Preview: Mansfield Town v Harriers
Harriers are back in action tomorrow after a two-week break with a lunchtime trip to FA Trophy Finalists Mansfield Town.
Because of the European Championship Qualifier between Wales and England tomorrow's game kicks-off at midday. Harriers are still in the last of the play-off positions after their enforced break from action thanks to their rivals for that place all dropping points, and those that had games in hand that could have allowed them to eventually overtake Harriers squandered that extra game, meaning that Harriers' destiny is still in their own hands.
Steve Burr has an almost full squad to choose from, only Tom Sharpe with his dislocated knee is missing. Jack Byrne is back in contention following his four-game suspension but is not guaranteed a return to the side as the team were unbeaten without him. Both Keith Briggs and Sean Canham who were carrying injuries going into the break are fully fit and raring to go. Canham has this week had his loan from Hereford extended for another month, while Danny Lewis and Callum Gittings have signed extensions to their contracts that will keep them at Aggborough for two and one more seasons respectively. Youngster Dan Taylor has also been promoted from the youth team squad.
The Stags are currently in mid-table, but have played four games less than Harriers thanks to their FA Trophy exploits. In the league they have lost just one of their last five games but at Field Mill their form has not been great of late and their own fans have seen them win just one of the last five and that was against bottom club Histon. They have a number of injury doubts ahead of the game, Kyle Nix, Dan Spence, Gary Silk, Danny Mitchley and Ashley Cain are all carrying knocks of one sort or another. There should be one familiar face in the line-up, though, in the shape of former Harrier Adam Murray.
Harriers will be looking to avoid suffering a league double and at the same time hoping to record their first ever win at Field Mill. Earlier in the season Town ran out comfortable winners at Aggborough, taking the game 3-1. Overall Mansfield have the edge in previous games between the clubs, with six wins to four from 13 games while at Field Mill it is even better for them with a record of four wins to nil from six meetings.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis, Vaughan, Williams, Briscoe, Albrighton; Blair, Briggs, Shaw, Gittings; McPhee, Morris.
Subs (from): Lowe, Shaw, Byrne, Griffiths, Wright, Matt, Taylor, Thompson-Brown, Stevens.
Missing (injured): Sharpe.
The referee tomorrow will be Stephen Martin from Staffordshire. this will be his second game in charge of the Harriers, last season he did the 2-0 home defeat to Stevenage Borough.
Tomorrow's weather is forecast to be cloudy with a temperature of 9°C.