SPORT FIRST REPORT
Sport First report:
Thanks to Carole for the transcription
Stags enjoy Day out with victory
By John Lomas
FREE-scoring Mansfield may have seen their goals dry up a little in recent weeks.
But, after grinding out a third 1-0 win in five League matches when failing to find their best form, their promotion hopes remain bright.
Kidderminster, who began the match with just one striker, wasted a golden opportunity to go ahead after Lee Williamson brought down Adam Murray to concede a penalty in the 24th minute.
But Mansfield keeper Kevin Pilkington guessed correctly, to save Graham Ward's spot kick, by diving to his left.
And within two minutes, Kidderminster found themselves behind as defender Rhys Day headed powerfully home from a Williamson free-kick.
Mansfield assistant manager John Gannon said “Kidderminster made things difficult for us so we are absolutely delighted to get the three points.
“We were flat and didn't really look at it.
“We were not at our best by a long stretch but we showed some good things in our defending in the last ten minutes.
“You can't win 5-0 every week and I think our supporters know that this was a game that would have ended up 1-1 last season.
“Sometimes in games, it is more important to pick up the points than worry about the performance.
“We are aware, by the shapes they start with, that teams are coming here and getting players behind the ball. But that is no excuse and we have to be bright enough to break them down.”
Mansfield dominated the first half but, apart from the goal, created little with keeper Stuart Brock having only tame shots from Tom Curtis and Junior Mendes to deal with.
At the other end there were even fewer chances, although Dean Bennett did volley over at the far post.
Bennett had three other half chances after the break, again volleying over and twice being denied by blocks from Bobby Hassle. Wayne Corden and Iyseden Christie both came close for Mansfield in the second-half.
But it was Kidderminster who finished the stronger, piling on the pressure in search of a third successive league win for the first time this season.
Graham Ward's out-swinging corner was cleared by Curtis and Adam Murray tested the Mansfield defence with another ball into the home penalty area.
Matthew Gadsby and Bennett also went close as Harriers searched for the equaliser.
Harriers Boss Jan Molby said: “The defeat was down to our work rate.
“We were better in the second-half but still didn't work hard enough when we had the ball.
“It seems to me that our players have decided that when we come to places like Mansfield we expect to get beaten.
“But that doesn't mean that we have to lie down and roll over, which is more or less what we did.
“Over the 90 minutes we have to be disappointed, as I didn't see Mansfield doing much to hurt us or anything that would make them win the game.
“We have got ourselves beaten and that is disappointing.”
55----Possession %---- 45
4----Shots on Target---6
3----Shots off Target-- 3
Latest | January 2004