SUPER STAGS BEAT PLYMOUTH IN MURRAY’S FIRST GAME
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Plymouth Argyle
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.
Saturday, 22nd November 2014: Mansfield Town 1, Plymouth Argyle 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
After less than 24 hours as caretaker manager, Adam Murray wrote another chapter in his rich Mansfield Town history as the Stags ended their nine game run without a win with an unlikely success against high-flying Plymouth Argyle to get the One Call Stadium rocking again today.
With manager Paul Cox calling time on his tenure last night, Plymouth might have thought they would bring their seven game unbeaten League run and meanest defensive record in the division to a club in turmoil.
Instead, Murray managed to quickly galvanise his troops and bring out of them a performance so many fans had longed to see.
Gone was the direct football Cox had favoured, players instead encouraged to express themselves within a 4-3-3 framework and, although they tired, the Stags fully deserved their three points which were celebrated by a deafening din from the stands.
Match winner on the day was Crewe loanee Vadaine Oliver, netting his first goal for the club on 45 minutes.
Ironically for the Cox-haters, the goal actually came from one of the most direct Mansfield moves of the afternoon as Lee Beevers sent it high and long from the halfway line and Oliver raced on to lob keeper Luke McCormick.
Stags now face a few weeks of uncertainty over the manager’s job with Murray clearly hoping to be in the frame on his third spell at the club as a player and also having been Cox’s No.2.
But first they must now focus quickly on a tricky FA Cup replay at Concord Rangers on Tuesday night.
Murray tried to appease the frustrated home fans with his first team selection as caretaker manager as he went with wingers and a 4-3-3 formation.
With the club still reeling from the departure of Cox the night before night, Murray made six changes from the side that faced Concord in midweek.
Murray left himself out of the squad to direct operations from the bench.
Keiron Freeman returned to the defence with Jamie Sendles-White joining the midfield as a holding player in front of the defenders along with Simon Heslop.
Rob Taylor and Reggie Lambe were put out on the flanks with Oliver in the centre as the lone striker.
Out from midweek went Murray, Liam Marsden, Fergus Bell, Matt Rhead, Luke Waterfall and Rakish Bingham.
Stags came out to a huge roar which went up several notches when Murray stepped out onto the field to salute the crowd.
The team then made a lively start and inside the first minute, Oliver just couldn’t get enough onto a Freeman cross from the right, the ball sailing wide.
Sendles-White then conceded a corner on three minutes which was whipped clear by Tafazolli.
Stags broke from that through Lambe down the right, the winger feeling he was halted illegally just outside the box, but the referee not agreeing.
A good tackle from Clements on Cox won Argyle another corner, from which Beevers blocked a low shot by Cox.
Lambe was causing all sorts of problems on his belated full home debut and, when another run into the box was halted, freeman saw his shot from the loose ball blocked as the home crowd rose to their side’s efforts.
Stags were trying to keep the ball down and pass as the crowd wanted and every pass was cheered.
A Plymouth break down the left was a threat on 16 minutes, but Alessandra sent the ball tamely into the sidenetting when he should have at least tested Studer or used the better options to his right in the box.
More good footwork by Alessandra on the left saw his hopeful effort easily blocked.
But on 18 minutes Plymouth should have been ahead. Alessandra sent Kellett to the left by-line and he crossed hard and low right on front of goal where Mellor, from two yards, somehow failed to hit the gaping net as his finished skewed up and against the crossbar.
On 23 minutes Reid cut in from the left and got in a low shot on target which was never likely to seriously trouble Studer.
At the other end Mellor did well to slide in and halt Taylor as he drew back a leg to shoot.
Cox was lucky not to be booked for chopping down Lambe as Stags tried to break.
Taylor was then too high from 30 yards for the home side but drew warm applause for his attempt.
On another swift home break, Oliver roamed into the middle where he saw his powerful shot blocked.
Then on 36 minutes after more good home possession football, Lambe controlled just outside the box and lifted a dipping effort over the top.
Seconds later Oliver headed over from an inviting left wing cross by Taylor.
There was a stoppage in the action as Oliver needed treatment for a bang to the head.
A right wing cross by Freeman saw Oliver get a head onto it, but it was deflected wide for a corner that McCormick got his hands to and pushed away.
On 43 minutes Lambe cut in from the right and tried his luck, the ball clipping a Plymouth player en route and forcing McCormick to save to his right.
However, for all the good passing football, Stags roared ahead via route one right on 45 minutes.
Beevers, under pressure, hoisted a high ball forward from the halfway line.
Oliver got the better of his marker and, with the keeper fractionally late coming out to meet him, the Crewe loanee was able to lift the ball to perfection over the stranded goalie and into the empty net to prompt deafening celebrations and end a magnificent half for the new-look Stags.
It was only the 10th goal Plymouth had conceded in the League this season.
There was anger among home fans when, in Plymouth’s first raid of the second half, Reid tried to bring down a through ball with his hand. Once play had stopped, the referee went across and booked the player.
