ball away and then brought down Byrne as Byrne got away from him. Thompson was rightly booked. Luckily for him and for the Stags, Keith Briggs’ free kick from 20 yards was deflected over the bar.

The Stags were back in attack on 44 minutes as Connor chested down to Adam Smith who cut inside from the left and sent a great right-footed shot arrowing towards the top left corner of the goal but the keeper made a great save tipping it wide. From the corner, Mills found Briscoe free in the box, but his header was straight at the keeper.

Half time 1-0

The Stags were so unfortunate to be behind at the break, and the away fans gave the Stags a good ovation with chants of “yellows, yellows” as the players came off. Connor had literally won every header he had gone up for, Mills’ free kicks were vastly improved, and Briscoe was looking good on the right as was Adam Smith on the left.

Luke Medley replaced Keigan Parker at the start of the second half. Parker had been disappointing in the first half, never being there to pick up on Connor’s excellent knock downs.

There was a sign of things to come on 48 minutes as Medley embarked on an amazing run from well inside his own half and eventually squared towards Briscoe on the edge of the box, but couldn't quite find him.

But it was 1-1 on 53 minutes. Adam Smith crossed from the left, finding Briscoe unmarked at the far post, who headed back perfectly into the path of Medley 8 yards out and Medley nearly broke the net firing a rasping shot into the net.

Just two minutes later and it was deservedly 2-1 to the Stags. Steve Foster cleared a ball forward, it deflected off a Kidderminster player into the path of Connor who found himself in the clear, he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net. Just reward for Connor for a tremendous display.

On 58 minutes, and a ball over the top for Connor who would have been through on goal again, but was given offside by THAT linesman. We were perfectly in line, and it was not offside, a point also acknowledged by the home media next to us.

The Stags went close on 60 minutes. Briscoe went down the right on a great run and found Medley with a fine ball. Medley controlled the ball, turned, and sent a powerful shot a foot over the bar from 7 yards. It was so close.

The Stags then had a whole cluster of chances. On 64 minutes Mills free kick from the byeline, halfway between the corner flag and the box, somehow went through a crowd of players and put for a goalkick. A minute later, Medley’s shot was blocked, and then Silk’s cross was just cleared. The Stags were completely dominant.

Medley came within a whisker of another goal on 68 minutes. He went on a great run down the right, cut inside and his left footed shot was just a yard wide of the right post.

We had almost forgotten that Kidderminster were playing, but there was a reminder that there was only one goal in it on 71 minutes, as Keith Briggs’ free kick from 35 yards skimmed off Mike Williams’ head past the left post.

Duffy replaced the outstanding but tiring Connor on 74 minutes. On 76 minutes, yet another outstanding run from Medley, but eventually his cross was into the keepers arms.

Harriers nearly equalised on 78 minutes as sub Blair crossed from the left and Mike Williams turned and fired a great shot just wide.

Medley missed a sitter on 80 minutes, though the chance was only created by his pace. Briscoe put Medley through and somehow he fired over when with a bit of composure he should have scored.

At the other end, there was a let-off for Mansfield as Mike Williams sent a shot wide from 6 yards.

Sandwith replaced Adam Smith on 83 minutes to give more solidity in defence, Sandwith slotting in to the left of midfield, but being a good defender from set-pieces, should he be needed.

Medley nearly profited from a mix-up in the Kidderminster defence on 87 minutes as a ball was played over the top, but somehow the defence scrambled the ball away.

The cushion the Stags so richly deserved came on 89 minutes. Medley played a great ball in from the left with his left foot, perfectly for Duffy at the far post, whose close range shot bounced over the keeper and into the net, to send the Stags fans wild behind the goal.

No more chances for either side, and the Stags left the pitch to a terrific and richly deserved ovation.

This was a great performance. Kidderminster had no answer to the pace of Medley, or the aerial prowess of Connor. Briscoe continued his great early season form - 3 good performances on the trot - is this the consistency we have been craving for from the tricky winger? Mills also did well in midfield which a much improved array of free-kicks and corners, indeed only one was mis-placed. At the back, Foster and Chris looked better than at Fleetwood, cutting out the errors. A great performance and one the Stags need to build on with home games against Kettering and Cambridge. Come on Mansfield.

Man of the match: Luke Medley

Report by: Martin Shaw at Aggborough Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 7 At his assured best with one fabulous save and safe handling.
Silk 7 Defended well and looked good pushing forward.
Foster 7 Much better, cut out all errors and did well.
Chris Smith 6 So unlucky to concede the penalty. Sound otherwise.
Stonehouse 6 Did ok.
Briscoe 8 Some great runs down the right, and plenty of good crosses. Fine header to tee up the first goal.
Mills 7 Vastly improved delivery from set pieces. Did well.
Thompson 6 Solid, apart from one howler when he gave the ball away in a dangerous position and then fouled back, earning a booking.
Adam Smith 7 Some good play down the left, with some decent crosses, and one fine effort on goal.
Connor 8 Won everything in the air, and cool finish in the second half. Great game.
Parker 6 Disappointing that he never got on the end of any flick-ons. Replaced at half time.
Sub Line Up:
Medley (for Parker, 46) 9.5 What a performance! Great goal, and some amazing runs with tremendous pace. Set up the third goal too with a fine cross. If he had scored his other good chances, it would have been 10/10.
Duffy (for Connor, 74) - Great to see him back from injury. And a goal as well, couldn’t ask for more.
Sandwith(for Adam Smith, 83) - Sent on near the end to give more solidity in defence.
Subs Not Used: Collett, Naylor.
Opposition Line Up:
Lewis, Shaw, Albrighton, Briscoe, Mike Williams, Hankin, Byrne, Briggs, Gittings (Marc Williams 46), McPhee (Blair 74), Wright. Subs Not Used: Stevens, Sharpe, Griffiths.
Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire) 4 The rating is really for the linesman who was probably the worst ever seen. The referee himself actually did ok but should have ignored his assistant.

Season 10/11 Reports