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Mansfield match report
11 April 2015 18:01 Post ID: #71200
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Two goals from Argyle's Irish contingent gave the Greens a battling win against a robust Mansfield team.

Anthony O'Connor and Carl McHugh got their heads on two Bobby Reid set-pieces to grab a vital win with three points more important than performances. After the game O'Connor claimed he scored the second goal, one for the FA and the club to sort out.

Argyle didn't play particularly well despite the bonus of a second minute goal but at this stage of the season performances do not matter, all that counts is the three points and getting in the play-off zone; we now have clear daylight on the teams below us.

Mansfield are not the worst side seen at Home Park this season despite struggling near the bottom of the league, they caused us a lot of physical problems with high balls and long throws into the penalty area, they stopped us playing by closing us down and stopped us from passing.
But credit to our players because although not playing well they stood up to the challenge typified by a man of the match display from Dom Blizzard in midfield.
Another bonus is that Peter Hartley reached the yellow card amnesty date and is now free to continue playing.

O'Connor came in for the suspended Curtis Nelson on the right side of the back three and Bobby Reid surprisingly played deep at the base of the midfield diamond with Olly Lee and Blizzard playing at the top of the midfield.

We had the perfect start when Bobby Reid floated a free kick to the far post and there was Irishman number one O'Connor to send a looping header into the top corner although the Stags keeper Sascha Studer could have done better.

For the next five minutes it looked like we would score another and kill the game off but Mansfield slowly came back into the match and as the half wore on we struggled to find any rhythm with passes going astray much to the frustration of the fans.

The second half was much the same and Mansfield should have equalised but Luke McCormick made a great save.
High ball after high ball came into the Argyle box and each time it was headed away (we missed the height of Nelson) by Hartley, O'Connor or McHugh. Sore heads lads?

With the situation becoming nervous and anxiety creeping in we grabbed a second goal with another Bobby Reid set-piece, this time a corner, finding the head of another Irishman, this time McHugh who headed in at the near post.
2-0, breath and relax!

Straight after the goal Mansfield scored! A header from Vadaine Oliver hit McCormick's bar but he followed up the rebound to put it away and make it 2-1. Get the worrybeads back out!

By this time Mansfield had brought on their huge striker Mat Rhead, who was as wide as he was tall, and pumped every ball into his general direction.

Disaster struck for McHugh who had to leave the pitch injured, Gethin Jones came on and played as the right-wing back and Kelvin Mellor and O'Connor shuffled across one position each.
Lee Cox replaced Olly Lee and the midfield diamond now reversed with Bobby Reid now at the top (his best position) and Cox and Blizzard sitting in front of the defence.

With Mansfield pushing forward would our makeshift defence hold out? In fact, we should have scored a third because Mansfield were exposed at the back but we didn't kill them off.
With six minutes of injury time the worrybeads took another hammering.
We got the win and moved back into the play-off zone.

The displays don't really matter but Blizzard, Hartley, McCormick, O'Connor and McHugh all stood strong against a robust Mansfield team. A special mention to Blizzard had to battle against the Mansfield midfielders on his own and did well, he did a lot of the dirty work.
Tarieq Holmes-Dennis, Bobby Reid and Lewis Alessandra did enough but Reuben Reid, Lee and Mellor struggled, nevermind, the win is all that matters.

McCormick 7, O'Connor 7, McHugh 7, Hartley 7, Mellor 5, Holmes-Dennis 6, Bobby Reid 6, Blizzard 8, Lee 5, Alessandra 6, Reuben Reid 5, Cox 6, Ansah 7, Jones 6.

Man of the match - Blizzard
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