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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Plymouth Argyle  
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
O’Connor 3, 63.
 
 Oliver 64
Attendance: 6,626 (166 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 11 April 2015

FREE HEADERS COSTLY FOR STAGS DESPITE GOOD PERFORMANCE

Martin Shaw at Home Park

Mansfield Town put in a good performance at play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle but were beaten with two headers from set pieces. On both occasions Lee Beevers allowed a free header in the box and the Stags were punished to the maximum effect. It was desperately disappointing for Mansfield who certainly deserved to get something from the game. The Stags were behind with just a minute and 45 seconds played as a free-kick from 35 yards was met by Anthony O’Connor who sent a looping header from fully 14 yards out on the right across and over Studer, who watched it sail into the top left corner. Poor marking from Beevers who allowed O’Connor to get the header in unchallenged. From watching it again on the DVD, I would have expected Studer to at least leap and attempt to turn it away. The Stags were shell-shocked and weren't in game for opening 15 minutes. But from that point on, the Stags were the better team through most of the rest of the game. During the first, Lambe twice went close, the first from a well-worked corner, and Oliver missed by a whisker on the stroke of half time. Plymouth left the field to calls of “rubbish” from home fans around me, despite leading 1-0. The second half continued in the same vein, and Mansfield should have been level on 57 minutes when Rhead nodded down a cross from Beevers to Clements whose shot from close range was well-saved on the line by McCormick. Plymouth had done nothing for some time since the 15th minute, but on 62 minutes Studer had to make a fine save with his legs from Blizzard and then Beevers did well to block Lee’s rebound shot over the bar. And from the resulting corner, Plymouth scored again, as McHugh beat Beevers to a header at the near post and headed it goalwards where it flicked in off O’Connor. Poor marking again from Beevers. Within a minute, the Stags pulled it back to 2-1. Oliver headed a cross from the right from Beevers against the right post, the ball came back to him and he fired a shot into the ground and up into the net. A good goal from Oliver. The long awaited return of Liam Hearn came on 79 minutes and within two minutes he should have had a penalty in my opinion as Beevers crossed from the right, Rhead nodded forward, and Hearn looked likely to get on the end of it but was pulled back. After the game, Hearn confirmed that he thought it should have been a penalty. From the DVD, the pull back is visible, but Hearn didn’t go down and that is probably what swayed the referee (wrongly in my opinion). Rhead could have equalised in stoppage time when he was tee’ed up by the superb Thomas but his shot was deflected and the keeper was able to save. Desperately disappointing to lose this game which Mansfield should not have lost. Five defeats on the trot. Four games to go. The bottom three clubs all lost, so Mansfield remain 8 points above Cheltenham, 6 ahead of Tranmere, and 5 ahead of Hartlepool. A huge game coming up on Tuesday as Tranmere come to the One Call Stadium. A win for Mansfield would surely more or less seal our safety, while a draw would keep Tranmere 6 points adrift. It will be a big night so make sure you get to the game and cheer the team on if you possibly can. Come on Mansfield!

Mansfield made 3 changes from the team that lost to Shrewsbury. Pidgeley was out with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Studer in goal. Hawkridge was out with sickness and diarrhoea and was replaced by Bingham. Sutton was originally named in the starting eleven but had to drop out during the warm-up due to an injury and was replaced by Tafazolli. It was a 4-1-4-1 formation with Bingham and Lambe on the wings. It was great to see Liam Hearn on the bench for the first time since August. After the game, Murray made it clear he didn’t expect to be able to start Hearn, and Hearn himself confirmed that he would probably be putting in cameo performances from the bench. Heslop also didn’t travel with the squad due to sickness and diarrhoea. Mansfield’s record at Plymouth was atrocious with 1 win, 3 draws, and 11 defeats before today, and the terrible record was to continue.

Mansfield made a terrible start and were behind with just a minute and 45 seconds played as a free-kick from 35 yards was met by Anthony O’Connor who sent a looping header from fully 14 yards out on the right across and over Studer, who watched it sail into the top left corner. Poor marking from Beevers who allowed O’Connor to get the header in unchallenged. From watching it again on the DVD, I would have expected Studer to at least leap and attempt to turn it away.

On 4 minutes, Mellor got past Tafazolli who stumbled, got to the byline and pulled it back but Riley did well to clear.

Plymouth were completely on top with the Stags not in the game at all.

On 15 minutes, a shot from Bobby Reid from 28 yards was blocked on the edge of the area.

On 18 minutes, a good header down by Oliver to Thomas who won the Stags’ first corner. Clements took the corner to Lambe who peeled off his marker 12 yards out on the near side, Lambe hit it first time, it was pushed wide by the keeper. It was a great corner from Mansfield straight off the training ground.

On 20 minutes, a great ball from Thomas dinked in to Oliver who glanced a header past McCormick and into the net but the linesman had raised his flag. A shame because it would have been a fine goal. From studying it on the DVD, possibly Oliver’s left arm is offside while his body was inline. Unlucky.

On 25 minutes, there was good footwork from Thomas in the box on the right to create some space for himself and he got in a low shot which the keeper saved easily.

The Stags were now on top and the home fans were already getting restless.

On 33 minutes, Beevers was very harshly booked for a challenge.

On 36 minutes, Elder played a good ball forward to Oliver in the box in a good position. Oliver had two chances to cross but the second was poor and the Stags lost possession. On 38 minutes, Alessandra cut back from the byline and Mellor fired wide of the near post.

On 43 minutes, Beevers crossed into the box. It was over Oliver and a defender just managed to get it back to his keeper. Then Oliver squared to Lambe, Lambe got into position to shoot and his effort was deflected over for a corner. From the resulting corner, Tafazolli headed down but it was cleared.

