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Archived News from January 2020

23rd January 2020 19:24

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Plymouth Argyle 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
Canavan 43, Sarcevic pen 61, Hardie 90+1. Cook 66
Attendance: 10,523 (246 from Mansfield)

Date: 18 January 2020

Martin Shaw at Home Park


Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 at in-form Plymouth Argyle this afternoon. Once again, the Stags played really quite well between both boxes, but missed a host of glorious chances, and then gifted Plymouth goals to fall to another bitterly disappointing defeat.
After the game, Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe said: “Mansfield were good, one of the few sides to really get in behind this season. They will probably feel hard done by that they haven’t gone in two or three goals up at half-time but I’ve been in that same situation as well, when we couldn’t hit a barn door.”

The Stags could have been ahead after 35 seconds as Nicky Maynard teed up Alex MacDonald to cross from the right and CJ Hamilton’s header was blocked low down on his line by the Argyle keeper.
After 5 minutes, Neal Bishop chipped a ball forward for Maynard to run on to. Maynard got away from his marker Bakinson, and with just the keeper to beat, tried to lift the ball over the keeper but didn’t get enough on it and the keeper beat away his effort.
Then after 18 minutes, Maynard fed Danny Rose, who played a perfect ball forward into the path of Hamilton who was also through 1-on-1 with just the keeper to beat, but pulled his shot wide of the right post.
Ryan Lowe was going ballistic on the touchline, while Graham Coughlan prowled about, surely happy with the approach play but frustrated with missing these chance.
After 22 minutes, MacDonald made a great run down the right and slid a low ball across for Hamilton who fired wide from another great position.
Plymouth had created nothing until the 23rd minute when Bakinson cracked a brilliant from 22 yards against the right post.
Huge controversy after 36 minutes. Krystian Pearce played the ball forward from the centre circle for Hamilton to run onto and again he was through 1-on-1 with the keeper. Hamilton tried to take the ball around the keeper just inside the area and went down. In real time I thought it was a penalty. But referee Trevor Kettle booked Hamilton for diving. The video footage from the main camera and our pitchside camera is inconclusive, but in my opinion it should have been a penalty.
Having failed to convert so many glorious chances, it was Plymouth who took the lead two minutes before half time. Hayden White fouled Luke Jephcott outside the area on the Plymouth left. And George Cooper’s free kick to the far post saw centre half Niall Canavan rise above Bishop to head home. Poor defending from Bishop.
Into the second half, and perhaps an even better chance for Mansfield to score as Hamilton did superbly on the left to pull the ball back to Mal Benning, who in turn teed up Maynard, unmarked, to shoot from 14 yards. Maynard beat the keeper but his low side-footed shot was superbly blocked on the line by Gary Sawyer. A great block, but Maynard has to be burying that chance.
To compound matters, Mansfield conceded the most ridiculous of penalties after 61 minutes. Joe Edwards was running away from goal towards the corner flag when Matt Preston heavily barged him over from behind. It was a ridiculous, clumsy challenge that gave the referee a decision to make, and the referee decided it was a penalty. You could argue it was just a shoulder barge, but I’m not going to, it was just a terrible error and one that was punished. The Stags players also didn’t contest the decision but instead looked at Preston in exasperation. Since Coughlan came in, and earlier in the season too, Preston has been making too many costly errors and it would now have to be seen as a surprise if he remains in the side next week. Antoni Sarcevic stepped up and buried the penalty into the top left corner.
Preston was close to making amends at the other end after 64 minutes when he headed a coat of paint wide of the right post from Benning’s free kick.
And Mansfield did pull a goal back in remarkable fashion. Having missed so many glorious chances, the goal came out of the blue as Andy Cook, who had been on as substitute for exactly 16 seconds, received a throw-in from James Clarke, chested it down, and on the turn fired a speculative shot from the edge of the area on the right over the keeper and in off the underside of the bar. A moment of brilliance from Cook.
The Stags created some half-chances to equalise, but not any more glorious chances.
After 86 minutes, Bakinson fired a shot from distance against the top of the bar.
And then in a moment of horrible irony, Plymouth made it 3-1 after 90+1 minutes. After Mansfield had wasted three 1-on-1 chances in the first half, Plymouth sub Hardie ran onto a long low ball forward and was through 1-on-1 with Olejnik, and fired through Olejnik’s legs into the net.