Stags almost doubled their lead on 56 minutes as an Oliver nod-down set up Clements in the box, but his finish sailed over the far angle.
Nelson slid in with a great challenge to stop Taylor poking a loose ball in the net after Clements had tried to set up Lambe on 62 minutes as Mansfield continued to set the pace.
Oliver tried to make kicking difficult for McCormick and, when the keeper pulled him to the ground after clearing, the striker was livid as the assistant referee gave nothing.
Oliver took his revenge soon after on 67 minutes as he bounced into the keeper seconds after he had grabbed the ball, sparking a pushing match which ended with Oliver and Hartley being booked.
Stags threw on Bell for Taylor and Argyle made a double swap before we restarted play.
On 72 minutes Oliver was again up well to head on for Lambe to control and rifle in a low shot that McCormick got down to hold.
A Plymouth raid down the left saw Studer have to palm away a Kellett shot from a tight angle with Reid’s follow-up blocked as trouble broke out behind that goal with stewards and Argyle fans brawling, police quickly restoring order.
A dangerous ball into the home box saw the ball roll loose until Clements slid in to make a crucial interception.
Plymouth were starting to enjoy a better spell and 10 minutes from time Mellor flashed a low shot across the face of goal from deep on the right.
Then Riley produced a great block to prevent Smalley getting in a shot in the six yard box.
Before the corner could be taken, Rhead replaced Clements for the home side.
There was huge tension as Plymouth kept possession, ended only when Alessandra crossed into Studer’s hands.
Stags did get out their half on 84 minutes as Rhead headed on for Oliver to crash a low shot into the sidenetting.
Mellor was calling for a penalty after he careered into Beevers but the referee was having none of, neither was the asisstant, who was well placed close by.
Four tense minutes were added at the end with Lambe booked for a trip in the last of them.
But fans almost took the roof off with the cheer as the whistle went to mark a long-awaited victory.
STAGS: Studer, Freeman, Beevers, Riley, Tafazolli, Sendles-White, Heslop, Clements (Rhead 81), Taylor (Bell 67), Lambe, Oliver. Subs not used: Bingham, Palmer, Marsden, Thomas, Evtimov.
PLYMOUTH: McCormick, Mellor, Cox, Nelson, Alessandra, Reid, Blizzard (Banton 76), Kellett, McHugh (Norburn 67) O’Connor (Smalley 67), Hartley. Subs not used: Bittner, Morgan, Harvey, Thomas.?REFEREE: Mark Brown of East Yorkshire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,926 (581 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Vadaine Oliver.
Mansfield Town 1 Plymouth Argyle 0: Match report
By HeraldSport, By Chris Errington
PLYMOUTH Argyle suffered their first defeat in League Two for eight games as they were beaten by managerless Mansfield at Field Mill on Saturday.
Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Mansfield-Town-1-Plymouth-Argyle-0-Match-report/story-24609319-detail/story.html?#ixzz3Jt49TzZb
The only goal came on the stroke of half-time as on-loan Crewe Alexandra striker Vadaine Oliver capitalised on some uncharacteristically sloppy defending from the Pilgrims.
Oliver was unchallenged as he raced in behind centre-back Carl McHugh and lobbed the ball over ‘keeper Luke McCormick.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the 18th minute but wing-back Kelvin Mellor hit the crossbar with a shot from only a couple of yards out.
Mansfield were buoyed by scoring so close to half-time and scrapped for every ball in the second period.
Argyle did apply some late pressure after a trio of substitutions but they could not come up with an equaliser.
It was the first time they had lost in League Two since they were beaten 1-0 at Accrington Stanley on September 27.
Argyle’s team against Mansfield was the same as for their 3-0 victory over Portsmouth at Home Park last Saturday.
Versatile attacker Jason Banton was added to the substitutes after recovering from a knee injury.
But it was all change for Mansfield, who parted company with manager Paul Cox late on Friday afternoon.
Adam Murray, the 33-year-old Stags’ midfielder, was appointed as caretaker boss as Cox paid the price for a run of nine games without a win.
After such a hectic build-up to the match, Murray did not name himself in the starting line-up.
There were six changes from Mansfield’s 1-1 draw at home to part-timers Concord Rangers in the FA Cup first round on Tuesday.
Murray also ditched Cox’s usual 3-5-2 formation and went with 4-3-3 instead.
Reggie Lambe and Ryan Taylor were tasked with countering the threat of Argyle’s wing-backs Andy Kellett and Mellor as well as getting into good attacking positions themselves.
There was a vibrant mood among the Mansfield supporters at the kick-off after the raft of changes on and off the pitch.
The home team matched that as they made a high-tempo, enthusiastic start.
Lambe was particularly lively, making some strong breaks wide on the right, and on one occasion Anthony O’Connor had to make a good tackle on him in the Argyle box.
The visitors had their first scoring chance in the 16th minute and it fell to Lewis Alessandra.
Midfielder Dominic Blizzard opened up the Mansfield defence with a superb pass and Alessandra fired wide from a tight angle.