The Stags were close to an equaliser on 45+2 minutes. It was a good move involving Beevers who headed back across goal to Bingham whose shot was blocked, it came to Oliver who turned and fired just wide of the right post, in fact hitting the stanchion behind the goal.

Plymouth left the field to calls of “rubbish” from home fans around me, despite leading 1-0. Mansfield had come back into the game very well after a poor start.

Half time 1-0

On 49 minutes, a throw from Elder to Lambe, back to Elder who crossed to Oliver but Oliver was unable to head goalwards.

On 51 minutes, a Clements free kick into the box eventually found Lambe who cut on to his left foot and his shot was blocked.

A minute later, a good ball forward from Clements to Oliver who was 20 yards from goal on the right but with Bingham in acres of space on his left, Oliver chose to shoot and fired wide. A better option would have been playing Bingham in.

On 53 minutes, Lee got to the edge of the area and Thomas put in a brilliant tackle tracking back.

Rhead replaced Bingham on 54 minutes, Rhead joined Oliver up front. It was a 4-1-3-2 formation with Lambe, Clements and Thomas across the central midfield.

On 55 minutes, Elder put in a long throw and Rhead back-headed wide.

On 57 minutes, Mansfield should have been level as Rhead nodded down a cross from Beevers to Clements who took a great first touch and then shot from close range which was well-saved on the line by McCormick.

On 59 minutes, a mistake by Clements in the Plymouth half, Plymouth broke, Alessandra got into the area on the left, shot across Studer and wide of the right post. Whereas I blamed Clements for the first goal at Southend, I certainly wouldn’t criticise him for giving the ball away in the opposition half.

Then a great tackle from Thomas who crossed to the far post and McCormick clutched it in front of Oliver.

Plymouth had done nothing since the 15th minute, but on 62 minutes Studer had to make a fine save with his legs from Blizzard and then Beevers did well to block Lee’s rebound shot over the bar. And from the resulting corner, Plymouth scored again, as McHugh beat Beevers to a header at the near post and headed it goalwards where it flicked in off O’Connor. Poor marking again from Beevers.

Within a minute, the Stags pulled it back to 2-1. Oliver headed a cross from the right from Beevers against the right post, the ball came back to him and he fired a shot into the ground and up into the net. A good goal from Oliver.

On 66 minutes, Rhead played the ball to Oliver in the box but it was cleared.

The long awaited return of Hearn came on 79 minutes when he replaced Oliver.

Moments later, Cox fired well wide from 20 yards and a minute after that, Bobby Reid fired over from 20 yards.

On 81 minutes Hearn should have had a penalty in my opinion as Beevers crossed from the right, Rhead nodded forward, and Hearn looked likely to get on the end of it but was pulled back. After the game, Hearn confirmed that he thought it should have been a penalty. From the DVD, the pull back is visible, but Hearn didn’t go down and that is probably what swayed the referee (wrongly in my opinion).

On 82 minutes, there was a Plymouth break down the left, Bobby Reid shot and Tafazolli deflected it over the bar. It was a great block from Tafazolli.

There was a long stoppage on 83 minutes as Beevers and Tafazolli clashed heads and both went down. Both were eventually able to play on with head bandages.

Fisher replaced Lambe on 89 minutes.

On 90+2 minutes, a good run down the right from Fisher and his cross earned a throw. Elder took the throw and Rhead headed over.

On 90+4, Beevers crossed, Matt Rhead nodded down and it was well-cleared by Hartley with several Stags players waiting to get on the end of it.

The Stags went close to an equaliser seconds later. Thomas got to the edge of the area and tee’ed up Rhead whose shot was deflected taking the sting out of it and McCormick saved low down.

A minute later, Plymouth broke to the far end and Alessandra shot from 20 yards and Studer tipped it over.

The Stags were unable to create any more chances. Desperately disappointing to lose this game which Mansfield should not have lost.

Man of the match: Jack Thomas


Report by: Martin Shaw at Home Park



Line Up:
Studer 6 Made two good saves. For the first goal, I would have expected Studer to at least leap and attempt to turn it away.
Beevers 4 Beaten for headers for both goals which were very costly mistakes. Put in some good crosses and some poor ones too.
Riley 7 Solid performance.
Tafazolli 7 Solid. One great block.
Elder 7 Defended well, and got forward several times.
McGuire 7 Did well in front of the back four.
Lambe 7 Had a few decent efforts on goal.
Thomas 9 Excellent game, going forward and putting in some great tackling.
Clements 7 Some good passes. Had a great chance to score from close range.
Bingham 6 Didn’t get into the game enough. Good lay-off for Oliver chance in first half.
Oliver 7 Involved in the game a lot. Scored one, had one disallowed, one shot that missed by a whisker. Also some poor play such as not squaring to Bingham in acres of space.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Bingham, 54) 7.5 Created lots of good positions for the Stags with knock-downs.
Hearn (for Oliver, 79) - Wonderful to see him back. Should have been given a penalty when he was pulled back.
Fisher (for Lambe, 89) -
Subs not used: Marsden, Raynes, Ravenhill, Fitzpatrick.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-5-2) Luke McCormick; Anthony O'Connor, Carl McHugh, Peter Hartley; Kelvin Mellor, Olly Lee, Bobby Reid, Dominic Blizzard, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis; Reuben Reid, Lewis Alessandra. Substitutes: Lee Cox (for Lee 70 mins), Gethin Jones (for McHugh 70 mins), Zak Ansah (for R Reid 77 mins). Not used: James Bittner, Jason Banton, Tyler Harvey, Ryan Brunt.
Referee:
Rob Lewis 5 Some erratic decisions, and didn’t give the only big one he had to make when Hearn was pulled back in the box.


Season 14/15 Reports