KELVIN Mellor won the Dockyard Derby man-of-the-match plaudits largely for his eye-catching attacking play...
...including assists on all of the Pilgrims’ goals in the 3-0 home Sky Bet League 2 win over Portsmouth.
However, the Argyle wing-back is equally proud of being part of the tightest defence in the entire Football League.
The 23-year-old summer signing from Crewe first provided the pass to Lewi Alessandra which preceded the foul by Pompey left-back Nicky Shorey that led to Reuben Reid’s sixth-minute penalty opener.
He then put Shorey – ten years his senior – through the mill, during which time he laid on further goals for Lewi and Reuben.
“They were leaving a lot of space,” said Kelvin. “I don’t know what the left-back was thinking in first-half – I was in so much space and I was on every time. I don’t why he didn’t come and press me or get tight with me. Or kick me. Or do something.”
Portsmouth disputed the goal that set the Pilgrims up for a seventh successive home win but Kelvin said: “It was a penalty. Any player that gets touched in the box goes down these days – it is just instinct – and it was definitely a penalty. The left-back has got tired legs – he is an old guy now – so that helped me. I was going to shoot but I thought ‘no, I will make sure’.”
Kelvin began the season as an orthodox right-back before manager John Sheridan switched to a 3-5-2 shape, since when he has been employed as wing-back. The subtle change in tactics has helped Argyle mount a promotion push on the back of the best defensive record in the Football League - impressively, nine goals conceded in 17; staggeringly, just two in nine at home.
“I am really happy,” he said. “I don’t mind playing right-back or right wing-back; I am not bothered which one. It’s for the team and I will do my job.
“We have had a good start to the season, conceded the least goals in the league and stuff like that. We just need to keep going and keep sticking to how we are doing; ee have got to keep cracking on, take each day as it comes and keep playing well.
“We are doing well but, after Christmas, teams start dropping off and it takes its toll a little bit. You can’t step off the gas. The gaffer has said to us that we need prepare ourselves properly, keep playing like we are playing and results will take care of themselves.
“If we win our home games, I am sure we will be okay. Nobody wants to come down here. It is going to be a long journey for them and it is a big pitch – two things that teams don’t really want – and we are good at how we play on that pitch.
“There are ups and downs in the league – it is really tight – but, if you can get a run together, it can take you clear. We are doing the right things at the minute and we just have to keep playing well.
“You make your own luck and we are doing well as a team, defensively, to keep the goals out. The three at the back is really working for us; I think it suits us as a team – as soon as we lose the ball, we are instantly thinking we need to get it back and we rat.”