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15:18 28th April 2012

Kidderminster 0-3 Stags

Promotion chasers Mansfield Town scored three second half goals to maintain their impressive run ahead of next Wednesday's Play-Off showdown with York City.

Stags, who have finished in third place, will travel to Bootham Crescent in four days time and will take encouragement from this latest result which sees them record 13 wins from 15 games.

The game itself wasn't without incident as hosts Kidderminster had a man sent off in the second half before a crowd of 3,565 witnessed an unfortunate injury to Kidderminster's Anthony Malbon who was taken to hospital via an air ambulance which landed on to the pitch at the end of the match.

Goals from Lee Stevenson, Louis Briscoe and Matt Green secured the win as Kidderminster's faint hopes of a play-off place faded away.

Stags' boss Paul Cox, with one eye on next week's play-off first leg, made seven changes to the side which beat Wrexham eight days ago.

Shane Redmond, John Thompson, Danny Andrew, Jon Worthington, Gary Roberts, Andy Todd and Matt Rhead were the fresh faces in the starting 11.

Stags were under immediate pressure from the kick off as Kidderminster came close from breaking the deadlock in the opening minute when centre-half Tom Marshall saw his glancing header sail wide from a corner.

At the other end, Stags' burly front man Matt Rhead tried to chip Harriers' 'keeper Tony Breeden, but the home shot stopper did well to race back to his goalline and palm away handed.

Lee Stevenson then struck a hopeful shot at goal from 25 yards which Breeden claimed comfortably.

Stags kept peppering the home goal and tried their luck again as Stevenson laid it off to Rhead, who let fly on the volley from outside the box, but it was always heading wide.

Kidderminstersquandered a great chance to take the lead on 16 minutes.  Lee Vaughan's brilliant right wing cross was met by the unmarked Anthony Malbon in the centre, but he hit the ball into the ground when he should have buried it.

Two minutes later, goalkeeper Breeden had to get behind Andy Todd's 20 yard drive and keep Stags out.

On 23 minutes, Kidderminster's Malbon saw his dipping volley fly just over.

Moments later and following a corner, Kyle Storer climbed well in the six yard box but his header was off-target.

As the game passed the half-hour mark, Louis Briscoe delivered from the right but Matt Rhead's header lacked the power and direction to seriously test Breeden.

Stags created a fine chance to take the lead five minutes later.  Gary Roberts slipped it through to Andy Todd in the area who should have struck first time, but instead teed up Lee Stevenson.  But the midfield man was to be denied as Breedon got down well to make the save.  

Mansfield 'keeper Shane Redmond almost got himself in all sorts of trouble on 40 minutes.  After receiving from a pass back, Redmond took too much time on the ball and was put under pressure from Ryan Rowe.  Redmond, knowing he could not pick up the ball, shielded it away from Rowe and ended up on his hands and knees to keep it away from Rowe before he was helped by Luke O'Neill who cleared to safety.

Kidderminster were reduced to ten men just three minutes after the break.  Referee Jez Simpson had no hesitation in showing Lee Vaughan a straight red for elbowing Matt Rhead.

Three minutes later, Rhead provided the knock down for Stevenson but Breeden smothered the ball to cut out the chance.

Stevenson finally got his efforts rewarded on 56 minutes.  Left back Danny Andrew sent a low ball into Rhead who dummied it brilliantly to allow the ball to run through to Stevenson.  And the ex-Eastwood man did the rest as he placed it beyond Breeden to bag his first goal for the club.

Kidderminster tried to reply with Marvin Johnson as the game became an hour old, but his sweetly struck volley flew inches over the bar.

Stags attacked Kidderminster within the blink of an eye, and following neat build up play, Rhead fired low into Breeden's hands.

The game was delayed for several minutes on the 64th minute when Anthony Malbon needed treatment after a foul by Louis Briscoe, and was then stretchered down the tunnel.

On 73 minutes, Ritchie Sutton came on for Luke O'Neill at right back before Stags sealed the win five minutes later.

Rhead started the eye-catching move and played it to Stevenson who drifted it in perfectly for Briscoe to head home.  It was to be his last piece of action as he was replaced by Ben Hutchinson.

Ryan Rowe then missed a sitter after latching on to a right wing pass.

Stags leading goalscorer Matt Green then came on for Danny Andrew in the last seven minutes of the contest and would soon bag his 30th of the season.

Shane Redmond had to get down low to keep out both Marvin Johnson and Ryan Rowe before Stags added a third.

Rhead's throw found Green in the area and his goalward effort was adjudged to have cross the line despite Kidderminster's best efforts to keep it out.

After the game, a delighted Paul Cox said:  "The lads were on a different level today.  They are a great group to work with and manage."

Added Cox:  "We'll go into the [York] game with a clean bill of health and a fresh mindset. 

    Data provided by Press Association