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Mansfield match report
13 February 2016 18:14 Post ID: #71584
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A totally dominant Argyle swept aside a Mansfield side 3-0 with two goals from Ryan Brunt and one from Gregg Wylde.

Simply brilliant!

The best 90 minutes home performance of the season, we destroyed a team who started the day fourth in the league and played some very good attractive football which in itself is a feat on a pudding of a pitch. It should have been six and an incredible 23 attempts on goal highlight that point, only some great saves from Shearer in the Mansfield goal kept the score down to three.

It will be difficult to find a man of the match from the players, everyone had their best game for a while and what a find Jordan Forster is. He slotted in at right back and looked like he had played for Argyle all season, his height also caused problems at set-pieces - he had a header hit the post and another cleared off the line.

And to cap it all we were finally awarded a penalty - you know, that kick at the goal from 12 yards with no defender in sight!

Argyle manager Derek Adams sprang a few surprises before the game, dropping Rueben Reid, Kelvin Mellor and Jake Jervis to the bench and bringing in Graham Carey, Forster and Brunt, he also gave us a new formation for a home game, 4-1-4-1 with Carl McHugh sitting deep and Carey, Oscar Threlkeld, Craig Tanner and Wylde playing behind Brunt.
It was a similar formation to the way Mansfield play with McGuire sitting in front of their back four.

You could tell from the first few minutes that the players were up for it, closing down, attacking down the wings and not letting Mansfield settle into any kind of rhythm.

Brunt had the first chance of the game but headed over, Tanner and especially Wylde were both lively on the wings and looked to be our best chance of a goal.
McHugh and Carey, playing in a deeper position, were orchestrating play for Argyle with Threlkeld given license to make forward runs into the box and give support to Brunt.

Our attacking play deserved a goal and while Mansfield didn't trouble us there was a feeling that the time wasting tactics that started midway through the first half would be our undoing again.

The goal finally came when Wylde shot from just outside the area and sneaked in past the diving Shearer. 1-0 and no more than we deserved.

Argyle turned on the style, some fo the football played was the best seen at Home Park this season.
Amazingly upon amazingly we finally won a penalty which received one of the biggest cheers of the game.
The ref didn't initially award it but the linesman spotted that Peter Hartley was pushed in the area.
The players quickly had to consult the rule book to find out what a penalty was and how to take it. Brunt read the book the quickest and stepped up to thump the ball in from 12 yards. 2-0, flying and Reid probably wishing he was on the pitch to take it.

It should have been 3-0 when Forster headed a Carey corner against the post. Mellor never ventured forward for corners, he stayed on defensive duty at the back, Threlkeld took over the Mellor role at corners which allowed Forster to add another attacking dimension to our corners.

Mansfield nearly grabbed a goal just before half time after some poor play from keeper Luke McCormick, firstly he didn't cleanly collect a ball which went out for a corner. From the resulting flag kick he allowed a header to trickle onto a post before finally diving on the ball.

The second half was much the same, Wylde was causing havoc on the wing, his crosses caused so much damage but just failing to find a player in a green shirt.
McGuire made several good saves from Carey, Brunt, Wylde and Tanner while Forster had a header cleared off the line.
Shearer made two world class saves from Brunt and Wylde, it really should have been 5-0 but at 2-0 Mansfield were still in the game and made all their subs early in the second half to try and change the green tide coming at them.

Mansfield nearly scored but it looked like it was Brunt who headed off the line with the aid of the crossbar.

The third and killer goal finally arrived when substitute Jervis put in a low cross and there was Brunt to convert from close range. A real poachers goal.
Jervis had made a number of mistakes since arriving as a replacement for Tanner, however that goal assist should give him some confidence.

Despite Brunt being on a hat-trick he was replaced by Reid late in the game, by then the points were secure.

The team looked totally different from the frustrations of the Wycombe game and Adams and his coaching team must have done a lot of work on the players over the last two weeks, especially working on a new formation.

Wylde was on fire, Mansfield couldn't stop him and he was our out ball all game until he was subbed.
Tanner had his best game for a while and could have scored two goal, McHugh was simply brilliant, breaking up play, tackling and passing, with some passes Beckamesque. But he always kept it simple.

Brunt was our target and a lot of balls found his chest instead of his head, he was able to bring other players into the game.

Curtis Nelson and Hartley were solid, Hartley looked like he picked up a shoulder injury late in the game.
Sawyer was another who had his best game for a while, Forster now looks to have cemented the right back position for the rest of the season, sold and as hard as nails, especially after receiving some crunching tackles.
Carey got better as the game wore on, passing with vision and threw in a couple of nutmegs!

The only downside is the continued poor handling from McCormick.

Given recent appointments at home the ref had a good game although he could have booked a few more Mansfield players.

The pitch looks worse than it actually is, it looks a shambles but the balls runs true and bounces of and it didn't hinder us today apart from one clearance from Hartley.

Man of the match: Wylde.

McCormick 5, Forster 8, Nelson 7, Hartley 7, Sawyer 8, McHugh 8, Carey 8, Threlkeld 7, Wylde 9, Tanner 7, Brunt 8. Subs: Jervis 6, Purrington n/a, Reid n/a.
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