All very disheartening. Such a lot of good football played by Mansfield but it counts for nothing if you defend like this, and have done for much of the season, and miss glorious chance as well.

I thought manager Coughlan got the tactics spot on today, creating a glut of chances and stopping Plymouth from playing their normal game, and Danny Mayor hardly had a kick all game. But first and foremost Coughlan needs his team to defend better. After the game, Coughlan said his options for the defence are either to get new defender or defenders in, or keep working on the training ground and hope the penny drops. I think it is clear that certainly one new central defender is needed. Matt Preston is in a very poor run of form, making too many errors at the back, and the manager needs reinforcements urgently in order to freshen things up.

The Stags have won only one game in the last twelve, since October, and are sitting perilously just 5 points above the single relegation space. It’s a clear week on the training ground this week, then Mansfield have three games in a week: Bradford at home, then Oldham away and Carlisle at home. Bradford of course are near the top of the league, but Oldham and Carlisle are in the bottom 7 with the Stags and those two games look like enormous games that Mansfield really need to win.

Plymouth, meanwhile, have won ten of their last thirteen games, to move level with 3rd placed Crewe.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost 4-3 to Forest Green. Hayden White came back in for James Clarke. Krystian Pearce came back in for the injured Will Tomlinson. You need your big players playing in the team and White and Pearce are two of those. Before the game, manager Coughlan explained that Pearce had trained all week after being told he was free to leave a week ago and Coughlan was looking for players to step up to the plate. White returned to add more presence to the side according to Coughlan. But White has struggled with injury for the past year, and limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury in the second half here, which could be another hammer blow.
There was a new addition to the squad in Harry Charsley, who signed yesterday, he met the players on the coach down to Plymouth having not yet trained with the squad, and was announced as a new signing before kick-off. Charsley was released by Everton earlier this month after having spent over 10 years with the club. He is a midfielder who could also fill in at full back. As he was released by Everton, he has signed as a free agent, until the end of the season. He played in the Leasing.com Trophy against Mansfield in August, forcing two saves from Aidan Stone and converting his penalty in the shoot-out. He also played against Mansfield in the same competition two years ago.
Charsley came on as sub here at Plymouth 11 minutes from time, and did ok, showing he has two good feet.
Tyrese Sinclair, now returned from his very successful loan spell at Radcliffe Borough, travelled with the squad but was not in the 18. He is an exciting talent and hopefully he will get a chance for some minutes on the pitch in the coming months.
The Stags reverted to a 3-4-3 formation with a three pronged attack of Rose (right), Maynard (centre) and Hamilton (left) which certainly seemed to catch Plymouth cold, and should have won the game in the opening half.



Another defeat for out-of-form Mansfield Town
GRAHAM Coughlan’s miserable start to life at Mansfield continued with defeat at Plymouth Argyle.
chad.co.uk, By AGENCY (Sports Reporter), Saturday, 18th January 2020

The former Bristol Rovers boss has won just one of his seven games in charge since taking the helm at Field Mill.

This latest defeat, courtesy of goals from Niall Canavan, Antoni Sarcevic and Ryan Hardie, means the struggling Stags have won just one of their last 12 league games.

Andy Cook got on the scoresheet but it was a mere consolation for the visitors. And they are now just five points above the dreaded drop zone to non-league football as Plymouth propelled themselves into the automatic promotion places.

The Stags started brightly and were almost ahead inside the opening minute as CJ Hamilton’s header was saved by Pilgrims’ stopper Alex Palmer.


