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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 Plymouth Argyle
Oliver 45.
Attendance: 2926 (581 from Plymouth)
Date: 22 November 2014


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Adam Murray’s first game as caretaker manager saw Mansfield Town put in an excellent display against high-flying Plymouth to earn a thoroughly deserved victory at Field Mill. Murray had told the players to go and express themselves and not give away possession easily, and it worked very well as Mansfield played some very good passing football much to the delight of the home crowd and restricted Plymouth to few goalscoring chances. The only goal of the game came on the stroke of half time as Vadaine Oliver, in the last game of his loan spell unless it can be extended, outmuscled and out-ran the Plymouth defence to delightfully lob over the advancing goalkeeper. The Stags had one piece of luck when Plymouth hit the underside of the bar from two yards in the first through Mellor, but aside from that, Mansfield defended superbly when they had to and were worthy winners. The win was the Stags first after a winless run of 9 games, and puts the Stags eight points behind the play-off zone and ten points above the relegation zone. Confidence should be high going into the important FA Cup replay at Concord Rangers on Tuesday.

Caretaker boss Adam Murray made six changes from Tuesday night, including not playing himself. Murray said that because he’d been working hard until 11pm on Friday to work out his game plan, he didn’t think it was fair on the team to play himself. In came Freeman for Marsden, Sendles-White for Waterfall, Heslop for Murray, Lambe for Bell, Taylor for Bingham, and Oliver for Rhead. Murray ditched the three central defenders system in favour of four at the back in a 4-1-2-2-1 formation, with Freeman at right back, Beevers at left back, and Riley (made captain) and Tafazolli in central defence. Sendles-White played a holding role in front of the back four. Clements and Heslop were in central midfield. Lambe was on the right wing with Taylor on the left wing, and Oliver at centre forward.

Adam Murray and his staff got a great reception from the home fans at the start of the game.

The Stags were off to a positive start as Clements fed Lambe who got into the box but couldn’t keep control of the ball inside the first 30 seconds. And 30 seconds after that Heslop sent in a great inswinging left-footed cross from the right and Oliver headed over. On 3 minutes, Lambe made a good run down the right, but couldn’t hold on to the ball again. On 11 minutes, a good ball from Tafazolli, Lambe showed a good first touch but a defender put the ball out for a throw. Two minutes later, Lambe got into the box, knocked the ball back to Freeman whose shot that looked on target was blocked. It was a promising start from Mansfield with the players looking hungry and pushing forward but things were just breaking down in the final third.

On 14 minutes, a great tackle from Freeman, and then a great tackle Tafazolli two minutes later. Plymouth’s first effort came on 16 minutes as a good ball from Blizzard found Alessandra who sent a poor effort into the side netting. A minute later, Alessandra turned in the box and had a shot blocked. Alessandra was causing the Stags defence problems and on 18 minutes he fed Kellett who sent a low cross inside the six yard box to Mellor, unmarked two yards out, who somehow hit the underside of the bar, the ball bounced down on the line before Tafazolli cleared. A real moment of fortune for the Stags.

On 23 minutes, Reuben Reid cut in from the left and sent a low shot straight at Studer. A minute later, a good move from Plymouth and Kellett sent in a good shot from a tight angle that was well tipped over by Studer.

On 27 minutes, Oliver flicked on, Lambe fed Taylor on the edge of the box and just as he was about to pull the trigger, a great last ditch challenge to prevent him. Taylor needed to be a fraction quicker.

The home fans were incensed on 30 minutes as Lee Cox brought down Lambe as he was breaking away, with a cynical foul and somehow the ref did not produce a yellow card.

On 31 minutes, Clements teed up Taylor for a shot from 30 yards, right footed, but it was over the bar. Two minutes later, a good Stags break, Oliver shot from 20 yards but it was blocked. At the other end, a good challenge from Freeman a minute later.

On 35 minutes a good ball from Tafazolli to Lambe 20 yards out, and he sent a left footed shot over the bar. Two minutes later, Taylor sent in a fine cross from the left and Oliver headed over. Then on 41 minutes, Freeman fed Heslop who crossed from the right and Oliver headed wide but it took a deflection for a corner. Two minutes after that, Lambe crossed from the left, it flicked off a defender and the keeper saved well as it was heading inside the far post.

The Stags were ahead on 45 minutes. Beevers played a ball over the top for Oliver to run onto, he controlled the ball and outmuscled the defenders before sending a perfectly weighted lob over keeper Luke McCormick. A great goal from Oliver, and just what the Stags deserved. More than a hint of irony that after playing some good passing football throughout the half the goal came from a long ball over the top!

A great reception from the fans at the break with the Stags playing good passing football and deservedly ahead against the meanest defence in the league.

