Hicks (og) 52, McGregor 71 - Mansfield defender Stuart Hicks suffered a disastrous minute which virtually cost his side the match early in the second half.  He was booked for a foul on Plymouth dangerman Paul McGregor in the 51st minute.  After a delay while McGregor received treatment play resumed with a Plymouth free kick on the left.  Martin Barlow floated the ball across to the Mansfield goalmouth where Craig Taylor headed it down, only for Hicks to stab out a foot and turn the ball just inside an upright to give Plymouth a 52nd minute lead.  Plymouth continued to dominate the action and McGregor went close to adding to the score when he fired over the bar with a powerful shot.  Mansfield responded with Darrell Clarke having a shot turned on to the base of the upright by the diving Jon Sheffield.  Plymouth put the issue beyond doubt in the 71st minute when McGregor hit a right foot shot from just outside the six yard box after good work by Martin Phillips and Sean McCarthy.  McGregor, who returned to the starting line up for the first time this season, was always a threat in the Plymouth attack.  He had been ruled out of consideration for Plymouth's opening two league matches because of a suspension held over from last season.  He celebrated his recall by linking effectively with the experienced Sean McCarthy and the pair proved a handful for Mansfield's three central defenders Alistair Asher, Hicks and John Andrews who were constantly at full stretch.  But it was Mansfield who were first to go near to breaking the deadlock with Shayne Bradley driving against an upright in the 13th minute.  Plymouth responded strongly with midfielder Terry Fleming having a long range shot well saved by Ian Bowling in the Mansfield goal.  Plymouth continued to look the more dangerous side and Mansfield were fortunate not to fall behind as the interval approached.  Wingback Wayne O'Sullivan crossed from the right and Martin Barlow had a close range volley smartly saved by Bowling.  Then Barlow let fly with a rising drive from 25 yards and Bowling had to be at his best to tip the ball over the bar.  Mansfield struggled to clear their lines following the corner and only some ineffective finishing by the home attack prevented Plymouth from establishing command.

The inevitable goals came during the second half and Mansfield crashed to defeat.  They suffered further problems in the closing stages when Clarke, who had been shown a yellow card in the first half, earned a second booking for a foul on McGregor in the 79th minute and was dismissed.

Soccernet - Plymouth boss Kevin Hodges reintroduced last season's 16-goal top scorer Paul McGregor to great effect to seal the points in a 2-0 win over Mansfield.  McGregor notched Plymouth's second goal in the 71st minute after Argyle had gone ahead in the 52nd minute.  Martin Barlow's free-kick was headed back across the face of goal by skipper Craig Taylor and Mansfield's central defender Stuart Hicks hacked the ball into his own goal.  But Hicks came close to atoning for his error with a superb 74th minute strike from 30 yards which dipped just over the bar.  The Stags new striker Shayne Bradley nearly marked his debut with a 12th minute goal but his shot came back off the upright.  And Plymouth keeper Jon Sheffield was again beaten in the 64th minute by Darryl Clarke's volley which again cannoned back off the base of the post.  Clarke was later dismissed for a second offence following two fouls on McGregor.


Plymouth: Sheffield, O'Sullivan, J. Beswetherick, M. Phillips, Barratt, Taylor, Barlow, Fleming, McCarthy (Nancekivell 86), McGregor, L. Phillips (Guinan 68).
Subs Not Used: Hodges, Wotton, Gritton.
Booked: McCarthy, O'Sullivan.
Goals: Hicks 52 og, McGregor 71.

Mansfield: Bowling, Asher, Hicks, Andrews, Robinson, Williams (Bacon 65), Clarke, Corden (Sisson 83), Blake, Greenacre, Bradley.
Subs Not Used: Mimms, Lomas, Hassell.
Sent Off: Clarke (79).
Booked: Clarke, Williams.
Att: 4,069
Ref: W Jordan (Tring).