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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 11 Jun 12 at 23:49 PM

FULL TIME: HARRIERS 0-3 MANSFIELD

Report by Matt Wall - stats provided and generated for harriers.co.uk by the Press Association.

Harriers endured a thoroughly miserable final day of the season on Saturday as they were beaten 3-0 at home to Mansfield and lost Lee Vaughan to a red card and Anthony Malbon to serious injury

It was almost the ideal beginning for Harriers as, within a minute or two, they'd forced a free-kick and a corner that was quickly taken, the ball driven into the box where Kyle Storer met it with a diving header that flew wide.

Even more dramatic, just a couple of minutes later and up at the other end - Harriers nearly shot themselves in the foot as Tom Marshall's header back towards goalkeeper Tony Breeden was far too short and nipped at by striker Matt Rhead who tried his luck, denied only by a great back-tracking palm-away from Breeden.

With a quarter-hour played good work from Ryan Rowe opened up a chance for the home side as he beat his man and played in Lee Vaughan, the defender's crossed met with a downward volley that was held well by goalkeeper Shane Redmond.

Rhead remained a thorn in the Harriers' side as he continued to win balls and be at the point of most of what the Stags did well; the half-hour mark passing with all things even Worcestershire and Luton heartbreakingly ahead up at Highbury.

On 35 minutes it was he who set up the best chance of the day to that point, squaring to Chris Todd six yards out who was denied by another superb stop from Breeden who was certainly earning his corn.

The atmosphere in amongst the home fans was already somewhat at half tome and with just four minutes gone in the second period the mood worsened as Harriers were reduced to ten men; Vaughan giving his marching orders for an alleged elbow on Rhead.

If the reds' grip on a play-off place at 1pm today was just with the fingertips, it was loosened even further on 55 minutes; Aggborough reduced to near silence as Rhead's ball was picked up by Lee Stevenson on the angle before driving it across Breeden and into the back of the net - even the celebrations of the 600 away fans seemed lukewarm.

Just after the hour Marvin Johnson saw the ball fall invitingly to him around 20 yards out and he watched the bounce well before hitting a sweet half-volley just over Redmond's target.

Without a doubt, with 65 minutes the number should have been evened up as Louis Briscoe mowed straight through Anthony Malbon only to receive a yellow - Malbon then stretchered off after lengthy treatment at pitch-side with obvious concern for his condition.

Given the youngster's state and withdrawal, neither set of players too concerned with the game at hand and Briscoe's header from close range to put the Stags 2-0 up seemed borderline irrelevant on 78 minutes, as did Ryan Rowe's miss up at the other end moments later.

Luke Jones battled battled back superbly with just a few minutes of normal time remaining to try and clear sub Matt Green's effort off the line but the goal was given by the assistant on the far side as the Stags stormed even further ahead.

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