Half time 1-0

On 53 minutes, a good challenge by Riley at the back. On 56 minutes, Freeman’s ball into the box was knocked down by Oliver to Clements who controlled and knocked the ball over the bar. A minute later, Taylor was nearly though on goal in the area.

On 61 minutes, Lambe did well to get into the area, and with Taylor about to shoot, a great tackle took the ball away. Again just a fraction too slow from Taylor. Two minutes later a good 1-2 between Beevers and Taylor and Beevers’ shot was half-blocked through to the keeper. A fraction too slow again. Controversy as Oliver tried to block the goalkeeper McCormick rolling the ball out with his heel, the keeper reacted by throwing Oliver to the ground. On 67 minutes, Oliver was then booked for a challenge on keeper McCormick which also resulting in a melee amongst the players and a booking for Plymouth’s Hartley too.

Bell replaced Taylor on 67 minutes.

On 71 minutes, Oliver headed down to Lambe who sent a left footed shot straight at the keeper.

Then Beevers made a great tackle and played a ball forward to Oliver that saw the big striker flagged offside, he carried the ball forward and shot past the post. The referee gave Oliver the benefit of the doubt that he had not heard the whistle as Stags hearts were in their mouths fearing a second yellow card.

On 72 minutes, Reuben Reid’s shot was blocked by Studer. On 74 minutes Freeman got past two defenders in the area but his cross was cleared.

The Stags escaped on 76 minutes as the dangerous Alessandra got to the byline on the left and put the ball across the six yard box, Studer got a vital touch on it, and the Stags somehow cleared. On 79 minutes, Reuben Reid, who had been kept quiet by the Stags defence all afternoon, found half a yard of space on the right, but shot wide of the left post. Two minutes later, Reuben Reid crossed into the middle and Riley put in a great challenge to put it out for a corner.

Matt Rhead replaced Clements on 81 minutes and joined Oliver up front. The substitution was also to shore up the defence from set pieces.

On 82 minutes, Tafazolli blocked a shot from sub Banton.

Matt Rhead was soon in the action on 83 minutes heading on to Oliver who burst down the right and shot into the side netting, though the keeper clearly got a hand on it, missed by the inept officials who gave a goal kick.

The Stags wound the clock down well. Four minutes of stoppage time were added on and after 3 of those a ball forward for Oliver found him 1-on-1 with the keeper but from a tight angle on the left. Oliver tried to flick the ball wide of the keeper but the keeper saved it. In the final minute of stoppage time, Lambe was booked for a foul in his own half giving Plymouth one last chance to get the ball into the box but the Stags were able to hang on.

Thankfully there was no repeat of the nightmare end to the two games against Plymouth last season where Plymouth undeservedly won it in stoppage time at Field Mill and even more undeservedly grabbed an equaliser on 96 minutes at Home Park, At the full time whistle, celebrations from the players, management and supporters for a deserved victory.

Man of the match: Vadaine Oliver

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Studer 7 One good save tipping over the bar. Good handling and mostly good kicking.
Freeman 7 Good game with some good challenges and got forward as well with one shot blocked.
Riley 7.5 Captain’s performance including some great challenges.
Tafazolli 7.5 Very solid, some good challenges.
Beevers 8 Defended solidly, some good challenges. Fine ball forward for the goal.
Sendles-White 7 Good game in front of the back four.
Clements 7 Bounced back well from his poor game against Concord with a good performance.
Heslop 8 Worked tirelessly. One of his best performances, along with the Portsmouth game.
Lambe 7 Caused Plymouth plenty of problems though his final product was sometimes disappointing.
Taylor 7 Good game. Some good crosses. Twice he was about to shoot and had the ball taken off his toe, so just needs to sharpen up a fraction.
Oliver 8 Took his goal superbly. Looked composed on the ball. Some good knock downs. Just needs to get a few more headers at goal on target. Hopefully with stay on loan longer.
Sub Line Up:
Bell (for Taylor, 67) -
Rhead (for Clements, 81) -
Subs not used: Evtimov, Marsden, Thomas, Bingham, Palmer.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-5-2) Luke McCormick; Curtis Nelson, Carl McHugh, Peter Hartley; Kelvin Mellor, Lee Cox, Anthony O’Connor, Dominic Blizzard, Andy Kellett; Reuben Reid, Lewis Alessandra. Subs: Ollie Norburn (for O’Connor 68 mins), Deane Smalley (for McHugh 68 mins), Jason Banton (for Blizzard 76 mins). Subs not used James Bittner, Marvin Morgan, Tyler Harvey, Nathan Thomas.
Mark Brown 5 Poor game and was too lenient on occasions.

Season 14/15 Reports