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Harriers ready for cup specialists Stags
KIDDERMINSTER Harriers will be wary of a Mansfield Town backlash when the sides go head-to-head in the Blue Square Bet Premier tomorrow (3pm).
Harriers are one of the league’s in-form sides with only the New Year’s Day defeat to Hereford United marring their remarkable rise from the relegation zone to the play-off places in recent months.
However, their bid to climb back into the top five, having dropped to sixth following Luton Town’s 6-1 mid-week drubbing of Barrow, will be put to the test by Mansfield at Field Mill.
The Stags will still be riding the crest of a wave after giving Liverpool a scare in the FA Cup third round last Sunday.
Despite losing 2-1 to the Premier League giants, Paul Cox’s side were by no means out-classed and it took a controversial Luis Suarez goal to see the Reds through.
Mansfield will look to use their cup exploits as a springboard to keep the pressure on the play-off pack and continue the run of league form that has seen them lose just once since the end of October.
The match will also pit Stags defender Exodus Geohaghon against his former employers for the first time since leaving Aggborough in the summer.
Despite being trumpeted as a major signing by manager Steve Burr, who handed the former Redditch United centre-half the captaincy, Geohaghon played just three games before returning to the club he spent a loan spell with last season.
That turbulent period, which included a 3-2 home defeat to Mansfield in August, turned into a sequence of five straight defeats to start the season.
However, Burr wasted little time in drafting in former Lincoln City defender Josh Gowling and he has gone on to be a key figure at the heart of the Harriers defence, culminating with him signing a deal this week until the summer of 2015.
Midfielder Kyle Storer is expected to have recovered from an infection in time for tomorrow but winger Danny Pilkington is still a week away from a return.