And Palmer was on hand again to deny Nicky Maynard’s chip.

Hamilton squandered a couple of further chances in quick succession as he failed to hit the target.

At the other end Tyreeq Bakinson rattled the post with a long-range strike.

The Stags were made to rue their early missed chances as Canavan headed home George Cooper’s cross at the back post.

Ryan Lowe’s side almost doubled their advantage after the restart when Byron Moore struck wide.

Canavan came to the rescue as he cleared Stags’ top scorer Maynard’s effort off the line.

Mansfield had a mountain to climb after Matt Preston hauled down Joe Edwards in the box - with Sarcevic converting from the spot.

Preston almost made amends but he could only nod Malvind Benning’s probing cross wide.

But super-sub Cook reduced the arrears seconds after coming off the bench with a fine volley after bringing James Clarke’s ball down with his chest.

With a few minutes remaining Stags’ shot-stopper Bobby Olejnik produced a super save to tip dangerous Bakinson’s effort past the post.

But home substitute Hardie put the game to bed at the death as he coolly slotted home from an acute angle.

Plymouth: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards, Sarcevic, Bakinson, Mayor (Josh Grant, 87), G.Cooper (Joel Grant, 84), Moore, Jephcott (Hardie, 69). Unused subs: M.Cooper, Riley, C.Grant, Randell.

Mansfield: Olejnik, Pearce, Preston, Sweeney, White (Clarke, 52), Bishop (Charsley, 79), MacDonald, Benning, Hamilton, Maynard, Rose (Cook, 66). Unused subs: Stone, Smith, Khan, Davies.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Attendance: 10,523 (246)


Plymouth Argyle up to fourth place in League Two after beating Mansfield Town 3-1
It is now 10 wins in their last 13 league games for Ryan Lowe's Pilgrims

plymouthherald.co.uk, By Chris Errington, 18 JAN 2020


Plymouth Argyle were made to work hard, and rode their luck at times, before beating Graham Coughlan’s Mansfield Town 3-1 at Home Park.

The Pilgrims secured a 10th win out of their last 13 games in League Two and it moved them up to fourth position.

Mansfield had much the better of the first half as they created a number of excellent chances.

However, the Stags could not convert any of them and defender Niall Canavan headed Argyle into a 43rd minute lead against the run of play.

When midfielder Antoni Sarcevic put the Pilgrims 2-0 up in the 61st minute with a penalty they seemed to be finally in control of the match.

But Mansfield substitute Andy Cook scored with his first touch of the ball soon afterwards to set up a tense finale in front of another 10,000-plus crowd at Home Park.

Argyle held their nerve, though, and on-loan Blackpool striker Ryan Hardie grabbed their third goal in stoppage time.

It was another valuable three points towards the Pilgrims’ surge towards the automatic promotion places.

They are level on points, and goal difference, with third-placed Crewe Alexandra, who won 1-0 at home to Cheltenham Town.

On-loan Bristol City midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson made his home debut for Argyle in an unchanged starting line-up from the 3-0 win away to Carlisle United.

Mansfield arrived at Home Park with only one win in six matches since Coughlan took over as manager last month but they started the game very strongly.

Inside the opening 30 seconds, striker CJ Hamilton had a header saved by an outstretched leg of Argyle ‘keeper Alex Palmer.

Hamilton then almost got on the end of a cross to the far post soon afterwards, only for Scott Wootton to make a last-ditch clearance for a corner.

Mansfield top scorer Nicky Maynard also had an excellent chance in the fifth minute when he broke clear.

Maynard had a one-on-one with Palmer and tried to flick the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.

Palmer stuck out an arm and made another fine save as Argyle continued to ride their luck early on.

Mansfield’s tactic of playing three strikers, with Hamilton and Maynard joined by Danny Rose, caused Argyle all sorts of problems.

Hamilton should have put the Stags ahead in the 18th minute when he raced clear of the Pilgrims’ defence but dragged his left-foot shot well wide.