There was an even better opportunity for Argyle soon afterwards as Kellett surged into the Stags’ penalty area at pace.
Kellett got to the by-line and sent in a low cross which found Mellor but from only a couple of yards out he hit the ball against the crossbar and Mansfield cleared.
Mansfield ‘keeper Sascha Studer then tipped away a fierce angled shot from Kellett for a corner as the Pilgrims had a good spell of pressure, without scoring.
The home side finished the first half strongly, though, with Lambe having a fierce cross-shot saved by McCormick before Oliver put them ahead in the 45th minute.
It was a very soft goal for Argyle to concede as the ball was played over the top of the defence by Beevers for Oliver to chase after.
The on-loan Crewe striker outpaced McHugh and lobbed the ball over McCormick and into the net.
The half-time whistle soon followed and Mansfield had all of the momentum behind them.
Argyle striker Reuben Reid was booked for deliberate handball in the 51st minute as he tried to get on the end of a long pass out of defence from Curtis Nelson.
There was lots of endeavour from both sides but not much in the way of end product as the Stags remained 1-0 up.
Mansfield midfielder Chris Clements did have a chance in the 56th minute but, at full stretch, he sent a shot wide of the far post.
Mellor then had to make a superb sliding tackle on Taylor in the penalty area otherwise he would have had a shot from close range.
Mansfield defended strongly and with their one-goal lead they were worked hard to stop the Pilgrims from passing the ball.
There was a flashpoint in the 67th minute when Oliver charged into McCormick as the ball bounced through to the Argyle ‘keeper.
Players from both teams raced to the scene and Argyle centre-back Peter Hartley was especially upset by Oliver’s challenge.
When calm was finally restored, Hartley and Oliver were both booked by referee Mark Brown.
McHugh and O’Connor made way for Ollie Norburn and Deane Smalley in the 68th minute as Argyle tried a change of tactics.
Off the pitch, there were skirmishes involving a small group of away supporters and stewards, with police eventually arriving to calm the situation.
Banton was a 76th minute substitute for Blizzard as Argyle started to apply some pressure, with Reid driving the ball across the face of goal.
Reid later picked out Smalley with a low cross but his attempted shot was blocked behind for a corner by excellent Mansfield centre-back Martin Riley.
It was frenetic stuff in the closing stages as Argyle tried to come up with an equaliser but Mansfield stood firm until the final whistle.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Curtis Nelson, Carl McHugh (Deane Smalley 68 mins), Peter Hartley; Kelvin Mellor, Lee Cox, Anthony O’Connor (Ollie Norburn 68 mins), Dominic Blizzard (Jason Banton 76 mins), Andy Kellett; Reuben Reid, Lewis Alessandra.
Substitutes (not used): James Bittner (gk), Marvin Morgan, Tyler Harvey, Nathan Thomas.
MANSFIELD: Sascha Studer; Keiron Freeman, Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolli, Lee Beevers; Simon Heslop, Jamie Sendles-White, Chris Clements (Matt Rhead 81 mins); Reggie Lambe, Vadaine Oliver, Rob Taylor (Fergus Bell 68 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Rakish Bingham, Ollie Palmer, Liam Marsden, Jack Thomas, Dimitar Evtimov (gk).
REFEREE: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)
ATTENDANCE: 2,926 (581 away)
GOAL - Mansfield: Oliver 45 mins
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (3-5-2)
23 Luke McCormick 5
5 Curtis Nelson 6
16 Carl McHugh 5
29 Peter Hartley 6
2 Kelvin Mellor 6
4 Lee Cox 6
28 Anthony O’Connor 6
11 Dominic Blizzard 6
13 Andy Kellett 7
9 Reuben Reid 6
7 Lewis Alessandra 6
1 James Bittner
6 Ollie Norburn (for O’Connor 68 mins) 6
8 Jason Banton (for Blizzard 76 mins) 6
10 Marvin Morgan
14 Tyler Harvey
19 Nathan Thomas
22 Deane Smalley (for McHugh 68 mins) 6
MANSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3)
Sascha Studer; Keiron Freeman, Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolli, Lee Beevers; Simon Heslop, Jamie Sendles-White, Chris Clements (Matt Rhead 81 mins); Reggie Lambe, Vadaine Oliver, Rob Taylor (Fergus Bell 68 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Rakish Bingham, Ollie Palmer, Liam Marsden, Jack Thomas, Dimitar Evtimov (gk).
REFEREE: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire) 6
ATTENDANCE: 2,926 (581 away)
GOALS - Mansfield: Oliver 45 mins; Argyle: None
YELLOW CARDS - Mansfield: Oliver 67 mins, Lambe 90 +4 mins; Argyle: Reid 51 mins, Hartley 67 mins
MATCH RATING: 3
ARGYL STAR MAN - Andy Kellett: The on-loan Bolton wing-back was involved in nearly all of the Pilgrims’ best attacking moments.
NEXT MATCH: Saturday, home to York City, League Two (3pm)
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