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Mansfield match report
20 August 2016 18:13 Post ID: #71813
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Argyle secured an excellent 2-0 home win against Mansfield courtesy of two great individual goals from Graham Carey.

It was a game of two halves, inspired by Carey the Greens were dominant in the first half and deservedly scored two goals and there should have been more.
The second half was different, we sat back and soaked up the pressure, our two centre-backs were brilliant, especially Sonny Bradley who got his head on everything, defending is just as important as attacking and we made sure sure Mansfield didn't score with clearing headers, tackles, blocked shots and grit and determination to keep the clean sheet.

We probably won't see a performance from an Argyle player this season like we did for the first 45 minutes today from Carey, he was magnificent!
His passing, short and long, was right on the money and the two goals were both of individual brilliance.
The first was an angled free-kick that flew through a crowd of players and into the far corner and the second is a contender for goal of the season.
A great ball from Bradley found Carey on the right, he skipped past one, two, three defenders, see ya later, advanced in the penalty area, beat one more defender and slotted in from close range. What a goal!

Argyle manager Derek Adams started with a 4-2-1-3 formation, Yann Songo'o and Connor Smith sat deep, Oscar Threlkeld replaced Gary Miller at right-back, Carey was just in front of them and Ryan Donaldson and Jake Jervis flanked Jimmy Spencer. In truth Carey wandered where ever he wanted and his best work was done on the right side.

The swirling wind and heavy showers didn't help the game which took a long time to get going, I thought the momentum was slow with Luke McCormick taking an age to take his kicks.
Carey took the game by the scruff of the neck with his free-kick from near the corner flag. Once that goal went in the confidence oozed through the team and especially Carey, Mansfield couldn't cope with him and resorted to a series of late fouls that the referee failed to punish with yellow cards.
No matter because Carey just went on and scored a second goal as he weaved and waltzed his way through the Mansfield defence.

Spencer nearly scored a third goal after a fantastic team move, it started on the left with good interplay, it switched to the right with a great crossfield ball from Carey (of course) and the cross from Threlkeld found Spencer who saw his shot well saved by the portly Jensen in the Stags goal.

Bradley had a dipping header just go wide and the team left the field at half time with a standing ovation.

The second half was more backs to the wall, Carey didn't influence the game as much although he had his moments. This half was all about Nauris Bulvitis and Bradley who cleared everything Mansfield could throw at them, the long throws and corners coming into the box was dealt with by these two and McCormick who has suddenly found a way to come and collect crosses or punch the ball clear, this used to be his Achilles heel.

The ref still wouldn't punish the holding and fouling, particularly on Spencer.

Adams switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the last 20 minutes with Donaldson on the right and Carey on the left and substitute David Goodwillie up front with Spencer.

We soaked up the late pressure and won the three points and gained our first clean sheet of the season.

We saw two sides to the team today, attacking intent for the first half and defensive "thou shalt not pass" character for the second half.

Once Carey comes to the party we usually win, he's been subdued in the early games of the season but today he dominated those first 45 minutes. What a player!

Threlkeld gave the team energy from the right back position, McCormick didn't have a lot to do but collected crosses and cleared any danger, there were still too many back passes to him which Adams was annoyed about from the touchline.

Donaldson had a good game, Smith was everywhere and one of better players.
Bradley was dominant in the air, his distribution is a bit suspect but that doesn't matter because first and foremost he's a defender and he does that well.

Songo'o played well in the deep midfield position, some of his passes didn't find their target although his closing down and tackling more than makes up for that.

I did notice a little of the black arts, we slowed the game down during the second half - taking our time on throw-ins and when collecting the ball and just before Spencer was subbed he walked towards the touchline on the Lyndhurst side before making the long walk off the pitch.

Mansfield are a big industrial robust team who rely on set-pieces for the their attacks on goal and today we stood up to them and matched them for strength and muscle.

Overall, a good attacking 45 minutes following by good defending for the second half.

Man of the match: Carey.

McCormick 7, Threlkeld 7, Bulvitis 7, Bradley 8, Sawyer 7, Songo'o 7, Smith 7, Carey 9, Jervis 6, Donaldson 7, Spencer 6, Subs - Goodwillie 6, Slew n/a, Purrington n/a.
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