He had another tremendous opportunity to score soon afterwards when former Argyle loan signing Alex MacDonald picked him out with a cross.

Hamilton was only a few yards out in a central position but could not make proper connection with the ball using his right foot and it ran out of play.

Argyle had to wait until the 24th minute for their first chance of the contest, and it followed a corner.

The ball dropped to Bakinson, who, from 25 yards out, unleashed a fierce shot which had ‘keeper Bobby Olejnik rooted to the spot but smacked against the left post.

Hamilton was in the thick of the action for the Stags and got in behind the Argyle defence in the 36th minute.

He touched the ball past the onrushing Palmer and fell to the ground, with referee Trevor Kettle blowing his whistle immediately.

However, Kettle gave Argyle a free-kick just outside their penalty area and booked Hamilton for diving.

The Pilgrims had hardly troubled Mansfield, apart from that one Bakinson strike, until the 43rd minute when they opened the scoring.

George Cooper provided a pinpoint free-kick to the far post where Canavan powered home a header for his second goal of the season.

Argyle went into the break with the lead but must have known they were fortunate not to be trailing after all of Mansfield’s clear-cut chances.

Striker Byron Moore fired across the face of goal as the Pilgrims had the first chance of the second period.

Mansfield were then denied a 53rd minute by some superb defending from Canavan.

Palmer was beaten by a low shot from Maynard as Argyle’s defence was outnumbered by the Stags.

However, what seemed a certain goal was denied by a magnificent sliding goal-line clearance from Canavan.

It preserved the lead that the central defender had given Argyle just before the break.

Argyle then went on to double their advantage with a penalty from Sarcevic for his seventh goal of the season, and the third from the spot.

Mansfield defender Matt Preston needlessly shoved over Argyle right wing-back Joe Edwards as he ran away from goal inside the box.

It was a simple decision for Kettle to award a penalty and Sarcevic smashed the ball into the net past Olejnik.

Coughlan responded by sending on striker Andy Cook as a 66th minute substitute for Rose and he scored with his first touch of the ball.

Cook swivelled and hooked the ball towards goal from the angle of the penalty area.

The back-pedalling Palmer was able to get both hands to the ball but could not prevent it from bouncing into the net.

Hardie came off the bench to make his home debut as a 69th minute replacement for Luke Jephcott.

It had been a quiet afternoon for the 19-year-old striker after getting four goals in the previous two games.

Sarcevic sent a 20-yard drive a fraction too high as the outcome of the match remained in the balance.

Bakinson then crashed a long-range shot against the top of the crossbar in the 86th minute, with the aid of a slight deflection off a Mansfield defender.

Josh Grant started his second loan spell for Argyle from Chelsea by coming off the bench as a late substitute for Danny Mayor.

It was done with the aim of giving Argyle some extra defensive solidity for the closing stages.

Argyle then wrapped up their eight home league win of the season with a second goal in as many games from Hardie.

The Pilgrims’ substitute raced in behind the Mansfield defence and squeezed his shot between the legs of Olejnik and into the net.

ARGYLE (3-1-4-2): Alex Palmer; Scott Wootton, Niall Canavan, Gary Sawyer; Tyreeq Bakinson; Joe Edwards, Antoni Sarcevic, Danny Mayor (Josh Grant 87 mins), George Cooper (Joel Grant 84 mins); Byron Moore, Luke Jephcott (Ryan Hardie 69 mins).

Substitutes: Mike Cooper, Joe Riley, Conor Grant, Adam Randell

MANSFIELD (5-2-3): Bobby Olejnik; Hayden White (James Clark 52 mins), Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Ryan Sweeney, Mal Benning; Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop (Harry Charsley 79 mins); Danny Rose (Andy Cook 66 mins), Nicky Maynard, CJ Hamilton.

Substitutes: Craig Davies, Otis Khan, Alistair Smith, Aidan Stone.



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